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Aug 17, 2021

Commission of Inquiry: Witness Testimony Continues

Last night we brought you details of the Monday morning session of the Commission of Inquiry into the sale of a number of government vehicles at the end of the U.D.P. administration.  The afternoon session continued in much the same way with witnesses explaining how they located and bid on vehicles, and the status of those vehicles today.  While the morning witnesses tended to be well-connected members of the U.D.P., in the afternoon, there was a private citizen, an employee of the Ministry of Health and a part-time driver for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  Like all the others, they put in bids to the government vehicle repair unit or the financial secretary.  None of them had any idea how those parties valued the vehicles or why their bids were accepted immediately or the prices revised upwards.  There was a brief appearance by Ermin Aleman who bought a 2011 Dodge Ram for fifteen thousand dollars. He claims he was only able to repair it and get it running for a few months before it had to be parked again.  Doctor Javier Zuniga of the Ministry of Health bought a 2010 Isuzu Demax he described as “dilapidated” for three thousand five hundred dollars and was able to get it up and running again. He now uses it for his San Ignacio commute. Glen Sheppard, who had been a part-time driver for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs during the Referendum, and his brother bought two Mazda pickups, years 2009 and 2013, which had no engines, for twelve hundred and one thousand dollars. After investing thousands of dollars of their own money, both are running again. 


[Witness testimonies from the Commission of Inquiry…]


It is not yet clear at this point precisely what the Commission of Inquiry members, lead by Chairman Andrew Marshalleck, are looking for during their line of questioning, but during Monday’s session they did ask repeatedly who the bids were addressed to, if the witnesses had any idea how the valuation of the vehicles were made, if the purchasers had been able to repair vehicles which had been described by the government of the day as “unserviceable, ” and were these former pieces of government property now in working condition.  

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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