The Executive Council of the People’s United Party met this morning at its headquarters in Belize City. One of the topics discussed was the Senate Select Committee and the investigation into the special reports of the Auditor General. As we mentioned, the Committee held its second meeting today and once again an opposition senator was missing, however, Opposition Leader, John Briceno said they have reconsidered their original position and will now be a part of the process.
“Our party decided this morning that it is very important for us to participate provided that the other two senators from the social partners be it the unions and the private sector participate. So we are going to participating, I am going to be meeting with the senators for us to decide who is going to represent us in that committee. But we are also appealing to the government and the senate that we still believe that this senate select committee must have an adequate budget so that they can do the work properly as the way the Belizean public expect from them. They need a budget so they need to hire an accountant, or if they need to hire experts in immigration that can go in if we need to get computer experts to go in and study the hard drives because we know that a lot of data has been erased. It is important for them to have adequate budgets so that they can do a proper and thorough investigation into what exactly happened in the immigration department. We also believe and we are going to hold the president of the senate to his word that the senate special committee should be allowed to call in any and every all witnesses that would be important to their investigation and move away from this nonsense that you can only call the people that are in that report because we know that there are a lot of other people that have been involved in what has taken place in the immigration department that would be very important to call to the committee so that we could get to the bottom of what happened and to ensure that this would never happen again in this country.”
Briceno says he is hopeful that Elena Smith, the Senator representing the unions and Mark Lizzaraga representing the private sector would now participate in the investigation. Briceno believes it has been long overdue that an audit be conducted in regards to the spending of over three million dollars of Petrocaribe money.
“It is also time to have an audit be done with the PetroCaribe funds. Over $375 million dollars have been spent and the many instances millions of millions of dollars have been squandered many people believe that this was the way the funds were somehow used to have funds for the campaign we don’t have the evidence that is why it is important for us to have a full investigation as to how the monies of PetroCaribe were spent. We can’t stop there, we also have to look at BIL and that is the Belize Infrastructure Limited because we also believe that the government deliberately set up this company so that it does not fall under the purview of the government so that they could funnel monies there and they could expedite the approval of projects but we know that a lot of UDP cronies have gotten budgets in some cases in the millions of dollars without the proper vetting, without the proper tendering and we need to get to the bottom of this.”