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Sep 19, 2023

G.O.B. Sues Former Minister of Lands for Alleged Misfeasance in Office

Cordel Hyde

The Government of Belize has brought a lawsuit against former Minister of Natural Resources, Hugo Patt. The claim is for alleged misfeasance in office. The government believes that the former Deputy Prime Minister acted wrongfully in the execution of a land transaction in the Belama Phase Five area. It is alleged that in September 2020, the then U.D.P. administration acquired twenty-six acres of land in Belama at a cost of six and a half million dollars. The lands were acquired to create subdivisions for the residents of Collet. But, two months later, just before the 2020 general election, what was then public lands were sold to Roosevelt Blades for an alleged twenty-six thousand dollars. The former lands minister has refuted that figure, asserting that the lands were sold for fifty-eight thousand dollars. Patt also claimed that an idea was explored to put these lands in a trust for the people of Collet. For context, we revisit comments made in January 2021, by Cordel Hyde, the Minister of Natural Resources, inside the National Assembly on this matter.


Cordel Hyde, Minister of Natural Resources (File: Jan 8, 2021)

“On September twenty-fifth 2020 the then government entered into a contract to pay a lady by the name Barbara Harris six million, sixty-seven thousand dollars for land in the Belama Area, pure mangroves for six million dollars. The government then proceeds to subdivide the land into five big parcels and further attempt to subdivide these lands into a hundred and thirty house lots, but elections were fast approaching and time was running out. So the fellows over there instead of issuing the lots to a hundred and thirty individuals or leaving the land to distribute to whomever emerges as the victorious decides to sell the six million dollars land to a former U.D.P. Senator and campaign manager for the member of Collet. Not for six million dollars, five million dollars or four million dollars or three or two or one million dollars. Those twenty six acres of land that the government paid six million dollars for was sold for twenty-six thousand dollars. And they weren’t done there. The original parcel of land owned by Mrs. Weir comprised thirty nine point four nine acres of land. Government bought twenty six acres of land and gave them title for the remaining thirteen point nine acres as part of the settlement agreement. She got her title November fifth of 202 but the following day November sixth 2020 the Land Department issued a purchase approval for the same thirteen point nine acres to one Roosevelt Blades. So it is not bad enough that Mister Blades got an opportunity to buy the six million dollars land not twenty six thousand but twenty three thousand, the twenty six acres of Belama land. He had to get the other thirteen acres for which the lady had already gotten title. It is insanity on stilts. But there is saving grace because Mister Blade did never complete the payments for the six parcels of land that comprised the twenty six acres and thirteen point four nine acres. The only paid about seventy five hundred dollars of the purchase price. So Madam Speaker, Mister Blades can come back for his money or someone over there can pick up the money for him. If they are shame to do either, then we can mail it to him, or deposit it t him or wire transfer it to him but that land he is not getting his paws on.”

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