The Belize Peace Movement joins all right-thinking Belizeans in expressing outrage over the leaked news that Belize Telecommunications Co. Ltd (BTL) has not paid almost thirty million dollars in General Sales Tax since 2014.
This latest outrage of governmental negligence, malfeasance and violation of the tax and revenue laws must result in those responsible being forced to answer and suffer full consequences.
The prime minister, who never misses an opportunity to belittle and castigate those who question and expose wrongdoings and corruption has been uncharacteristically silent.
Speak now, prime minister and minister of finance. Show Belizeans the genuine receipts and audited accounts confirming that BTL (which is directly under your portfolio) has paid every dollar required by law to the GST department. The vague and evasive explanations from your financial secretary, BTL and GST officials are unacceptable.
The immediate past CEO Rochus Schreiber has done the right thing by resigning within 48 hours after this news broke. If only half of the information is true, the entire board of directors who are responsible must tender their resignation with immediate effect. The BPM demands that an independent forensic audit and a criminal investigation be carried out without delay.
It is the prime minister who gave public assurances when that utility entity was being re-nationalized that Belizeans would experience a much improved and affordable service and that the affairs of the company will be carried out in an accountable and transparent manner.
We call on the prime minister to live up to his duty and responsibility to safeguard public monies and restore some level of public trust in the management of the Belize Telecommunications Co. Ltd.
Belize Peace Movement