Minister of Home Affairs rates his government’s performance
In ten days, the Briceno Administration will celebrate three years in government. In 2020, the People’s United Party, led by Prime Minister John Briceno, was elected to office by a resounding majority in twenty-six divisions. Since then, the government says it has maneuvered around significant debt that it had inherited and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In its Plan Belize Manifesto, the party promised to tackle several societal ills, including poverty, access to affordable housing, and crime. Yesterday, we asked the Minister of Home Affairs and New Growth Industries, Kareem Musa, to rate the performance of the police and their crime-fighting efforts over the past three years.
Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs: “No doubt it is one of the most difficult ministries to manage. I think any minister would acknowledge that. But certainly so long as their progress, so long as I have the commitment of all of the police officers, I am confident that the numbers will continue to go down. Not just in the number of plane landings but also in the number of murders, in the number of violent crimes, and of course in other crimes, petty theft, robberies, burglaries, these are all things that we are focused on day in day out and so we still are on trajectory to have a record-breaking year, I think since 2007. And so, while it is a moment to celebrate we cannot at any point say let us celebrate this victory. We have to keep pushing and keep bringing those numbers down.”
Musa also provided an update on the work being done in the New Growth Industries.
Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs: “I think that the ministry certainly has been trailblazing in terms of conceptually in terms of igniting a fire amongst the private sector. Like you mentioned, cohune, ostriches, boot making, we are set to receive the first 250 boots from Ms. Nancy Marin and her company, Umberland, this week this Friday. So that is a momentous occasion for us to put our money where our mouth is. If we’re saying we’re going to encourage small businesses let us buy locally. That is something that I have always pushed that I always support and so I look forward to receiving those boots. And so there are many other industries, there’s the seaweed industry, all of these things again led by the private sector but there are also ministries like the Blue Economy who are helping out in those areas. And so it is a budding ministry and I am hoping that next year we can see a significant investment in our ministry so that we can have the technical personnel on board to assist us.”
Musa also noted that there was no update on the formation of the proposed legal and regulated marijuana industry.