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Jul 5, 2011

Gov’t defines public purpose in reacquisition of Telemedia

On June twenty-fourth, the Court of Appeal found that the government of Belize did not have sufficient evidence to take control of Belize Telemedia for a public purpose. Nevertheless, government used the security forces to dislodge the rightful owners from control of the company. And then on Monday, the Government went back to the National Assembly to legitimize ownership for a second time. The amendment to the telecommunications Act was rushed through all its stages at special House and Senate meetings. The acquisition order was promptly signed off by Minister Melvin Hulse and Prime Minister Dean Barrow. Well, that order answers the mystery of what is the new public purpose that will support the reacquisition and from a look at the copy just received, you will be surprised at what the public purpose now cited for the reacquisition reads like.

It says that by taking over Telemedia, government is acting to (a) restore the control of the telecommunications industry to Belizeans, (b) provide greater opportunities for investment to socially oriented local institutions and the Belizean society at large and (c) advance the process of economic independence of Belize with a view to bringing about social justice and equality for the benefit of all Belizeans. So how does it differ this time around? Well, the 2009 acquisition was carried out to stabilize and improve the telecommunications industry and to provide services at affordable prices in a harmonious and non- contentious environment. That’s quite a departure from the current stated public purpose, which now reads like a shift to a radical social agenda.

We also note that the 2009 acquisition was deemed unconstitutional, null and void. However, the 2011 nationalization Act seeks to amend the same 2009 Belize Telecommunications Act that was already struck down by the Court of Appeal. Attorneys who have a precursory look at the Order point out that it is highly unusual for laws have retrospective effect as the current one does and that this will likely be the cause for even more litigation.

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4 Responses for “Gov’t defines public purpose in reacquisition of Telemedia”

  1. I Have Awaken says:

    Melvin Hulse, is probably the biggest piece of human scum when it comes to politicians in this country. He plays the roll well, though, he plays this roll that he is just some regular ol Belizean just trying to do good for his countrymen, yet is probably the most devious of them all, don’t let his moronic demeanor fool you, he is as sly as the devil himself.

  2. I Have Awaken says:

    Doesn’t matter who makes laws on this planet, all that matters is who have the most resources and the backing of the guns, in this case Barrow has showed this nation what laws really mean and this NOTHING, for he flexed his military muscle and showed everyone who can do what and that law is just words on paper at the end of the day.

    In other words, men created law to confuse to ignorant and control them, bu these same men know that laws mean not much, but who carries the biggest stick and willing to use it or have people fear it. This is more than evident in the great US of A and other ‘developed’ nations.

  3. ladymatura says:

    laws are genreally never retrospective, their rare case – but for sure NO LAW ia retrospective if it will affect your fundamental rights and your financial interest – eg taxes are not retrospective. but what has happened here is what we call in criminal law ” a second bite of the cherry” which is not allowed. the litigation of this new matter will surely be very interesting. Its a pity that the wool can be pulled over the eyes of those who still do not recognize that the true problem has not yet been solved – i.e. make it a criminal offense for Government officials to allow the creations of the super-powers like Ashcroft. Also even the UDP, PUP and the lawyers (lets find out who all has represented AShcroft and his businesses) need to reveal to the public how much money they got from Ashcroft. People the big boys are fighting and we are being trampled!

  4. Avid Belizean says:

    I would not have any problem if Government acquired Telemedia legally. I don’t believe that any government should take private property if they have no intentions of paying for it. In this case Mr. Barrow is acting like a dictator by not following the laws of the country. In the end it is us Belizeans who will pay an extremely high cost for generations to come. The only people profiting from all this mess is the attorneys. I would like Mr. Barrow to explan to me how will Belizeans benefit from these acquisitions. So far as I can see he is putting his family and friends in high places. How much is all this going to cost the tax payers. How will this boost foreign investment in our country. Belize is not in a position to sustain itself fully and really need the foreign investors.

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