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May 30, 2019

Party Politics with Placement of Exercise Machines?

Is central government playing party politics with a donation of exercise equipment gifted by the Taiwanese Embassy earlier this week?  According to Belize City Mayor Bernard Wagner, the mayors of three municipalities controlled by the People’s United Party were intentionally left out of the distribution of the equipment, despite the Mayors Association having signed on to a Memorandum of Agreement with the Ministry of Health in October 2018 to promote health and wellness across the country.  In Belize City, the donation was received by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Sports Patrick Faber who has since agreed to install the equipment at the Marion Jones Sporting Complex.


Bernard Wagner

Bernard Wagner, Belize City Mayor

“In October of last year, 2018, I believe that the Mayor’s Association which includes all the mayors of the municipalities, we signed on to an [M.O.A.] Memorandum of Agreement with the Ministry of Health and in that signing of that memorandum, we made certain commitment to health, wellness and that there would have been some level of support for equipment that we would have placed in various parks in each municipality.  I was a bit appalled when I saw that the Deputy Prime Minister received the equipment and that was not part of the M.O.A., he was not a signatory to the M.O.U. and I felt that, I think we try to pass that stage of partisan politics.  I think the people of the city; the people of the country demand a better type of government, demand that we put out party politics and serve the people.  I am still appalled at it.  We would have placed it in one of the parks that we control.  We have several parks that we control but the deputy PM took control of the equipment and placed it at the Marion Jones Stadium.  I still will take this matter up with the president of the Mayor’s Association and if you noticed, the three mayors from the P.U.P. were not included in that and I think that is very petty and something that the people of the city and the people of the country need to look very closely at.”


Isani Cayetano

“Can it be argued, however, that if it’s a donation made by the Taiwanese Embassy to the Government of Belize then the government essentially has its own right to do with it as it may, if that were the case?”


Bernard Wagner

“I agree, it’s a cabinet decision, but we signed on to the M.O.A.  It’s us that were at the foothills of the House of Representatives, the ten mayors.  They put us up out there and we signed on to the M.O.U.  So it’s common decency man.  Treat us with respect and keep the partisan politics out of serving the people.”

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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