You Can Fight Corruption and Win
Original by: Michael N. Lindo on October 30, 2016
This is for all those in Belize, Belizeans Abroad and International friends who are sincere about fighting and ending corruption which can be accomplished by directing your respective energy in ensuring that the Government of Belize petition the United Nations to establish the International Commission Against Impunity in Belize (CICIB). The CICIB Commission’s mandate permits it to carry out independent investigations, to act as a complementary prosecutor and to recommend public policies to help fight the corrupt groups that are the subject of its investigations. CICIB’s Commissioner is appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
The CICIG in Guatemala effectively placed the former President (Otto Perez Molina) and Vice-President in jail and Guatemalan former finance minister Pavel Centeno committed suicide when CICIG TRIED TO ARREST HIM this week in Guatemala City. This shows clearly that CICIB will be independent of ALL political parties, addresses the wrongs across the board and do so with honesty and impartiality.
A warning to EVERYONE that wants to fight corruption. BEWARE OF THE WOLVES IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING THAT WALKS AMONG YOU. The political partisans; the shameful and deceitful PRIVILEGE CITIZENS who aid and abet the politicians and lawyers in politics with corruption will mount a campaign to throw your focus off base. You will hear words like Corruption is Systemic (wow, a justification for continuation of corruption rather than addressing it), you will be personally attacked as when they don’t have a response or solution, the goal is to go for personal attack. An interesting observation is you are told not to comment on the factual evidence of corruption and why don’t you come with proposals or solutions. As soon as you give a solution you are attacked by the CORRUPT CITIZENS using a totally DISCRIMINATORY approach and that is to say you do not live in Belize so you cannot comment on the corruption they support and make a living off. BEWARE as every ploy is used to not address corruption and some want to rewrite the Constitution. Folks, nothing is wrong with the Constitution, it is how it is executed and yes, there is a need for Amendments. This is a delaying tactic.
In debates, participants uses what is known as Ad Hominem which is attacking an opponent’s character rather than answering his argument. For example:
- Penner was removed from office (Passport scandal) but he is NOT fined, serve no jail time and worst, he violated the people’s trust and yet he retires on Public Funds pension.
NO ANSWER TO THIS CORRUPTION..
- Former DPM and lawyer Pitts committed known acts of illegality with lands, again no restitution of Public Funds (between them $400,000 each), they are NOT fined, served no jail time and worst, they violated the people’s trust (one must be disbarred) and the other retires on Public Funds pension.
NO ANSWER TO THIS CORRUPTION..
- Godwin Hulse is shown and documented that he signed saying he knew two Chinese (he never met them) and one is given Belizean Nationality. PM Barrow says the Auditor General report is flawed so he have NO intention of being honest, impartial and work to end corruption. HERE is the best one, we have the Speaker of the House now alleging that he will sue the Attorney General and Auditor General for performing their job. Let us get this straight, we have a representative of the people suing the very government he is a member of and sworn to uphold the good for his constituents (That Lawyers in Politics conflict of interest). DEAR ALL – this is designed by the Speaker of the House and the PM to cast doubt on the Auditor General report so there will be no prosecution of the guilty. Counter-sue the Speaker of the House for $20 million for a frivolous law suit.
The pundits and surrogates have no answer for these blatant corruption that is perpetuated daily. NO ANSWER TO THIS CORRUPTION.
- The Teachers cannot get a 3% pay increase but PM Barrow have no issue with paying his brother a minimum of $27 million for BTL negotiation that cost Belizeans an additional $100 million, his son is alleged to receive $360,000 annually, his ex-wife being appointed as Ambassador to the UN and living on Public Funds in an elaborate and expensive apartment in Manhattan. All of this is NEPOTISM which is political corruption. Again, the pundits and surrogates are very defensive about WRONGS but
NO ANSWER TO THIS CORRUPTION..
The PRIVILEGE CITIZENS who participate in the corruption must be held accountable with the politicians.
We have observed the inability to defend the wrong doing of the UDP and PUP party executives and we caution those who are serious about fighting corruption, ask the surrogates for answers to the above questions and not the ploy of deflecting or pivoting away from these issue. Their intent must be one for Justice and Strong Institutions with a goal of a trusted and inclusive population.
