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Oct 10, 2013

Former Minister of State was given authority to sign on documents by P.M.

Tonight there is much of interest coming out of a government press conference which lasted two and a half hours at the Best Western Biltmore Plaza. The first half hour was spent outlining new measures in the nationality and passport departments – closing the gate after the horses are out, so to speak and following the disclosure that a South Korean national had obtained a Belizean passport while he was a fugitive in a Taiwanese prison. In that time not one word was said about the passport scandal, or about the man at the center of it – Elvin Penner. But after the rhetorical flourishes were over, the media got a chance to nibble on the meat of the matter during a very informative question and answer session. As we’ve told you, there’s a lot to report, and we start with the signature of Penner on the nationality and passport documents. One of the burning questions today was whether Penner had the legal authority as Minister of State to sign since it is the minister of immigration that is vested with that authority. Prime Minister Dean Barrow was at pains when he said that he allowed the former minister of state to sign because he complained that he felt left out when Minister Hulse took over.


Dean Barrow, Prime Minister

Dean Barrow

“He took over and he moved with great alacrity to do things. A problem developed because at that time Penner had not been given the authority as I recollect to sign nationality certificates. Penner complained to me over and over again that he felt as though he were a fifth wheel to a wagon. That he was Minister of State but that he had absolutely no authority. And he asked that he be brought more into the picture. That his position as a duly elected representative and as a constitutionally appointed minster of state in the ministry be respected. He particularly asked that he be allowed to sign that he’d be given the power to sign nationality certificate. I thought about it and I sought advice as to whether as a deputy minister whether as a minister of state he could be given such authority. And the legal advice came back that this w9ould certainly be legally in order. As it turned out and it was on that basis that in fact I agreed and the cabinet supported me that he should be given the power to sign nationality certificate. It is a decision that I came to rue, it is a decision that I will regret until the end of my days, but that is how that took place.”

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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17 Responses for “Former Minister of State was given authority to sign on documents by P.M.”

  1. For the children says:

    As far as I can see if any minister goes to the prime minister saying they feel left out they get what they want. This is a showing not only the Belizeans but also other countries that Belize don’t only choose anyone to be a police officer but also anyone to be a minister hmmm the country with a lot of issues. Someone need to knock the ministers in their head so they can actually do something. All this rubbish happening unprofessional ministers tired of them all they do is make Belize look like a country for tourist to break the law and get away with it.
    The government kiss up under anyone that can make their pocket fat bunch of fools what they need to do is kiss up under their ple and get the crime off the street. I just feel embarrass caz all the other countries laugh at Belize and probably say unprofessional ministers.

  2. not enuf Beano, Dean O. says:

    what a bunch of bull $$$$

    alacrity??? need I say more?

    “Penner complained…” I am so weak and busy managing other scandals, let the new crook take a shot at the money machine.

    what crap!!! Penner is a junior under Hulse. Junior goes to head cheese to bypass Hulse? Barrow stabs Hulse in the back and lets Penner work independently of Hulse? Hulse should have been the lead on you whine story, Hulse should have been asking cabinet to give Penner the OK. What fool believes you? Even the gangs in their blood oaths knows this is the kiss of death.

    At this point Barrow, resign and go to jail, flee the country, or try to take over the military. Basically your house of cards is falling. Between you and Contrerass, the masterminds, you must go to prison or be sentenced absentia. You have betrayed your country of birth, your national oaths, the people of Belize. pox on you.

    I usually don’t agree with Rod, but he had you pegged as a traitor a long time before I did. I thought you had a severe management problem and were distracted with your wife’s illness. You are the cause of this country’s disease.

  3. James says:

    Yeah, yeah, yeah…blah, blah, blah…Barrow knows exactly who Penner is. It’s the same one who stole the elections by paying (and maybe signing) last minute nationality documents to steal the elections. If you dig a pit…you shall fall in it.

  4. Joe Blank says:

    And he is naive as to the runnings at the Passport Office. It never crossed his mind as to why Penner was eager to sign documents? That ministry, like the the Lands Ministry, has a notorious history. He, Barrow, an astute legal and political mind had no clue Penner”s motives might be nothing but cynical and in keeping with with other slime balls of the past? No, Mr. Prime Minister! U are not credible!

  5. Elgin Martinez says:

    This corrupt PM is definitely Shyne’s Father.

