Today the parliamentarians met at the House of Representatives to present a draft of the financial budget for this upcoming fiscal year and approve several write offs and loan motions- one of which was for US $28 million of Alba Petrocaribe aided monies. But before we get into all the details of that, we will share with you the Prime Minister’s remarks on the Johnny Briceño recording in which he accused several senior members of the People’s United Party of stealing “millions and millions and millions” of dollars. As you may recall, in the last house meeting, the Prime Minister predicted that Briceño would be the new party leader after a devastating defeat in the municipals. Seeing that one of his predictions came through and that Briceño’s constituency was the only municipal to remain blue after last week’s elections, the timing of the release of the recording appears well orchestrated. Here is what the discussion on that recording was like inside the House.
Dean Barrow –Prime Minister of Belize
“By now, the entire nation is aware of the confession recorded in the voice of the form of the former Leader of the Opposition and current Member for Orange Walk Central. A confession as to the massive corruption and unmatched thievery of the Musa/Fonseca Administration 1998-2007.”
“The political motivated charges that were brought against me has been dismissed and I was fully vindicated. The case was thrown out of court and with the Prime Ministers hypocritical ranting in the house today, it is clearly an attempt to take advantage of the frustrated ranting of a politician.”
Dean Barrow –
“Yuh see. I noh know why yuh neva keep yuh mouth shut. When I spoke, me neva call yuh name except to talk about the Musa?Fonseca administration yuh know. I neva level any accusation at you, I talked about what all the member for Orange Walk Central had said on the tape, but because yuh get up now and yuh – like I said you have the faceiness to intervene, let me say what is on that tape weh the news media can’t play because of fear of liable. On that tape you are accused of personally havening stolen tens of millions and it is said that you should be in jail and were it any other country you would be in jail. Dah noh me seh so, dah noh me seh so, It is the man sitting beside you. The confessor of the tape.”
Said Musa –
“Mr. Speaker this is a personal attack on me by the Prime Minister knowing full well….”
That is how that discussion ended inside the House, with Musa having his microphone cut off. It was an awkward discussion to say the least as Musa and Briceño sat side by side. Outside the House we approached Briceño to respond to Fonseca and Musa’s remarks of his statements on the recording being a blatant lie. However, try as we might, he would not tell us more than what he has already said; and neither reaffirmed nor retracted his statements on that recording.
“As I have said, I had a private conversation that was never meant to be made public. I am telling you I had a private discussion with your wife or with a friend that you would never want to be made public. So I am finished with the tape.”
“I’m saying, tell him to say it outside here. Tell him to say it outside of the house. “
“Mr. Briceño said it outside the house.”
“Mr. Briceño said it in a conversation to someone else who taped him. All I’m saying is that if that is published outside, I will sue. It is false and malicious. “
“But it is Mr, Briceño. “
“I wont answer that now.”