Prime Minister Barrow Responds to Dangriga Mayor’s Protest over Infrastructure Money

vlcsnap-2013-12-10-18h41m32s47In last night’s newscast, we brought you the protest of Dangriga Mayor, Gilbert Swazo, who was up in arms over Government’s alleged distribution of infrastructure money.

In relation to the street works in the Stann Creek District and particularly in Dangriga, of which some $500,000 has been allocated, Mayor Swaso alleges that the Prime Minister is insisting on having the UDP’s caretaker in the area, former Mayor Frank “Pawpa” Mena, in charge of the work and not hiring any known members of the People’s United Party.

The Dangriga Town Council, the Mayor was told by the Prime Minister, would be left only to select the streets to be fixed and the priority of the work.  Now the Mayor says that that heis disrespecting the Council’s autonomy and using the people’s money for political interest. Well today, the PM responded to the Mayor’s accusation.  Here’s what he had to say:

vlcsnap-2013-12-11-20h35m29s227Dangriga streetHon. Dean Barrow- Prime Minister of Belize

“Man, when the town councils spend money on street repairs, it is tax payers’ money in the same way as when Government spends, it is tax payers’ money.  When they spend, they hire the persons that they wish to hire.  So, when Government spends, to me, it is perfectly in order that government should provide the list of recommendees for employment.  So, I will not retile from that at all.  No caretaker has anything to do with the money.  As I indicated, I had entered into the contract with Woods directly.  The mayor of Dangriga selected the streets.  The only thing he doesn’t get to do is to pick, and even then I gave him 10% recollect that the $7,000 a month that the Opposition representatives in the house get for the setting up of offices and for a sport voter, you find out from them, how many of them even have an office.  By an odd, they put that money into their pockets.  So, they are the last ones to talk along those lines.  I would think that they would be grateful that in fact, this government is doing for their towns and doing for the residents of their towns.  The Mayor of Dangriga, certainly pronounced himself ecstatic that government was being so good.  I find it a little bit disappointing that he has now changed his tune at the instance of his good leader”.

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