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Nov 13, 2018

CitCo Open to Help Identify New Land for PSU Headquarters

Khalid Belisle

Mayor Belisle did not confirm if the land was paid for in cash and neither could he provide details as to how Xin Ni was aware of that the land was for sale. It is known, however, that the sale of the headquarters took place one day after the new owner registered the company.  The P.S.U. has questioned the swiftness of the sale and if there is any connection to the Ministry of Natural Resources. The ministry has responded saying that all procedural requirements were met and there were no legal impediments to the processing and it was not involved in any attempt to relieve the union of its rights. During today’s media brief, Mayor Belisle echoed that position.  He also stated that the council is open to assisting the P.S.U. with identifying another piece of land to relocate its headquarters.  That agreement, however, would not be based on a lease.

 

Reporter

“The release from the Ministry of Natural Resources basically washes their hands, in terms of it says, you know, it was a basic business deal.  All we did was process it, it’s not like the minister had to approve anything.”

 

Khalid Belisle, Mayor, Belmopan City Council

“At no point in time did I get in touch with Minister Hugo Patt regarding this transaction.  At no point in time.  We submitted the paperwork and I believe it was seven working days later and the paperwork was processed.”

 

Reporter

“Have you gotten a call from anybody in the political directorate to say, listen, we need fi talk because you cannot put the PSU out on the street?”

 

Khalid Belisle

“In response to your question, no.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Do you anticipate that at some point you will get that call and it will be expected then that action should be taken?”

 

Khalid Belisle

“It would be speculation on my part, Isani.  But I will tell you, in the three and a half years that I have served here at the council, I have never had a minister, cabinet member call in and say, this is what you need to do.  I’ve never had that.  We’ve enjoyed tremendous respect in terms of day-to-day operations here at the council from the higher-ups in the party, if you’d like to call them that.”

 

Reporter

“You have to have some level of outrage, outrage is too strong a word, but you must on some level.  I would imagine that on some level you are saying, but wait, this is outrageous.  You noh pay me no lease or only two thousand dollars, you short me a hundred thousand dollars over eighteen years, you noh respond to my call for negotiation and now da my fault?  Any feeling on your part that this is a bit outrageous considering the council’s restraint?”

 

Khalid Belisle

“I’d be lying to you if I told you otherwise.  I really would be.”

 

As the details of the transaction continue to emerge, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize has come out swinging against the sale. The N.T.U.C.B. describes it as, “Unfathomable, morally repugnant, counter-productive, ill-considered, unconscionable and scandalous.” A release states that the umbrella organization considers it bone-chilling that the Belmopan City Council would target a venerable institution such as the P.S.U. and that not only did the council entertain stripping P.S.U. of their Hilltop headquarters, the mayor and city administrator signed on to consummate the deal. It also calls for a reversal of the sale.


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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