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Feb 1, 2017

Wade Says He Didn’t Tell Auditors Some of the Things Mentioned in Final Report

Auditor General Dorothy Bradley made one major correction to her audit report of the Immigration Department – that former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Michael Peyrefitte, was allowed under the law to make a recommendation as an official for a passport. Other than that, she has said on the record, she stands by her report. But today, then-Officer in Charge of the Nationality Section of the Department, Gordon Wade, contended that several quotations in the Report attributed to him were either inaccurately written or formed part of discussions which he implied were not on the record. One major example was a statement suggesting that the minister in charge of nationality could essentially bypass all the requirements under the Nationality Act to declare an applicant a citizen by registration with no say-so from the Department. According to Wade, he is not even sure he ever made such a statement.

 

Gordon Wade

Gordon Wade, Former Officer in Charge, Nationality Section

“A Minister can approve Belize nationality with one letter, and all other requirements are waived including fees, security clearance, civic tests; everything can be waived. The law has requirements, but that does not matter, because the law also states that a Minister has the final say. Applicants do not even have to be in the country for five years; as long as a Justice of the Peace or a Minister writes a letter stating that they knew the applicant for over five years and they are of good behaviour, they are approved. That process takes the place of all requirements. This happens especially around election time when Ministers and area representatives submit lists of applicants who should get nationality. Those persons do not even have to show their passports to prove they came into the country with visas.”

 

Eamon Courtenay, P.U.P. Senator

“Alright, what about this do you want to correct?”

 

Gordon Wade

“The whole of it.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“Alright, you did not say this?”

 

Gordon Wade

“I don’t recall saying that.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“You don’t recall saying this at all?”

 

Gordon Wade

“Nothing like that.”

 

Elena Smith, Trade Union Senator

“Mister Wade, you are saying that you do not recall saying this any at all?”

 

Gordon Wade

“No, ma’am.”

 

Elena Smith

“Is it that you do not recall or is it that you would not have said what is here, or you would not have said portions of what is here?”

 

Gordon Wade

“Probably this was something we talked [about], but I don’t recall doing any interview where this was stated to the Auditor [General] or the Audit team.”

 

Elena Smith

“So it might not have been said in an interview, but probably in a discussion you all were having – it was probably said then? Is that what you are telling us?”

 

Gordon Wade

“Probably it was something general, but not anything that is like here; I don’t recall mentioning or saying anything like this to any member of the Audit team.”

 

Reverend Ashley Rocke, Churches Senator

“So this is false?”

 

Gordon Wade

“Yes, sir.”

 

After some back and forth Wade was directed to review his own notes in anticipation of the Auditor General and staff being called back to answer about this and other statements Wade says he did not remember making to the auditors but which are quoted in the Report.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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