Former Minister of National Security, Michael Peyrefitte also took the microphone where he too was calling for the heads of the Minister and CEO of Police, Kareem Musa and Kevin Arthurs, respectively. His statements were no different than those he made to Love News some three weeks ago where he said that both men are failing to curb crime despite having only one portfolio.
Michael Peyrefitte, UDP Chairman, Former Minister of National Security: “Following the vein of the party leader’s call just a while ago there is no question about it at this time. Kareem Musa and Kevin Arthurs must go and go now. They must resign or the Prime Minister must remove them from their post. These two individuals had the most to say when they were in opposition and now they have the least to say that they are now in charge of the ministry that they claim to know so much about when they were in opposition. Imagine for the first time in many years you have a ministry that deals with primarily just the police from a policy standpoint. New growth industry seems to be just marijuana which was something that we had started laying the groundwork for but it’s primarily the police department that these two individuals are in charge of and they have utterly failed.”
Peyrefitte went on to criticize Musa saying that he spoke the loudest when he was in opposition, criticizing the Barrow administration for failing to adequately address the crime issue.
Michael Peyrefitte, UDP Chairman, Former Minister of National Security: “When he appointed CEO Arthurs , and I’m going straight after them because they are the leadership and they had the most to say, their mouths were the loudest. When he appointed Kevin Arthurs this is what he said about Arthurs. “Somebody very well versed not only in the law but somebody with excellent ideas, excellent vision, and strategies no doubt confident will be able to deliver in his job as the new CEO of the ministry.” where are the ideas? Where is the vision ? Where are the strategies to stem the rise in crime ? Where is it ? Its as if though they don’t care. They’re busy posting photographs on Miami Beach with basketball players instead of focusing on what you need to do to make sure that crime is no longer a serious problem in this country. What ideas? Because you always say we don’t have ideas. I would have thought that by now they would have had like an independent commission for the police department sort of like a police services commission or an INDECOM in other parts of the Caribbean. We have highlighted some of the things that we believe are necessary at this point. Give us the job and we will show you.”
Reporter: Some may argue well you had the job and there were clearly some challenges within the police department, challenges in regards to citizen security. Some might say that it’s perhaps egotistical of you probably ask back for the job, how would you respond to those criticisms.
Michael Peyrefitte, UDP Chairman, Former Minister of National Security: “Everybody who knows me knows that I’m the most humble human being on the face of the planet but Dale you want to go back to when Mr.Goldson was a PUP? You want to go all the way back ? Do you want to go back to the birth of Christ? How far do you want to go back ? Man can’t go back anywhere we’re here now. We are here now you know and they were the ones who said that they had all the answers. They were the ones who said they had all the solutions, they had the vision, they had the strategy, they had everything and that was one year ago. In their manifesto they said that with sustained actions they could make a huge difference in a year. So we could go back to Max Samuels days, we could go back to Ralph Fonseca days, we could analyze Lindy Rogers, we could analyze all past Ministers of National Security and Home Affairs that doesn’t help us. We are here now and we’re talking about wat they are doing for the Belizean people now and they have failed. They have failed when they said they had all the answers. And in terms of me holding the position and I go back to this, yes I held the position but for a very short period of time and not only that it was not the only position I held. I was Attorney General, BDF, Coast Guard, all of that, all he has is police. So you have one department that you need to focus on, all your energies should be there and the results should definitely be better than this.”
As we noted, we’ve been here before and after Peyrefitte’s comments back in October, we had sought Kareem Musa’s response to those comments. Here was how he responded to his predecessor.
Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs and New Growth Industries: “If it were not a serious issue I would laugh. To hear Mr.Peyrefitte actually go on your newscast for the resignation of myself and the CEO. It’s the equivalent of you lending out your car for thirteen years the person that you loaned your car to destroying that car completely, breaking it up and then returning it to you and the moment you open the hood to try to fix that car that they broke they say “Gimme back mi car.” That is what the UDP is doing and it is not surprising because I guess thirteen years of being drunk on power would do that to somebody like Mr.Peyrefitte. So all my advice to him is if he’s so hungry for power just grab a Snickers and watch as we fix this problem that you all created. It’s going to take time and what I am very grateful for and appreciative is that we have the buy-in of so many stakeholders to actually tackle the root causes of crime.”