Wow! Vega/Castro/Pennergate are the gifts that keeps on giving! Before Vega/Castro/Pennergate, we had Godfrey/Fonseca/Musagate.
It should be clear by now, 32 years after “independence”, that the Belize Constitution is the supreme manifesto for white collar crime. It is beyond time that this illegitimate constitution – written by politicians, for the enrichment of politicians, be trashed.
Why is it illegitimate? The Belize Constitution came into force during some of the worst rioting our country has ever seen. The people were not consulted, and no national referendum to approve or reject the constitution was held. In fact, it could safely be said that a large portion of civil society was against it coming into force, the result which was the aforementioned rioting and civil unrest.
Independence Day, 1981, saw our new nation on “lock down” and under martial law due to a State of Emergency. On a day when the population should be celebrating, military officers with large guns and with orders to shoot to kill anyone walking on the streets after sundown, patrolled the streets of Belize. It is into this distressing scenario that our nation and constitution were “born.” And that is how an oppressive, kleptocratic constitution, which served our colonial masters so well was passed down to the local apprentices as inheritance on Independence Day.
As you can see, from its very beginnings, it had no mandate and no legitimacy. Over the years, with a little tweak here and a little reform there, the politicians have slowly but surely consolidated their power.
We are at a point where we now have no true separation of powers. Our “democracy” is a fraud. We are a dictatorship disguised as a democracy, a failed experiment in executive overreach and cronyism.
32 years after-the-fact we have been and continue to be unwilling, real-time witnesses to the worst officially-sanctioned corruption imaginable; to the broad daylight robbery of our national assets and our national wealth. Not a single statesman with a national plan and world vision has emerged from our Constitution, only politician$ with private agendas.
To boot, the name of our country has “graced” the bottom of so many lists measuring human decency that we are a poster nation for dysfunction in governance. Is THIS the legacy we want to leave for our children and grandchildren?
Belize badly needs a new constitution. We need real statesmen who have Belize’s best interests at heart to collaborate with as wide a segment as possible of the intellectual community, the social partners, and some outside experts to help draft a new and legitimate constitution for our nation. It is beyond time we had a constitution by the people for the people. Westminster needs to go!
Mr. Barrow, we are a nation in full-blown PTSD (Post Tramautic Stress Disorder). What is the legacy you would like to leave behind for your children and grandchildren, sir? Call a constitutional convention and assure yourself of that special place in our history books as the great liberator and healer of Belize.