Published on Monday, March 3, 2008

By Wellington C. Ramos

Born in Dangriga Town, the cultural capital of Belize, Wellington Ramos has an M.A. in Urban Studies from Long Island University

After the Municipal Elections were held in March of 2006, the United Democratic Party won all City Councils and Town Boards in the country of Belize. The Leader of the Opposition Dean Barrow who is now our Prime Minister advised all newly elected Mayors to audit their City Councils and Town Boards.

When the auditing was completed in all the municipalities, it revealed that excessive spending occurred and they were all bankrupt except Belmopan and San Pedro Ambergris Caye. The People’s United Party even gave some of their City Councils and Town Boards two months advanced subventions to spend money in advance of the elections that were scheduled to be held.

The biggest problem was in Belize City with the then PUP Mayor David Fonseca. He spent money in excess of his budget and at times without the knowledge and consent of some of his City Council members. To this date nothing has been revealed to the public as to the overall settlement of that incident.

Despite this, the People’s United Party controlled the Central Government of Belize and they denied these municipalities of desperately-needed funds to take care of their cities and towns. They were telling the Belizean people that their UDP City Councils and Town Boards were negligent.

Belizeans know that if the Central Government does not give the Municipal Governments the appropriate subventions, there is nothing they can do for their constituents. This is the reason why this new government must seriously consider granting more autonomy to our City Councils, Town Boards and Village Councils.

Over the years when an opposing party wins the Municipal Elections they become lame duck governments because they get no support from Central Government.

Before this election, I predicted that the United Democratic Party was going to win this General Election. Not only did I predict the outcome of this election, I also stated in my articles that the Central Government is broke and that the United Democratic Party will discover a lot of irregularities. Now that we have confirmed our suspicions the question is; What are we going to do about it?

The ministers of the People’s United Party have demonstrated to the people and government of Belize that they do not care about our constitution, laws and us as a people. Well, constitution, laws and people exist for a reason and it is now time that this new government shows them that obeying and executing the laws of our nation is vital for any country to maintain peace and order in a society.

Stealing as a government employee is a felony under the Criminal Code of Belize that carries a maximum sentence of fourteen years in prison hard labour. Belizeans who are members of government, including civil servants that aided, abetted and conspired to commit these crimes are also liable to be charged for these crimes.

In every government in the world there is an Inventory List. This list contains all the equipments owned by the government in every governmental department. Every civil servant must make sure that departmental items are secured, serviceable and accounted for at all times. If anything is wrong with any of the items on the Inventory List, the designated Inventory Officer must submit a report to his or her superior in command about the condition and whereabouts of the item or items.

No civil servant will sign off on any Inventory List without proper accounting because he or she will be signing his or her “death warrant”. Every government item that is currently missing could be traced and all those people who are involved can be identified. This government must investigate the whereabouts of all monies spent, contracts, illegal land deals and equipments that are missing and sold and bring them back to the people and government of Belize.

The people of Belize have given the United Democratic Party the mandate to do everything in their power to bring justice to them. Belizeans have high expectations that this time around justice will prevail. Belizeans do not want to hear no more speeches and they are demanding that action be taken against all those people who were involved in past irregularities.

Failure to act on the part of this United Democratic Party will lead to Belizeans thinking that the two major political parties are the same. I have known this new Prime Minister for many years now and I have full confidence in his abilities and capabilities.

Dean Barrow is a different person from the past leaders of the United Democratic Party. He is going to seize this moment and do what the Belizean people are expecting from him to act decisively and bring all those who were involved in committing crimes against our people and country to trial. Our country must correct all the wrongs of the past government now, if our people and country want to have a good future.

We as Belizeans must give the government time for the evidence to be gathered before the charges can be brought forward. The laws are there to be executed and there is no criminal charge you cannot find under Archbold, the Criminal Code and English Common Law.

The British have a law for almost everything that deals with human relations and movement. I believe that something will be happening sooner rather than later so just stay tuned to the news and have patience. As of now there will be new developments in the news every day.