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May 12, 2017

No Way Back for Penner; Did Cabinet Review Visa Recommendation Reports

Elvin Penner

Former Cayo Northeast area representative and Minister of State of Immigration and Nationality, Elvin Penner, resurfaced in Belmopan this week attending the Senate Special Select Committee’s public hearings as a witness. We have extensively covered his testimony, but part of it seems to give his former colleagues in Cabinet pause. Penner told the Inquiry that the Cabinet agreed to have written monthly reports made available for its perusal on the subject of visa recommendations by Ministers of Government, as did former Director of Immigration Maria Marin a few months earlier. It is something Prime Minister Dean Barrow says he does not recall doing, but notes that it would have been a matter of sensitive information for the powerful grouping. As to whether Penner is invited back into the United Democratic Party as a candidate, Barrow says it is not up to him – and if it was, the answer would be no.



“He seems to have hopes that he can run if the party allows him, the D.P.M. has spoke about that…”


Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Isn’t that the key, ‘if the party allows him?’”



“Indeed; so not at all, in your view?”


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“I will not be around when that decision needs to be made, but I, speaking for myself,  I don’t see it.  I don’t, I don’t, I don’t remember that – I’m not saying that it’s not so, and if that were to have been so, it would have been for purposes of my wanting to know what was going. Look, let’s be clear: we all know – you can’t get away from it – that’s why there was all the scandals: everybody knows what was happening at Immigration. What the Senate inquiry is showing to my mind  is that, while people want to focus exclusively on the politicians, I don’t think the inquiry is throwing up that sort of thing as the main ingredient; the whole system, including the actions of some public officers clearly was rotten. And we knew this, and I wanted to be sure, because there was always the talk and the chatter; that in fact, we could try as much as possible to keep a lid on things. So if I was asking in Cabinet for that kind of monthly return it was to try and keep a check and to ensure that things would not get out of hand. But I honestly don’t remember that there was such a standing request in effect; I don’t. But I’m not going to say that Mr. Penner is not telling the truth, or it wasn’t so – I honestly don’t know. I can easily check; I can easily find out from the Cabinet notes and let you know, but I don’t remember it.”

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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2 Responses for “No Way Back for Penner; Did Cabinet Review Visa Recommendation Reports”

  1. Ali Babarrow says:

    If Penner begs, licks my boots clean, and pays me; then we can discuss it. I may allow the next PM.

  2. Ali Babarrow says:

    “actions of some public officers clearly was rotten.” – only if the got caught publicly.
    The fact is to be in the cabinet, requires one to be rotten to even apply or be considered.
    Wannabe rotten is insufficient to join the UDP. It must be in your blood to screw the country for personal gain, or better gain for me.

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