  6. Da Undertaker says:

    Ali-Barrow can slice it, dice it and pad the immigration story however he likes, but he is guilty, guilty and as PM of the country, needs to resign. Anything short of a resignation is a slap in the face to all Belizeans. The man is crooked, the man’s a thief.

    Keep talking Penner. Keep talking. Save your hide (because you will eventually do jail time). Sing baby sing. How many passport deals have you done, and how much kickback has Barrow gotten from these deals?

  7. Al Rich says:

    There is a bad smell coming up from Belmopan. This PM is a$$ deep in this corruption and more. How much more things are being covered up. These people have exposed this country to such terrible situation. Who knows how many terrorists are hiding here, how many murderers have been given safe haven from nearby countries and are now passing as Belizeans.

    Time for a shake up of Belmopan. When the leader of a country is corrupt, the entire body is at liberty to do whatever illegal activity enriches them. How much more will the country take, rise up people demand some change now.

  8. melvin says:

    wat a joke mister barrow,u da a real shame to di country of Belize,dont’ try to fool di people more mein,penner is guilty and he should pay the cosecuenses,don’t try to say dat u gave penner the authority to sign the documents,why until now u come and say it? the re-call campaign has started,the trade unions are asking for justice,the chamber of comerce,BELIZEANS want justice mr barrow,but it was expected from u ,u will invent anyting to make ur govt’and penner look good no? so even if u will have to say that you gave the ok to penner that he can sign the documents,then u are as guilty as penner and ur govt’ should resign.but we cannot expect that u will do that because u don’t know the word SHAME,u have no heart mr barrow to betray the people that elected u in office for transparency and accountability and u failed the people of Belize. the people have the power and we must,demand that penner pays for wat he did ok.

  9. North east resident says:

    of course he complained to you- he wanted a bigger piece of the pie- we all know that now…

  10. Elgin Martinez says:

    This dah di real Shyne Barrow.

  11. ceo says:

    Is this a joke or what? The PM should not be able to just give someone the authority to sign a document. There should be policies and procedures in place that should be folowed! This is exactly the problem with this whole matter there is only one man making decisions on who gets to sign or not sign. is he the sole authority of the country that makes up rules on the fly? How the hell can crap like this happen? These are the things that need to change! Who signs an official document should be clearly spelt out in a book of ordinance that governs ones decision including the PM!

  12. Elgin Martinez says:

    The question here is not who authorized Penner to sign those documents.The question should be is the PM’s action to authorize the selling of Belizean Citizenship legal.?

  13. Rufus says:

    I respect the PM for his honesty. You are a bigger man for stepping up to the plate ann accepting responsibility. Now that you have revealed that Penner betrayed your trust how can you go on record to support a crook? Is being the PM more important to you than anything that you have to govern at any cost? Does the term “integrity” means anything to you?

  14. FAIR JUSTICE says:

    Dean Barrow is more concern about loosing a seat in the house than the cry of the people for justice. My Belizeans you heard it from Dean Barrow own lips he will stand behind penna and all his colleagues will stand by him as well. Dean Barrow doesn’t care about the people if Belize much less the sovereignty of our nation. Dean Barrow… said that Penna has brought disgrace to your party but yet u stand by him….the bible say if you right hand causes you to sin cut it off…..I am one Belizean that don’t understand you and for sure you dont have my vote or my support. PLEASE …PENNER NEED TO BE RECALLED PERIOD

  15. Dr. Bradley says:

    This was the reason the word Corruption was Invented. And these (big) peoples are doing it at its Finest!!

  16. gone fishing says:

    must have been a great PR game.
    Four liars in a row, staring down the press.

    at this point, who cares? It is all criminal.
    They know it, you know it, the citizens (for or against them) in the street knows it.
    5 month old babies don’t, but they will figure it out.

    What is the next government going to look like?
    What can that new government do to stop and severely penalize (including capital punishment) these types of criminals? He lost his position on cabinet seems trivial compared to the damage.

  17. erectus maximus says:

    This whole thing is a farce! When it was convenient (last election) penner helped everyone to a nationality or citizenship to the point he was paying for it! This was done under the nose of the PM and the rest of the hooligans of the UDP that supported him. Then it was OK-now it is a sin! Double standard much? This crowd gotta go. Penner, cross the floor and take one other UDP with you and we have a whole new political era for Belize. That is if the equally corrupt PUP will take you. Then you can spill the beans on all the corruption going on. This is only the tip of the iceberg I assure you. This is the only way to begin to reconcile your rancid body for the country, Mr. Penner (primo)

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