The People’s United Party has issued a press release in response to the changes announced yesterday by Prime Minister Dean Barrow stating that the Prime Minister has lost control of his Government. The release reads, quote, “The People’s United Party is utterly shocked at the bizarre explanation of the departure of Attorney-General and Minister of Natural Resources Sen. Vanessa Retreage by Prime Minister Dean Barrow. It seems that Mr. Barrow expects Belizeans to believe that Senator Retreage had only committed to working for a year so her leaving is entirely expected and nothing extraordinary. We note that Senator Retreage was given the Attorney-General’s post a year ago and was posted to the Ministry of Natural Resources in August 2016, 4 months ago. Neither she nor the Prime Minister mentioned this year-long commitment, so we find that explanation ludicrous and deceitful on the part of Mr. Barrow and Senator Retreage. There are credible reports that Senator Retreage received threats as a result of investigations being carried out at the Ministry of Natural Resources. The PUP condemns such threats against any public servant who is trying to execute their fiduciary duties. There have been three Ministers with responsibility for the Ministry of Natural Resources in 13 months – Senator Minister Godwin Hulse, Senator Minister Vanessa Retreage and now Senator Minister Carla Barnett. It is quite apparent that Prime Minister Dean Barrow has lost control of this Ministry and his administration in the past year. We do not accept Mr. Barrow’s frivolous and nonchalant declarations that all is well when it is clear that NOTHING is well. As more information on questionable transactions at the Lands Department during the tenure of Gaspar Vega, many of which involves Mr. Vega and his family, continues to surface, Belizeans are beginning to question the decision of the Prime Minister to wait for two terms before removing him from that Ministry. The Prime Minister was either knowledgeable of what was happening and opted to turn a blind eye or was asleep at the wheel. In either case, the mismanagement of government assets and loss of income is attributable to the indecisiveness of the Prime Minister to address such an important issue. The People’s United Party calls for an immediate independent audit of the Ministry of Natural Resources. The people of Belize have demanded transparency and accountability in the management of their finances and assets, and not the obvious deflections, distractions and optical illusions practiced by the Prime Minister at every turn.