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Daniel Chi sitch is because the PM’s ego is bruised, says PSU Prez

The Minister should know better.” That’s the response PSU President Dean Flowers gave our newsroom when we asked him for comment today about Minister Orlando Habet’s interview he had with Love News on Friday. Minister Habet was asked whether his Ministry would revisit its recommendation to fire Daniel Chi from the public service. Chi is the officer, who is accused of hanging up on Prime Minister John Briceno. As we’ve reported, the Prime Minister had called asking that plants imported by Dianni Chan of Botanical Gardens by Roselyn be released. Chi refused because CITES documentation was missing. Flowers told our newsroom this morning that this situation reflects a need to change the culture of politics within the public service. 

Dean Flowers, President, Public Service of Belize: “I’m really lost for words when these type of political victimization occurs because the Minister should know better. What other opportunity exists for them to change their position ? For Mr.Chi to issue an apology to the Prime Minister ? Because I’m well aware that that is something that they are trying to force on him. Mr.Chi does not owe the Prime Minister any apology, on the contrary the Prime Minister owes Mr.Chi and all public officers an apology but to use the Prime Minister’s favorite phrase because this is now the manner in which he gives interview he normally ends it with ‘and I make no apology.’ So I do not expect the Prime Minister to apologize to Mr.Chi but it is for Mr.Chi to decide whether or not he would want to take that route if it is he felt he disrespected the Prime Minister. In our view based on the evidence that has been provided there was no disrespect to the Prime Minister and so I’m pretty quite sure that is the angle that the minister spoke of that they may want to consider but Mr.Chi is under no obligation. I can say to you they don’t have strong case and I can say to you they have misrepresented the fact and they have violated the regulations where that minor infraction is concerned which is as they claim or as the CEO claims ‘insubordination’. so let’s see where this circus goes but at the end of the day it could very well cost the Belizean people thousands of dollars because of in my view again political ego.”

More than that, Flowers told us that the reason this issue has dragged on, with some calling for Chi’s head to roll, is because the PM’s ego is still bruised. 

Dean Flowers, President, Public Service of Belize: “The issue here is that we have a Prime Minister whoever even before taking office has disrespected public officers, have said to them they’re not talented, have said them they do not work hard, have said to them they have not made any sacrifice it’s all there on record. That very Prime Minister’s ego was bruised when he thought that he could use his office to instruct a public officer. This is what it’s about and clearly his minister in Sustainable Development and his CEO do not have the testicular fortitude to say to him ‘PM this is a minor incident please let it go.’ The Minister of Public Service is on record to say no politician should be instructing public officers how to do their work. So I am surprised that even today we’re still having this conversation about Daniel Chi when the Minister of Public Service has condemned any politician including the Prime Minister from wanting to tell a public officer how to do his work so perhaps the Minister of Sustainable Development and the CEO needs to speak to the Minister of Public Service to get some guidance and stop listening to the bruised ego that continues to push this thing.”

We will have more from our interview with the PSU president in the news at six.