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Jun 14, 2018

Was Carla Barnett Pushed Out of Lands?

Carla Barnett

The announcement on Tuesday that Senator Carla Barnett was leaving the Ministry of Natural Resources took a lot of people by surprise because it is well known that the senator was highly rated to clean up the ‘hot bed of corruption. So what went down? The official line is that her demotion to the relatively small Ministry of Labour, Local Government and Rural Development was at her request. But that’s not what most people believe. In many quarters it has been said that the wheels had slowed down considerably coming almost to a halt at the Ministry of Natural Resources during her tenure. And that was not sitting well among her cabinet colleagues. Today, DPM Faber, weighed in.

 

Patrick Faber

Patrick Faber, Deputy Prime Minister

“I continue to remind people that the selection of the cabinet is the sole prerogative of the prime minister. It is not abnormal for the prime minister to decide to make changes. In fact, I’d say in the time that I’ve been here with Prime Minister Barrow, the number of times that he has made these kinds of shuffles have been few and that is because initially, he probably made some good choices; like I have been here for ten years now as Minister of Education, at least. So it’s his sole decision. There may have been factors that factored into the decision that he ultimately made, but what is for certain is that those senator minister—Hulse and Retreage and Barnett—nobody can dispute that the contributions that they made, even in the small stint that they were there, helped. It was a part of a process of cleaning up what is so systematically wrong in the Ministry of Natural Resources and especially the Lands Department.”

 

Reporter

“Did she jump or was she pushed out of the ministry?”

 

Patrick Faber

“Well you are questioning the prime minister’s position again. You are told that it was Doctor Barnett that made the request then that is what it is. The counter that you made just now does not support that she was pushed. Indeed things may not have been moving at a swift of efficient pace; I don’t know that you can blame any one particular minister for that. This is something that we’ve seen and this is what I believe Minster Elrington was saying yesterday that the problems, the corruption even if you will that the Department of Lands face and the larger ministry faces are not necessarily any kind of indication of the integrity of any of the ministers. This is something that is systemic and we know this to be the case. Every good Belizean knows that when you go to lands yo want things to move along, there is some greasing of the paw that you have to do and that is wrong.”

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