The Ship has sailed Print E-mail
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Written by By Jamil Matar   
Thursday, 12 April 2018 11:06

As the audacity and magnitude of the land scandal perpetuated by two former PUP Ministers of Natural Resources is bared with each passing day, people in my town are venturing myriad of motives behind these atrocious and despicable deeds.   They say that only an unhinged person would have done such contemptible acts in granting miles of prime land to an American and a Guatemalan citizen for pittances. There must have been an ulterior motive.  Some people have suggested that the grants at the Miller’s Bight Estates, Progresso, San Pedro, and Sarteneja, are for future land speculation to be parceled out and sold to Orangewalkeños, Corozaleños and San Pedranos as house lots which will rake in millions to the  beneficiaries of Briceño’s and Marin’s  largesse and recklessness with our national patrimony. Others have said that both former Cabinet Ministers were privy to reports of possible oil deposits in these areas and were thinking Billions instead of millions.

One of my neighbors told me, however, that the ship has sailed on the key motive behind granting these 2,500 acres of land to one Mr. Ramirez and one Johnson at Miller’s Bight was to cash in on the Orange Walk by-pass road project under Ralph Fonseca since this road passes right through Miller’s Bight down the middle. In not taking chances on where the highway would go, the Minister of NR decided to cover all bases in the grant by including all the land from the old northern highway at Carmelita village all the way to the roundabout on the new highway. ALL the land.  A good investigative reporter would try to review the OW by-pass project and see how much financial compensation was awarded for private property, and to whom such payments were made. Recall that when former UDP Minister, Elodio Aragon Sr., had secured funding for the said OW by-pass it was estimated at $8 million, but when the PUP undertook the project it ended up costing Belizeans $24 million!  For 4 miles of highway, no drains included. Then they rail up about Farber’s Road in the City?

For every challenge there are many solutions. The PUP likes to take this government to court, well let’s put the shoe on the other foot and take the former PUP Ministers to court. All over the world, former government ministers are being charged and jailed for nefarious acts while they were in office.  Let’s adopt this practice in Belize and sue these land suckers. Failing a favorable court judgement, let us raise the property taxes on all IDLE land measuring over ten acres to $500/ acre/ year and we will hear which hog bawls.

I will finish off this discourse by advising the PUP that this land issue will not easily blow over like the $500,000,000 that went missing from the Bear/ Sterns Superbond package. The so-called pendulum which the PUP believes is rapidly swinging their way is losing momentum with this disgraceful and wanton abuse of our national patrimony.  It’s too bloody much now! And this will affect our citizens for decades to come. Even right now, Tower Hill village cannot even identify land for a cemetery!  Voters in my area are saying that the PUP’s Gerry-Mandering of OW Walk Central in the eighties and the construction of three housing sites in this very same constituency (Marcus Canul Phases 1 and 2 and San Lorenzo housing site) will not produce dividends for the PUP forever.  Even the late, great R. H. George Price lost one time in Freetown.  Listen up, Deamon, the chickens no hatch yet, and you done di count.  I leave you with that thought.