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Aug 30, 2017

Reform Must Be More than ‘Window-Dressing’

Gaspar Vega

So what needs to be done differently to address the ‘hotbed of corruption’, as the Prime Minister himself termed the Ministry of Natural Resources to Belizean-Americans in Los Angeles in October of 2013? There have been several recent bills brought to the House of Representatives for first reading and the Opposition Leader today called them “window-dressing” in light of the deeper problems within the troubled department.

 

John Briceño

John Briceño, P.U.P. Leader

“This is the issue, this is the problem; that the Prime Minister is doing ‘window-dressing’. By opening up a special office for land tax collection, again, he is concerned about trying to get revenues for the Government. He is not addressing the real issue in the ministry of natural resources – the entrenched corruption that is now in that Ministry, perpetrated by Gaspar Vega and his cronies, and unless you address that issue, all the window-dressing is not going to do anything. We need to be able to address the unbridled powers of Ministers, where the Minister can set any purchase price on national land; we need to address the issue of proper reporting to the Belizean public as to who is getting land, where and at what price.  These are some simple steps that we can take to ensure that we start to manage the people’s resources honestly and transparently, on behalf of the Belizean people.”

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