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Sep 8, 2016

Chamber of Commerce drops support for bicameral Immigration inquiry

There are major developments to report in tonight’s newscast. But first, the Belize Chamber of Commerce met in an emergency session this afternoon and reversed course on a bicameral investigation into the special audit on immigration. Joining the meeting was the Belize Business Bureau, the other arm of the private sector. The session was called to review the decision reached last week at a meeting with Prime Minister Barrow and the executives.  That meeting was on Wednesday and at the time the business senator, Mark Lizarraga was in the senate, where he voted for a Senate Select investigation as had been directed by the B.C.C.I.  But as things go, there was a deal in the making with the PM as a quid pro quo of sorts for the PM to sign on to the anti-corruption convention.  It is Senator Godwin Hulse who first mentioned the bicameral investigation on the senate floor but offered no details. On Thursday, this is what the PM announced.


Prime Minister Dean Barrow [File: September 1st, 2016]

“The Chamber Executive yesterday also supported government’s proposal that the public hearings to be held on the immigration special report be carried out by a joint select committee of the national assembly as opposed to just a senate select committee. The feeling is that the composition of that special purpose joint select committee should reflect the balance of representative we have agreed for the reconfigured public accounts committee. And of course we are united in our feeling that the hearings will be held in public and will be televised and broadcast live.”


But as we said, coming out of the emergency meeting by the private sector this afternoon, there is a reversal of position which is to be communicated to the Prime Minister shortly.  The private sector, having consulted with its advisors and attorneys, has decided that under the Constitution, the Senate is the body empowered to conduct the type of hearings required to investigate the immigration irregularities.  This decision will now be taken to its membership at a business mixer. So there you have it; the private goes back to its original position to support a Senate Select investigation as put forward by the opposition senators. We also note that the senator for the Unions, Elena Smith, said on this station on Monday, that she is unlikely to chair any bicameral committee since the unions support the Senate Select investigation. As you know, the senator for churches initially supported the Select Senate investigation, but changed that position and the motion was defeated seven to five. 

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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3 Responses for “Chamber of Commerce drops support for bicameral Immigration inquiry”

  1. Joe Blank says:

    I have been saying this for a long time: In order to convert a democracy into a failed state, it’s stake holders must be part of the conspiracy. They can achieve this by actively participating or looking the other way. Belize’s major stake holders have shown themselves to be total whores and hypocrites. The Belize Chamber of Commerce, as a body, have allowed themselves to be intimidated and or/bought. They swapped the constitution for a thousand pieces of silver!! So have the Unions (quiet as a mouse), Amandala (soft editorials or none), and the Churches (quiet as a mouse and then the sudden awakening!!) This government stunk for a long, long time now. And every one is suddenly waking up. Suddenly their interest is at stake (e.g. Section 53) and they wake up! They are all willing to trade one sin for something else. Kudos to those within these bodies who stood up for country and people!

  2. Yabra Queen says:

    I have been saying that LOUD and CLEAR for quite sometime but Barrow’s head was buried so deep in the sand, all he heard was his own the sound of his bodily functions. This man has bended, twisted, twerked Belize’s laws and rules for so long, he is incapable of hearing the PEOPLE.

  3. Hatari says:

    The Senate Select Committee is the only constitutionally legal and fair way to conduct an unbiased investigation. Now lets see if the PM and his political cronies will do what is right. Lets just see how “Honorable” these guys really are.

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