Vernon and assistant Peter Carter logged in two large knapsacks containing 5,000 25-cent pieces amounting to $1,250 each for a total of $2,500, half the court costs owed, which is $5,000.
Last week we reported on the striking out of an application by Vernon against his area representative whom he wants to answer for the thousands collected on behalf of him and others from the Belize Airports Authority and tried to bring a suit through the Supreme Court alleging violations of the Code of Conduct in the Constitution.
But Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin said the wrong section of the Civil Procedure Rules was used. First, we asked Vernon about the unusual method of payment.
“Yes, those two pieces containing 1,250 each in small monies because we were raising monies on Facebook, and people came and contributed. They didn’t all bring shillings, but we just wanted to think to be uniformed, so, we got al shillings”.
Reporter: “What is the symbolism of that?”
Trevor Vernon: “The symbolism is …people take it how they want it. It is just that we had to go literally with friends to raise pennies. So, we were only able to raise 2,500 today. Hopefully, within the next week, the way the donations are coming in…lot of small donations like $5, $10; people literally breaking their piggy banks because they support what they are seeing happening”.
According to Vernon, he plans to pay the remainder next week, though in paper money rather than coins. The bags were taken to the Central Bank to be counted.
But that is not the end of it as Vernon says he will be filing a new application, using what he has learned from the first.
Trevor Vernon: “Of course, I am happy. You notice you have to have people not see this as something frivolous and trivial, but as an important development in the whole system of governance. Our ministers have to be accountable, one way or the other. We don’t have an integrity commission that says, even if the CJ finds that there are technicalities with the original filing. My thing is that we are going to file a new application as soon as we make the second payment. AS we go forward, let’s see where this takes us. But of course, we can’t go far because Prime Minister Barrow’s last two appointees withdrew. So, we don’t have an integrity commission in place. So, let us see how that develops as we file a new application”.
Vernon says the money came from contributions from residents in Belize Rural North and a few outside, even as far away as the U.S. They came in old coins, new coins, British pounds, American dollars – and were all converted to the Belizean shilling.