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Gaspar Vega’s absence from House meetings questioned

Former Cabinet Minister Gaspar Vega resigned from this Ministerial post as a result of a land scandal that broke where a parcel of land was acquired by Vega’s son, Andre Vega at two thousand five hundred dollars then later flipped for four hundred thousand dollars which the Government of Belize paid out.  Since his resignation, Vega has not attended any house sitting. That matter was pointed out by Toledo West Area Representatives, Michael Espat, during last week’s house sitting.

Michael Espat – Toledo East area representative

“I would like to know where that member, Honorable Gaspar Vega is, he has been absent from this house I don’t know if he’s still getting paid to be a member of this house, Madam Speaker, the damage that has been done by the member from that side of the house in the Toledo District especially our logging in Toledo they have destroyed and cut just about everything that they ever wanted  to cut out of the Toledo District. The Prime Minister in his press conference made it sound like the Honorable member had the power to spend government’s money in regards to the payment that they made for compensation. I don’t believe that any minister over there has any authority in the Ministry of Finance to pay.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“But sir if you are impugning the conduct of a member, you can only do so on a substantive motion and that is what you seem to be doing saying that the member who is absent spend public monies when he was not entitled you are impugning his conduct you would have to bring a substantive motion.”

Michael Espat – Toledo East area representative

“I am responding to what you said.”

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“No sir, even if you are, you can’t say that.”

Michael Espat – Toledo East area representative

“So I was asking the question if whether or not the Minister had the authority to pay compensation in over  $70 million in compensation to special people and paying for these, I understand that the AG is saying that he will try to collect some of this $800,000.”

House Speaker

“Honorable Member please do not proceed along those lines, if you want to rephrase or proceed in a different..

Patrick Faber – Collett area representative

“Madam Speaker on a point of order, it would seem that the member is asking a question, this is not questions to ministers time, its a question you’ve been asking questions and then as the member for Queen Square pointed out you are also impugning the actions of a member. It is not the place or time to do that. You’ve been here a very long time.

Speaker: Yes honorable member….

Michael Espat – Toledo East area representative

“All this boils down to ….

Speaker: I hope you are not proceeding along those same lines.

Michael Espat – Toledo East area representative

“No, I am speaking in regards to the rampant corruption that we are faced with in this country and it seems to me, the Prime Minister is good at saying I’m sorry and I will fix it, not problem with that he continues to say that and I think he gets away to John Public to say I’m sorry, “yes I know there is corruption in the system.” So my plea is for us to try to fix the system.”