The recent spike in crime has the United Democratic Party (UDP) calling for the resignation of Minister of Home Affairs Kareem Musa, again. In a pre-recorded video statement, UDP Chairman, Senator Michael Peyrefitte said it’s the time to put an end to the (quote) “Failed Kareem Musa experiment”.
Hon. Micheal Peyrefitte, UDP Chairman: “The crime situation has gotten completely out of control. When the United Democratic Party was in government, the situation was not perfect but now it seems the gang wars and murders are worse than ever in our country and it is time for the government and people to make some serious changes before the situation becomes irredeemable. Carlton Gladden in Mahogany Heights, Tyreek August in La Democracia, Anthony Lord in Lake I, John King on Castle St.: Four young Belizean men gunned down within the Belize district within the last 48 or so hours. More children left fatherless. Four more families grieving while the cycle of violence continues with no end in sight and those elected to govern offering absolutely no solution. As we enter into Holy Week, our community is overwhelmed with grief and our people are crying out for relief. Murders, robberies and shootings are now part of our daily reality. In just the last 24 hours or so there has been almost a dozen shooting incidents in the Belize district alone. We have seen a spike in robberies of delivery truck drivers and pedestrians and attacks on youths heading to and even at school. Our people have completely lost confidence in a Police Department that is headed by an absentee minister who is more occupied with devising plans to sell cannabis than developing common sense solutions to arresting crime. The Ministry of Home Affairs is no place for a leader who disappears in times of crisis nor refuses to seek help from The Opposition or other social partners as he has done so far. It is now certainly time to put an end to the failed Kareem Musa experiment.”
Peyreffite also reiterated the UDP’s willingness to work with
the PUP government to address the crime problem.
Hon. Micheal Peyrefitte, UDP Chairman: “It is time to appoint a National Crime Fighting Task Force with representatives from the Government, the Opposition, social partners, and community organisations in an effort to come up with medium and long term solutions to gang violence. Immediately, the UDP recommends the appointment of a respected conflict resolution committee that will work around the clock to prevent disputes from escalating. This committee should be equipped with a confidential 24 hour hotline to respond to violence prevention tips from members of the public. Also immediately, in order to restore a sense of security to residents as we approach the Easter weekend, the Government should seriously consider utilising the preventative detention mechanisms to target those who are currently terrorising our community and robbing residents of their peace of mind and their right to live in a safe environment. One small group of men should not be allowed to hold us hostage in our own homes. Lastly, but certainly not least, the United Democratic Party recommends that the women and men in our security forces be provided with counselling services for their emotional and psychological wellbeing. They’re under constant pressure like never before. Their pay has been cut. The price of fuel has driven up the cost of living and weakened the purchasing power of their disposable income. This has put members of our security forces on edge and morale is at an all time low. We pray for them and encourage them to remain strong and to continue the thankless job that they are asked to do. However, the UDP encourages the Government to act now to ensure that this ticking time bomb does not explode on this nation, an example being a Belizean soldier stomping a Belizean to death.”