Despite having signed onto the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) in December 2019, Belize is yet to fully complete the requirements for full implementation. In yesterday’s Sitting of the Senate, PUP Senator Collet Montejo rose to speak on the matter explaining that the delays are a result of the seeming resistance from the Barrow administration. The discussion got a bit racy as the President of the Senate was forced to intervene.
Collet Montejo, PUP Senator: “Listen to this. Government of Belize Press Office. September 19 2017. On the 12 of December 2016 Belize – and Barrow ran from that one remember when we went to the states and had the Honorable Patrick Faber to the honors? Remember that ? But we did ascend to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, December 12 2016 right. In September of 2017 listen to your excuse now “Continually Belize is considered as a country with an economy in transition. As such any plans and programs to combat corruption have to be measured in line with Belize’s capacity financially, technically and otherwise.” In other words you were saying back then “Bwai we noh gat the money fi do this thing.” right ? And then – I’m sorry to be using part of the Kriol language Madam President but they went and tek all ah wi kunu munu.”
Michael Peyrefitte, Senator: “On a point of order. My friend is extremely entertaining and I’m loving it but what does this have to do with the budget Madam President ? You talk about UNCAC program or whatever it has nothing to do with the budget, how is this related to the issue at hand ? “
SENATE PRESIDENT: “Senator I believe if we’re discussing the budget I should be able to allow the Senator to reach as he explains the reasons as to why we are where we are and trends do contribute to that and where we’re going.”
Collet Montejo, PUP Senator: “Thank you very much Madam President. There will be a country visit to Belize by government experts from one of the most corrupt nations in the world, Haiti and Tuvalu. I can assure you Madam President that if you ask a hundred Belizeans out there where in the world is Tuvalu maybe one, maybe one could tell you. Tek wi mek kunu munu.”
SENATE PRESIDENT: Senators I will ask that we be reminded of the rules for Senators not speaking and I ask that we try as best to maintain silence. I will allow a little cross conversation but if we can try to keep it to a minimum.
Collet Montejo, PUP Senator: “Let me say this. You want solution? You want plans ? Well in advance of being voted in this PUP government, this PUP government passed a motion, passed a resolution to address the governance issue that was plaguing this country. No other than our Minister for the Public Service the Honorable Henry Usher stood up in this Honorable House last week and said we will implement the United Nations – we will implement UNCAC, we will do that. We’ve also gone on record to say that we will pass legislation addressing unjust enrichment. We will pass the Recovery Act, we will go after those who stole from the public purse and I don’t want to start to call names but I wish I could. Wish I could. We will also ascertain that we pass the Whistleblowers Act, no problem.”