And finally tonight, we have the Prime Minister speaking on the controversial Rosewood Amnesty. It finished on Friday and the Forestry Department is now tallying all that will be stamped and approved for export. The amnesty has been roundly, almost universally condemned, and the PM says, he hears it well enough.
Hon. Dean Barrow
“I cannot be disrespectful of public opinion but I still think that that was a legitimate, simple and practical way to go. Look there’s talk of principals that were involved and connection to the UDP. While those that do the actual exports are limited in number – the people who cut the rosewood and sell to the brokers and exporters are regular folk in Toledo. That is why I said according maximum respect to those that almost violently disagree with the government’s position – I would appeal for them to join us in drawing a line in the past. And we’re saying freely to this issue and moving forward now in a sustainable way with respect to the harvesting of this most precious natural resource.”
And while sound Rosewood management is one thing, the enrichment of select private companies is another. That’s the charges that has been leveled against GIV, the company owned by the Deputy PM’s brother. We asked a tough question about that company and got not much of an answer.
“GIV is a substantial campaign financier for the UDP.”
Hon. Dean Barrow
“Oh really? Well Sir you know better than I do. Let’s put everything out on the table. GIV is owned by the brother of the Deputy Prime Minster and I have no doubt that GIV or Mr. Vega helps his brother. I can personally say – No let me say; I can tell you Categorically that GIV has not contributed a penny to the central coffers of the UDP.”