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Dec 11, 2009

Opposition Leader says Boledo contract is controversial

Story PictureAnother issue before the House was over the Boledo, which is considered to be as Belizean as potholes and a plate of rice and beans. The government has recently announced that a ten year managerial contract to administer the government lottery would go to Brads Gaming Company Limited. That company which is operated by Kim Jen Chee, who is known mainly as Brads of Brads supermarket. Currently the government collects less than a million dollars in revenues from the Boledo and the contract stipulates that Brads will have to pay two million dollars to G.O.B. per year for the contract. But despite that increase in revenue for central government, the Leader of the Opposition, John Briceño, suggested that hundreds of people who sell Boledo as their main source of income are at risk of losing out to a U.D.P. crony.

John Briceño, Leader of Opposition
“The life of the Brads contract is ten years and Brads and only Brads will get to set the rules and to decide who will sell his product. And yes, it is his product and that of his business partner of course. Mr. Speaker I ask why is Brads so lucky? Listen to this. Based on what we have heard, Brads Boledo will take over the Boledo industry starting next year April of 2010 and the first year he gets a grace period on using the same system that presently exists. That is basically allowing Mr. Brads and his company to probably do—to make this major investment without even putting a penny in this investment. He will use all the profits of the first year and then use that to make the necessary investment. So he will be collecting all the revenues for the first year. So just imagine how those people outside must be feeling, that are out there right now fighting to keep their jobs. Since they have taken care of a big time supporter like Brads, who will be the next big time U.D.P. supporter that they will have to take care of? Will it be Mr. Chawla? Finally Mr. Speaker, I was wondering did the Contractor General get a chance to look at this contract? Has he signed off on this contract? I know that when we leave from here that quite a number of my colleagues from the other side will head straight for the foot of the Belcan Bridge to play black stick and start the weekend partying. But we still expect them to ensure that the Belizean people get their fair share.”

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