The appointments of several members to Statutory Bodies and Governmental agencies have raised concerns among some corners of society and the opposition. The point of contention is that several persons being placed on the boards and at the head of several departments are related to Ministers under the Briceno administration. BNTU’s President Elena Smith spoke on the issue saying that using the excuse that the previous administration did it, is unacceptable. Her comment focused primarily on the Good Governance Motion that the government presented in the last House Meeting.
Elena Smith, President, Belize National Teachers Union: From a union’s perspective you know while we don’t get involved in partisan politics some of these things are matters that we would bring to the fore because they create other issues and so it would not be the first time that the BNTU would address certain matters. From my perspective as a Senator it’s really and truly no difference because I represent the unions in the Senate and so wrong is wrong it doesn’t matter who does it and if we are blaming the other side and we are saying that the other party did it doesn’t mean that we must do it too; because from the time you are pointing out that the other side did it it’s because you know it’s wrong and for you to now come in and do the same thing then you are also wrong; two wrongs don’t make a right. And so I believe that this government has brought before us their good governance motion just recently you know where they presented portions of their manifesto because they want to show that they will be doing things differently and it’s all about the people right now. And that is good because that is what we need , we need for governments to understand that listen the people are in charge you are only guiding, the people are in charge. But bringing something to the table, getting it passed and then not following through with it really and truly won’t do anything. So we would be able to determine how serious this government is on those matters when they put these legislations in place and when they start to hold people accountable that is when we will realize that they’re serious about what they are doing. Putting forth a motion, putting it on paper as a manifesto really and truly does not show your seriousness towards getting these things accomplished. And so for me as a Senator I don’t support it any at all because I believe it’s not right, there are so many other persons who could assist you on these boards and committees who might have a lot to offer, who would be able to help to make things better, why do we feel that only certain families can represent us on boards and committees ? It shouldn’t be that way. If we’re saying that we want to see a change and we want to make a change and we want to involve as many people as we can then show that by your actions and that kind of action is not showing what it is you are saying in your documentation and what it is you are telling us as a people.”
Smith went on to say that the practice of nepotism needs to be put to a stop. On the flip side to that, however, she did applaud the appointments of the Ambassador Designates.
Elena Smith, President, Belize National Teachers Union: It goes for whichever party is doing it, whoever does it it is wrong and at some point we should stop. We can’t continue to say “Well you did it so I can do it.” no, at some point it has to stop and so I am hoping that it’s going to stop; well I mean you know as you said we saw the names so obviously it hasn’t stopped as yet but I’m hoping that it will stop very quickly and I must applaud when I saw the list for the ambassadors. I have to applaud the fact that they were able to keep persons who were there before and maybe give other persons who you may consider not of their political party a chance that’s a good move that is how we should operate. We should not be operating based on red or blue we should be operating on persons who are capable and so we should do the same with the boards and committees; not be putting persons because of their affiliation or who they are or what their name is but persons who are capable. And I know they will say “but yes they are but just because they are part of.”- it is too obvious, try to mix it that it doesn’t come across too obvious. It has to stop, bottom line it has to stop let us work together and let us stop it that’s the only way our country will prosper if we all come together and we say wrong is wrong and we stop those wrongs.”