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Apr 9, 2014

B.N.E. gifted building is destroyed even before it is handed over

Band Fest 2014 has been moved to the Santiago Ricalde Stadium in Corozal Town. The decision was made on Monday, less than a week before the event. The original venue was to have been the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk Town, but organizers say the field was not ready. It’s a decision which has caused some consternation with participants, regular spectators and residents of Orange Walk. The event attracts thousands of Belizeans from all over the country, and is a sure revenue generator for any municipality hosting it. With so much scrutiny on organizers and on the Sports Council responsible for maintenance of the field, News Five travelled north to get to the bottom of the matter. We did, and we’ll have that a little later in our newscast. But first….the People’s Stadium is considered pretty much the premier sporting venue in Orange Walk Town. It’s so important to the community that about a year ago, the Belize Natural Energy donated a new building complete with showers, changing rooms and toilet facilities. But you won’t believe the difference a year makes. Mike Rudon has the story.

FOR VIDEO CLICK HERE.

Mike Rudon, Reporting

Right at the entrance of the People’s Stadium this sign stands proudly, proclaiming B.N.E.’s donation of a new building. A couple hundred feet away, the building stands, not so proudly. It’s a wreck, reeking of vomit, urine and things we didn’t want to think about. Everything that wasn’t bolted down…and everything that was…is gone. Now the Sports Council is responsible for the maintenance of the People’s Stadium, and theoretically the facilities on it…so we had to ask coordinator Dwight Wade for an explanation.

 

Dwight Wade

Dwight Wade, Coordinator, Sports Council

“The building from B.N.E., that wasn’t handed over to Sports council, so we have no protection over that. Personally I don’t know what was in there, or the process for the handing over, so I do not have any information based on that.”

 

Reporter

“How long have you been coordinator of the Sports Council?”

 

Dwight Wade

“Approximately bout five years…”

 

Reporter

“So that building was built about a year ago?”

 

Dwight Wade

“More or less about a year ago…”

 

Reporter

“And in all that time you haven’t been in that building, you don’t know what’s in there, you don’t know what it’s for, you don’t know who’s responsible for it?”

 

Dwight Wade

“Well, when the contractors or so left that area it was locked up. We didn’t get any key or anything to enter the building until after when people started breaking into the building. If you come here at night-time we have one watchman at night, and if you take a walk here at night-time that area is dark, dark, dark. We do not have any firearm here for our watchman, so in our case our watchman cannot be walking to the back there in the dark unprotected like that.”

 

Wade says that they did not get an inventory of what was inside, and maintains that B.N.E. never did hand over the building…so they just left it alone, Now, instead of being a necessary fixture at a sporting facility for youths and athletes…it’s a crack-house, good for drinking liquor or sharing quality time, so to speak. It’s not so bad…at least there’s water if anybody wants to take a shower.

 

Dwight Wade

“The Chairman said that he would take full responsibility to uplift the building and place burglar bars and so forth for security, but we’re still waiting for the handing over.”

 

Reporter

“You’ve gone in there…you’ve seen the damage right?”

 

Dwight Wade

“Yes. I did.”

 

Reporter

“That’s like tens of thousands of dollars just lost…an investment just gone.”

 

Dwight Wade

“It’s sad no…but we here at the Sports Council have no handing over of that building yet, so we do not have any records of what’s gone.”

 

Herman Longsworth

Herman Longsworth, Minister of Sports

“That makes no sense, that makes no sense to me…if a building is being built on your facility…I will have to have a conversation with the council in Orange Walk…because if a building is being built on your facility, you ought to know who is building it, why it’s being built, etc. That makes no sense to me, honestly…I have to be honest here, I wasn’t aware of that. It makes no sense to me.”

 

Minister of Sports Herman Longsworth seemed as confused and angry at the appalling waste as we were. He was even more confused, since he had been told that there was only some petty vandalism.

 

Herman Longsworth

“It’s a decent investment, it’s a decent investment…and for the council there to say they don’t know anything about that…I can’t accept that…I can’t accept that. I will have to get to the bottom of that. I wasn’t even aware that it had gone that far. I was told that there was a function there, and that after that function…I don’t know who had been using the facility at the time, that several of the bathroom fixtures had been damaged…the bathroom fixtures, the toilet fixtures, etc.”

 

It’s a whole lot more than that. According to the Coordinator of the Sports Council, the building was not even used once…not even once. Mike Rudon for News Five.

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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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5 Responses for “B.N.E. gifted building is destroyed even before it is handed over”

  1. Simon says:

    It makes no sense to him cause he can barely understand how to build anything. What a useless waste who now thinks he is hot shit but will get the sense soon-he does nothing-go back to private jobs and fail after you fail in government.

  2. Ali BaBarrow protects his 40 & the Nina says:

    Locals doing what govt has been doing for years!

  3. Ali BaBarrow protects his 40 & the Nina says:

    Same story for the Benque ambulance.

    The country is poor because the leaders are fools, and the people are sheep!

  4. Hatari says:

    This is so typical of Belizean society today. Even when you give them something, they screw it up, break it or steal it. A worthless bunch of misfits.

  5. Pelican says:

    What’s in a handover. Sounds to me like BNE”S MR. Talkative was not ready to go posture. Why not just hand the keys to the users. Everything has to be a SHOW for this guy!

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