Last week we told you of a meeting held post-Cabinet where some demands or requests were brought before the Prime Minister involving the Deputy Prime Minister’s post as well as that of the Minister of Lands, Godwin Hulse. Since his taking over of Lands, there have been reports that Hulse’s Cabinet colleagues are unhappy of his portfolio and have been working at getting him out, citing that he was not elected. We spoke with Hulse this morning who informed us that after learning of the requests made to the Prime Minister he made the decision to confront them at today’s meeting.
“Quite frankly heard it on Love FM much to my consternation a bit that there was this move to unseat me. Just for the public first of all so that we are clear, all Ministers are appointed by the Governor General on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, all of us are sworn in on the same day and we get the same letter and we work with the Ministry we are assigned. Nevertheless there is still a feeling in Belize about elected and non-elected Ministers even though there is really no such thing, there are elected representatives from the house who are appointed as Ministers and Senators who are appointed as ministers I happen to be the only Senator so far. Last term there were four of us; that is the background. So yes I was appointed by the Governor General on the recommendation of the Prime Minister and so my first reaction was let’s go see the Prime Minister to see where I stand and of course he is 100% fully in support of my position with no intention to make any change. But while we don’t give secrets out of cabinet I will say that today I undertook to raise the matter just for my own peace of mind because there are a lot of rumors running around and so just so people know in the cabinet I raised the matter to get clearance from my cabinet colleagues and absolutely nobody objected, nobody objected and the Prime Minister reiterated that for the foreseeable future as long as we are there the status quo remains where I am concerned.”
Hulse says that while there were no objections made today he did concede that there have been pressures upon him regarding his post as the head of the Lands Department.
“I can’t say I agree I have put that frankly to colleagues that my position in this Ministry is to do it with dignity, honesty, integrity and to proceed as impeccably as we can and as I said no person and the Prime Minister afforded everybody a comment, no person objected. I operate from a position of facts and a position of being straight. I don’t pretend and I don’t play the fool so as long as I am concerned all those undercurrents may be running and people may have their feelings just simply say it to my face or come up to me and say what the problem is and I dare anybody to do that.”
“How would you characterize the mood in Cabinet, this is the second cabinet you’ve been in the Prime Minister has two issues, he has a deputy prime minister who eleven Ministers opposed his election and he also of the war chest natural resources who is unelected and immune apparently to political persuasion and pressure, how does that affect Mr. Barrow’s management of the cabinet?”
“Well everything in Belize is a seven day wonder and the seven days had passed, the mood was cordial and good.”
Senator Godwin Hulse took over the Lands Department in November 2015 when the UDP won their 3rd consecutive term in office.