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Oct 1, 2020

C.E.O. Alpuche Says Ministry of Human Development Did not Pay Minister Martinez

During the last sitting of the House of Representatives Opposition Leader John Briceño revealed a trove of documents that showed that U.D.P. Minister Anthony Boots Martinez received rental monies for his building located near the “hand roundabout” in Belize City. The documents show that dozens of payments were issued, at first, to Martinez and then to his daughter. The documents that Briceño presented tallied one hundred and seventy plus payments to the Minister and his daughter, totaling more than a million dollars.  C.E.O. Judith Alpuche told the media that the rental was necessary because the Women’s Department building on Albert Street had been condemned by public health as it was infested with mold and rats.  Alpuche says that the payments were not made by Martinez’s ministry, but by the Ministry of Public Service which has the oversight in location and acquiring rental spaces.

 

Judith Alpuche

Judith Alpuche, C.E.O., Ministry of Human Development

“For of all to make the point that if you look at the documents you would see that none of those payments were made from the Ministry of Human Development. In Smartstream, each ministry has its own code and the code for the Ministry of Human Development is HUWOC. So you can go back and see that none of those payments were made. There was a property that was rented as a temporary office for the Women’s Department and I want to clarify how that came about. If you are familiar with the old Albert Street property that was the old cottage industry office, that building was literally condemned. Public Health went in and said you know we need to bulldozed this building and start again. There were a couple of things going in terms of the amount of mold and just repairs to the building and despite the valiant efforts of the last director, it just could not be fix. And so the mold infestation etcetera was making people literally sick. Actually the new director couldn’t even go to her office and take up office there because of her health issues. It was making her sick. And we had been looking around for somewhere to move and also to find a permanent solution, basically how to find how to build a new building.  The thing really came to a head or the issues really became critical when we had a project come on board and the funding meant that we could bring on between ten and twelve more officers to run this project and there was literally nowhere to put them. We could not find anywhere that was big enough, that was centrally located for our clients, that was reasonable also in terms of the coast. That building was identified. The Ministry of Human Development, no ministry enters into contracts for rental of office space and so the Ministry of Public Service that has that oversight went in, did the due diligence decided that it was within their parameters and it was rented as a temporary space.”


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