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Nov 6, 2013

Opposition tables motion for a senate-led investigation on the passport and visa hustle

Mike Rudon

A highly anticipated senate meeting in Belmopan started at two this afternoon and concluded before six this evening. The main agenda item was the tabling of a motion by opposition senator Lisa Shoman for the setting up a senate select committee to investigate the immigration scandal which involves the illegal issuance of a passport to a fugitive behind bars in Taiwan. The stakes were high because a criminal investigation ongoing does not include the former minister of state, Elvin Penner who recommended the passport and signed the nationality certificate.  So the findings of any independent investigation could shake up the government which holds a slim majority in the House.  The senate is comprised of twelve senators, six appointed by government and the remaining six by social partners comprising the Churches, private sector and Unions. Six senators rose to speak in support of the motion, but in the end, it came down on the government to cast the deciding vote. Now, the lead senator for government business is Minister Godwin Hulse and his position on the Select Committee was closely watched because of his previous role in the 2004 senate investigation on Social Security loans.  Our team is just heading back from Belmopan after the marathon session, but we can report that the motion did not pass; the president of the senate, Marco Pech, who is government appointed, said the Auditor General has resources to conduct an investigation, but the Senate did not. We’ll have all the highlights coming up later in the newscast, but here is Mike Rudon with a brief update of what transpired during the meeting.

 

Mike Rudon

“A couple minutes before six, senator Lisa Shoman who wrapped up the debate, asked for a division of votes with regards to the senate investigation. All six members of the government side voted no. The three members from the Union, churches and the business sector voted yes. And the three members of the opposition voted yes; which means that they were deadlock at six-six. At this point preparations were made for the president of the senate to have a casting vote. And that is when senator Lisa Shoman stood up and cited from the constitution stating that in a matter such as this as regard a senate investigation, the president of the senate does not have a casting vote if he is not a senator. Everybody looked confused for a moment there and then although she kept making that point, the leader for government business, honourable Godwin Hulse stood up and called for an adjournment of the meeting. The meeting was adjourned and that is essentially how it ended. We are not sure if at that point it is deadlock six-six or if it goes down in the record as seven to six.”

 

Reporter

“In terms of some of the debates and issues therein, what was that like this afternoon?”

 

Mike Rudon

“It was very fiery and tense at some moments. All members on the opposition side spoke and all of them debated on the topic. The members from the unions the churches and the business sector all spoke on it. From the government side, only the honourable Marconi Sosa, the honourable Charles Gibson and the leader of government business, the honourable Godwin Hulse, debated the topic. The basis for their argument seems to be that the auditor general has started an investigation and they feel that that is sufficient at this point. That there is no need for the senate to go in; that there is no need for any other investigation but that which has been started by the auditor general and that was the basis of the argument from the government side.” 

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5 Responses for “Opposition tables motion for a senate-led investigation on the passport and visa hustle”

  1. Beano for Hulse says:

    surprised??? What BELIZEAN would not be fooled.

    Hulse- minister of the ministry where the crimes were done
    Hulse- the mop-up-man doing the “secret investigation” of the ministry he runs
    Hulse- heading up the investigation that theoretically could lead to him being criminally indicted
    Hulse- runs the investigation in which multiple cabinet ministers have been implicated in criminal acts
    Hulse- an unelected minister not accountable to the people, but to Barrow.
    Hulse- a senator who stopped the senate investigation of the passport criminality

    At least this dumb SOB should have recused himself from the senate meeting, to at least make it look like the UDP government is not rigged against justice and truth.

    Or perhaps he is a savvy criminal, intent on destroying the records and stop any real investigation that could send him to prison.

    ATTENTION: Meet the next Prime Minister of Belize, Godwin Hulse, appointed by Dean O. Barrow.

    The fact that Barrow has not created an independent investigation pretty much means everyone of them have got crimes to be hidden.

    Clearly the elected officials (who are responsible to the people for the health of the nation) can’t stop the criminality of the UDP government. Don’t expect the police to do anything, they are out of their league. Forget the military coming to the rescue, it is not a foreign enemy.

    A national strike shutting down the country, may be the only way to clean house of the vermin and parasites. Everyday nothing is done, the evidence is shredded and Belizean cowardice grows, from men to mice scared of our new slave masters.

    The party that starts the national strike is the party that should run the country. If the puppies are not up for the task, time for the rise of a new party to fix the constitution, subscribe to the UN treaty against government corruption, and put these white collar criminals in prison.

    Or is it that every true and honest Belizean is OK to have a failed country, at the bottom on almost every measure because of its corruption.

    Is this the country to pass on to the next generation of Belizeans?
    out of work, broke, corrupt, bad health care, bad roads, double dealing back stabbing, uneducated, do nothings?

  2. Concern says:

    Its appalling to see SENATORS of the government side rubberstamping the idea that there should be no senate investigation into the Penner case. Their names should go down in history as rubberstamping corruption. What in the world do they have to hide. Hulse should not have been allowed to vote at all, because it is the same as asking a criminal if he want to be investigated. The obvious answer would be no. Our country is officially filled with people who, because of the few dollars they are getting, would encourage corruption to die kingdom come. For the president of the senate to utter that the vote went 7 to 6 after Lisa Shoman explained that he does not have a deciding vote in this matter is down right shame, as to how low our people have sink. The whole pack of UDP people need to be changed along with their corrupt government! We have lost total respect for these clowns ruling over us. We are heading to hell under this bunch.

  3. Retired CEO says:

    What is sad re this situation is, it appears as if the UDP has some fears and is clearly hiding some info. Apparently under some stringent orders the are blindly sticking together. Clearly it appears as if Godwin Hulse is the leader of the pack. In short they are doing everything possible to keep the general public form knowing the facts of what went wrong with their so-called water tight system.(immigration/Nationality & passport/visas) How in the name of God can anyone investigate self and remain objective.

  4. history minded says:

    Of course there is a need!!!!! the AG is appointed by the government of the day!

    These other senators should be held in low esteem! And if money is a problem – just sell a government vehicle!!

  5. MOSES x says:

    Politics. Bloody politics. What crime have these men committed. They wrote a couple letter of recommendations for visas. Because of this, the opposition is hollering the apocalyptic end of Belize. The sky is falling in, they say. Did they holler like this when Musa and Ralph stole the people’s social security money. Watch ya!! Every elected politician is a hustler. The people who are dependent on entitlements expect them to hustle and trickle down a lee piece, especially now when people di get ready fuh krismas. Linoleum, new paint, ham, turkey, black cake and johnny walker black, Yeah, trickle down hustling. It’s a Belizean thing. The only people I see bawling are paid pipers and wannabe politicians. I noh see no poor people di complain. The opposition is waiting their turn like kyato. Get a grip people, accept the fact that hustling is a way of life and deeply engrained in Belizean culture. You all are acting like a bride on her wedding night who didn’t expect that getting laid was part of the deal. Damn bloody out of order.

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