Yesterday, news broke that Anwar Barrow, the second son of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance Hon. Dean Barrow, was appointed to the post of Chairman of the Executive Committee of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL). Big changes occurred in 2009 when the government nationalized BTL.
Since then Anwar Barrow has been on the board of directors. Recently however, Karen Bevans, Chief Operations Officer, and Nestor Vasquez, Executive Chairman, have both abdicated their posts, while Anwar Barrow takes up as Chairman of the Executive Committee.
The PUP, however is not happy with this new appointment and expressed their distaste in a press release sent out earlier today. The press release stated their opinion of Anwar Barrow’s appointment describing it as a “…blatant act of nepotism and do not believe it to be in the best interest of BTL or the people of Belize… this latest appointment places him in full and direct control of the day to day management of BTL.”
According to the PUP this move serves to strengthen their view that BTL is being used by the UDP for their political advances. They further stated that,
“there are serious and credible allegations which we are presently investigating, that Anwar Barrow may in fact be a “silent partner” in business interests which either have contracts with BTL or are indirectly engaged in business with BTL”.
They called on the BTL board of directors to immediately, “…rescind the appointment of Mr. Anwar Barrow as Chairman of the Executive Committee of Management of BTL….If the BTL Board fails to act, we call on Prime Minister Barrow to do the right thing and to ask his son, Anwar Barrow to resign. “ .
A short while after this press release arrived, another press release was issued, this time from Anwar Barrow himself, which said,
” The People’s United Party and their media organs have been trying to attack my credibility by making totally baseless accusations for many years now. In fact over the years from as far back as 1997, they have settled several libel suits through financial compensation to me and have been compelled to make several public apologies the last of which was made in 2010. Their latest release of today continues in the same vein and again is totally baseless. This is simply petty party politics.”
Anwar Barrow concluded his statement by saying that he will continue to maintain his focus as he continues to work with his fellow board and committee members to move the company forward under the stewardship of their Board Chairman Nestor Vasquez. The statement from Barrow did not address the issue of nepotism.