We have shown consistently that UDP and PUP are really no different and whichever party is out of office just uses slogans to hide the fact that they are waiting their turn to abuse the use of Public Funds. We proposed the Contract with Belize and laid out the following 6 points as a start:
- GOB must sign the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) – alleged for December 9, 2016. PUP and BPP must make this a part of their governing platform and sign to uphold the terms of UNCAC in their contract.
- GOB establish an Agreement with the UN for the creation an International Commission Against Impunity in Belize (CICIB). The goal is to investigate the Nationality/Passports scandal, Money Laundering and Human Trafficking, as GOB cannot investigate itself.
- With these two agreements in place, we now have the mechanism to hold those guilt of criminal acts accountable with appropriate measures. PUP and BPP must also make this a part of their governing platform
- Amendment to Constitution to limit the Term of all future Prime Minister to two-terms.
- Amendment to Constitution for a Committee on Ethics Act – Restrictions on Outside Employment Applicable To Members and Senior
- Under the Ethics Reform Act, Members and senior staff are prohibited from engaging in professions that provide services involving a fiduciary relationship, including the practice of law and the sale of insurance or real estate. The establishment of the fiduciary relationship prohibitions are required as these professional activities definitely pose a particular risk of conflict of interest.
- There is also concern that receipt of legal fees and other compensation for professional services, and directors’ fees from serving on boards of corporations, associations, nonprofit organizations, and other entities, creates at least the appearance of impropriety and the potential for conflicts of interest. Based on the fundamental principle that a public office is a public trust, all officials of the government are expected to act in the interests of the beneficiaries of that trust, that is, the general public.
- When certain private positions and employment create for the Member or public official a fiduciary or a representational responsibility to a private client or a limited number of private parties, then such outside activities create the potential for a serious conflict of interest. The conflict occurs in the clash of those responsibilities and the divergence of public and private interests on a particular governmental matter or in general government policy.
- To ensure there is honoraria –was banned under other provisions of the Act – “not reemerge in various kinds of professional fees from outside interests.”
- Creation of a Belize Constitutional Council for the purpose of reviewing the Constitution for appropriate Amendments. This must include recommendations regarding public policies to be adopted – including necessary judicial and institutional reforms – to eradicate and prevent the re-emergence of corrupt practices.
- No future Prime Minister can also be the Minister of Finance. There must be a separation of ministries and the Prime Minister have no control over the Public Funds. Use a 5 member cabinet that is NOT controlled by the ruling party to ensure the appropriate checks and balances.
- Adopt Code of Criminal Procedure – addresses crimes that affect the fundamental human rights of the citizens (i.e. violation of the Nationality/Passport acts).
- Amendment that specifies that any member of government convicted of a crime must serve the necessary prison time and forfeiture of all pension.
- Enact the law to address the issue of “unjust enrichment.”
- Cabinet Ministers cannot comprise a voting majority of the House which ensures the Executive Cabinet can block a vote of no confidence. Legislature can challenge the Executive Cabinet.
- Amendment to specifically prohibit the use of Ministerial Discretion.
- Amendment to create a Public Procurement Commission to safeguard public funds. No assignment of any job (including Legal Fees and Advisory Services) without a bid that is published.
- Amendment that ensures no government officials can usurp the functions of the PSC and it is not politically controlled. Appointments by an independent board. Specifically addresses – no firing or subjugation or frustrating of individuals without proper documentation and due diligence process.
- CEOs vetted by PSC and other governing boards to ensure they meet the necessary requirements, qualifications with appropriate skill sets. Cease the undermining of the Public Service via CEOs and open vote workers
- Eliminate the process of Open Vote Workers (appointed public servants that do not fall under the public service and are mostly political appointees). Many get jobs via politicians and do the politicians bidding, Things public servants would likely not engage in as Politicians can’t force public servants to do their bidding
- Research the dual citizen issue to allow Belizean American representatives to serve in Cabinet. Today Guatemala Belizean, American Belizean or Any (country) Belizean can serve.
- Agreement not to turn over party leadership to any Political Legal Profession individual. Lawyers in Politics are forbidden from assuming leadership of any political party unless they abide by the Committee on Ethics Act and place their law firm in Trust and cannot bid on any government contracts.