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PM Barrow speaks on allege government corruption

Corruption in the Government is being cited as the reason for William Mason to be in possession of a Belizean birth certificate as was uncovered earlier this week.  Prime Minister Dean Barrow spoke on the issue of the vital statistics document and the way forward.

“On the basis of a false birth certificate Immigration has no choice to give you a nationality, and I don’t know that that had happened but it wouldn’t be immigration’s fault it would be vital statistic’s fault. I don’t take any joy in saying this because we know there have been problems and no doubt are still problems at immigration, I’m saying we have to add to the mix vital statistics unit so it is depressing. It is to try to make sure that we deal with these problems. There is a new director of immigration Diana Locke that we think will help to move things forward and I’m telling you the attorney general is telling me that she has well in hand the changes that must be made at the vital statistics unit to try to plug holes.”

As it relates to the Government being riddled with corruption, Prime Minister says he will not accept that point.  Here is how he explained it.

I will not accept that my administration is riddle with corruption. I will not claim that there is no corruption either I would be foolish, I would be dishonest and I try not to be that. So I am prepared to concede that there is corruption everywhere in government, it is a matter of scale and extent and I am never going to say that I can swear that every single Minister in my cabinet is Simon Pure. I don’t mean by that to assert the contrary either, I have to be careful but there is no way I will sit here in front of you and speak to the country and say no minister of mine is guilty or ever been guilty of any kind of impropriety.

One of the points that the BPP has harped on for some months now is the signing of the anti-corruption convention; The Morning Show host, Ernesto Vasquez asked Prime Minister about this point of concern.

Reporter: You haven’t signed the anti corruption act, and they ask why.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow: Which anti-corruption act?

Reporter: Through the UN.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow: That is a UN convention and I can tell you why we haven’t signed that but I don’t think that would be, we have our local anti-corruption laws the question is how do you catch people and how are you then able to make a case.

Reporter: You have ministers that didn’t have assets that they have now things like that, the way they live, something has to be.

Mayor Darrell Bradley: Don’t limit it to Ministers, I don’t want to get into various departments of government but you know one minister complained to me that where he lives he is putting on an extension to his home and of course the talking in his community immediately starts but he sees member of a certain well known department in his own municipality putting on extensions and building homes that are three times the size of his. So again there is the FIU, there is the income tax department. I’ve long ago said that there are provisions under which assessments can be made but to say……

Reporter: but are they taking action ?

Prime Minister Dean Barrow: To some extent people are afraid.