UHS loan goes to the house on Friday Print E-mail
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Thursday, 04 January 2018 00:00

On Friday January 5th the now infamous Universal Health Services loan motion will be tabled in the National Assembly. While there has been much speculation as to what will happen thereafter, there is no indication as what will happen thereafter. When bills are tabled it is done so for 3 readings as well as for debate after which a vote is done to see if there will be approval.

It is not certain if the bill will have an amount attached to it. When we checked, the Attorney General’s ministry had not yet received a Certificate to make it an instrument from the Claimants through the Supreme Court which will affix an amount that is being claimed. And while there is no certainty as to what will happen, what bears watching is what the PUP will do. They need to decide whether they will vote for the supplementary bill to be approved and in so doing saddling the Belizean people with a debt which we have nothing to show for or whether they will say no to the bill. From all indications however, because the primary beneficiary of the entire ordeal will be Michael Ashcroft related companies, it is likely that they will give a yes vote- in effect- voting against the wishes of the people.

Readers will recall that last year the Caribbean Court of Justice passed a ruling in which it deemed that a loan of over 33 million dollars which was secured by the Musa administration for the Universal Health Services Hospital was enforceable in Belize. The loan has now ballooned to over 90 million dollars and it continues to grow. But while the CCJ has said the loan is enforceable it comes with a caveat that payment can only be made if the National Assembly approves it. That means it must be tabled in the house and thereafter a vote will be taken on whether or not it should be paid. As it stands there are a number of UDP Area Representatives that have gone public to say that they will vote against the payment of the bill.

That stance is because there is absolutely nothing to show for the loan guarantee which was made by Said Musa and Francis Fonseca on behalf of the Government of but which never got parliamentary approval. The guarantee was for a UHS debt which was never paid by the original owners of the hospital which they then defaulted leaving the government to pay for.

When Musa had sought parliamentary approval in the House, it caused upheaval in Belmopan with Belizeans, by the thousands clearly stating that they would not want the government to pay for the loan leading to a riot in Belmopan in the early part of 2007.

Last Updated on Thursday, 04 January 2018 14:33