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Dec 22, 2009

CGA suggest collusion between Banks and CPBG directors

Story PictureEarlier in the newscast we told you that the citrus growers of Belize are in a bind and they feel almost crippled by a 2006 agreement with Barbados based, Banks Holdings. But how did it come to bear that Banks Holdings would have dominance over the organization? The growers blame their own representatives appointed to the C.P.B.L. board of directors who they claim turned on them. News Five’s Jose Sanchez reports on the fall out between the growers and the C.P.B.L, which turned emotional and pretty nasty at Saturday’s A.G.M.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting
It was not business as usual at the citrus growers’ special general meeting last Saturday. The Barbadian business partner, though a minority shareholder, effectively controls the C.P.B.L., and the C.G.A. believes that Banks Holdings has been assisted by three large growers that were once trusted members of the C.G.A.

Bryon Bowman, Chairman, CGA
“As you know this entire predicament or problem of C.G.A. as the fifty-one percent shareholder not being able to appoint its five directors to the board of C.P.B.L. is only happening primarily because in our opinion, Banks Holdings Limited, our famous investors out of Barbados, has worked along with three of the directors that are on that board that we are trying to move; which are Michael Duncker, Henry Canton and Frank Redmond.”

Eugene Zabaneh, Member, Citrus Growers Association
“These people have hijacked this company from us. They have hijacked this company and they continue to do it. Why is it that these persons who have been appointed to serve at the pleasure of I.C.L. who appointed them, don’t want to resign? Why is it? It is very simple; because they have to stay there to complete their mission and their mission is to have control of the processing. They have resigned, but I am saying to our committee of management, leave them alone. Why are we pampering them? “Please come back, please come back.” Stay out! Stay out! We don’t want you all, you all are rascals.”

C.G.A. members were not mincing their words to describe how felt about the deal with the Barbados Bank.

Denzil Jenkins, Director, CGA
“The investment agreement which sold some forty-seven percent of our shares in C.P.B.L. to the investors the Barbadians, in that deal, the growers lost twelve million twenty-three thousand, four hundred and forty-six shares in C.P.B.L., got only four dollars Belize for those twelve million plus shares… only four dollars. Every now and again when I raised that point, someone says to me that’s water under the bridge, forget it. But I tell you it gets me very upset. Here it is, a man rapes your daughter and you bring it up tomorrow, you bring it up next year, somebody will tell you that’s water under the bridge. Water under the bridge? So you have to forget it and expose yourself to be raped again?”

Anthony Chanona, Member, CGA
“They were the ones who kept the skullduggery of the details of this agreement out of the public eye and hidden under any other matters at a special AGM. So we know the genesis of that; it is not an outsider and if you have that in your home, it’s called incest.”

Member, Citrus Growers Association
“I fully support what Anthony said that we are the people who have been used. The name of the people who have been used to get that factory for four Belize dollars and now they have no benefit from it but yet they are raped for their own farm. Their farm doesn’t belong to them. It belongs to these big people.”

Byron Bowman
“The last board meeting of C.P.B.L., which still had the representatives of the three directors we tried to remove, was held December fourth, in Miami Florida. Some people are saying it is getting closer to Barbados, maybe that is the next stop.”

Eugene Zabaneh, one of the large citrus producers, issued his own form of jihad against the rogue growers.

Eugene Zabaneh
“I will not mince my words here because I will be very, very clear and if mister Canton don’t like what I’m going to say let him sue me. But I am prepared to go, I have never been on public television. I am now saying to mister Canton lets go there, open television with whomsoever you want and lets battle it out, I will meet you mister Canton, together with Mister Dunker and whomsoever you choose, I will meet you there.”

And when the C.G.A. clashes with Canton, Redmond and Duncker, we’ll be there. Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

The news for Citrus Growers Association gets worse. C.G.A. president Byron Bowman confirmed to News Five that at the last C.P.B.L. meeting held in Florida, the C.E.O. Henry Canton, was named managing director of C.P.B.L. Bowman said that according to the articles of the agreement with Banks Holdings, if Canton is removed as a director the Belizean growers would have to pay him twelve months salary. Bowman maintains that since information about C.P.B.L. has not been forthcoming, they have not been able to determine that figure.

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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