The woman leading the charge in the upper house for an investigation chaired by the Senate into the Immigration scandal, Senator Lisa Shoman, explained the benefits of such an investigation when asked if, like a previous look into the affairs of the Social Security Board, nothing seemed to come out of the affair.
Ms. Lisa Shoman- Senator of the People’s United Party
“I think the Leader of Government Business in the Senate has made much of his experience during the SSB issues, and I understand that a lot of people feel like “nothing happened”. But here is the thing, Sharon: unless and until we actually carry it out and carry it out according to the Standing Orders with the senators participating in the way that the Standing Orders make it clear that we can; bringing in people, calling for records, interviewing people on their basis of those records having the hearings and having those hearings to be made public. That is how we are going to find out what has been happening; and then there is a clear procedure for laying that before the Senate and for the Senate to have a proper investigation. What I’m saying is that a Senate investigation is not meant to replace a criminal investigation nor is it meant to take the place of what the DPP does. What it is meant to do is to say to the world that we are very serious about getting to the bottom of understanding what happened, how it happened, how far it went, and what is going to be put in place, so that Belizeans can be assured that this is never going to happen again”.
Senator Shoman said the call has been discussed and in some quarters approved.
Senator Lisa Shoman
“We know now what we did not publicly know some days ago that there is institutionalized rot, that there is institutionalized extra legal hustling and selling of visas, and therefore, Belizean people demand that we who are their senators, take up our public responsibility, investigate what is going on, and I promise you, ladies and gentlemen; this motion will be brought to the floor of the Senate at the next meeting, and it will be put to a vote.
We note that there may be a possibility of overlap between a possible Commission of Inquiry into visa quotas for Ministers and the Senate inquiry, but we were not able to put the question to Senator Shoman before the press conference ended.