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Will there be Nepotism in the PUP?

The People’s United Party has on multiple occasions attacked the Barrow administration on the infrastructural contracts awarded to UDP relatives and cronies.

The People’s United Party has on multiple occasions attacked the Barrow administration on the infrastructural contracts awarded to UDP relatives and cronies.  One name that stands out is Imer Hernandez, the nephew of the former Deputy Prime Minister.  There have been several other instances that could be very well coined as nepotism.  In our interview with Julius Espat he remarked that it is only human that elected officials would want to assist their family and friends.  He says, however, that the assistance given should be carefully measured.

Hon. Julius Espat, Area Representative Cayo South:  “No no no, not gravy at all. I’ll show you my portfolio for twenty five years government participation of work that I have done which is public is like 2% of what I have done. 98% of my work is private sector. Why don’t you talk about my private sector work ? You’re not interested. Go ahead. “

Reporter: No what concerns me is that you are seeking to reject this patrony system.

Hon. Julius Espat, Area Representative Cayo South:  “No I’m not rejecting it, no no no. I’m not rejecting it Jules I’m saying we have to minimize it, we have to try to find another way.”

Reporter: So you accept that the PUP will have to reward it’s friends.

Hon. Julius Espat, Area Representative Cayo South: No I am saying that the nature of human beings is that you take care of your family and your friends that’s the nature but it has hurt us in Belize and we have to find a way to better it. Is there anything wrong with that? “

Reporter: As long as —

Hon. Julius Espat, Area Representative Cayo South:  No is there anything wrong with that? 

Reporter: Sir there is nothing wrong with  it in theory but in fact it’s damn near impossible.

Hon. Julius Espat, Area Representative Cayo South:  “Why is it damn near impossible ?”

Reporter: Because that’s how the party survives.

Hon. Julius Espat, Area Representative Cayo South:  I don’t believe so. I think if you fair with everybody Jules the people that are talented enough will get the work anyway.”

Reporter: So can the Belizean people hold you to task that you will look that that particular issue is minimized ?

Hon. Julius Espat, Area Representative Cayo South:  “The people can hold me to task that I will be a fair person when I administer anything. I have shown that in the past in the private sector.”

Reporter: But fair could be relative sir.

Hon. Julius Espat, Area Representative Cayo South: Fair is always relative.”

Reporter: Alright so if every single PUP minister if you get into power is awarding, sister, uncle, niece, brother —

Hon. Julius Espat, Area Representative Cayo South:  “Then we will have a problem but I am not the Prime Minister. I will be one of many. I will be one voice raising a problem if it occurs but if we don’t learn to change then we will only last one term. You have to be intelligent enough to understand the realities of life. You guys won’t stop from questioning us. I believe you will be more investigative in the future than you have been in the past and we have to be prepared for that. That’s the reality we’re facing, that’s the scenario that we have. It will be a post COVID economy. It will be a post COVID Belize. Realities have changed. If we are not intelligent enough to understand that, to address that, to try to minimize that and I didn’t say totally eradicate it because it’s not a magic wand but at least try what’s wrong with that ?”