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Minister Godwin Hulse offers update on immigration scandal

Hon. Elvin Penner (Cayo Northeast Representative)

Hon. Elvin Penner
(Cayo Northeast Representative)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014. AARON HUMES Reporting: Auditor General Dorothy Bradley has issued her preliminary report on the investigation into the Immigration Department to the Government.

But when will it become public, and will have it anything incriminating on former Minister of State Elvin Penner, who seems to have skated away from every allegation made against him?

Minister in charge of Immigration Senator Godwin Hulse says the report is before Cabinet and will shortly be tabled before the National Assembly.

He says it does not contain anything new. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Immigration and Nationality limps along, severely wounded by the actions of former Minister of State Elvin Penner.

Today Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse responded to news of stalling in the private prosecution case filed by COLA, saying that they have most of what they need to proceed with the private prosecution, including documents implicating Penner, and the Kim passport will be brought to Belize in the next month.

The Ministry of Immigration is also preparing to cancel passports and nationality certificates, among them a few signed by former Minister of State Elvin Penner, but there are some legal hurdles still to clear for those who complain that they should not be punished because of what happened internally.

But the Department is still interested in trying to find out who removed its files to give to Arthur Saldivar – with a catch.

Senator Hulse says if the police found out how the material was smuggled out, it would provide clues as how the Kim file went missing, since according to Penner he returned it to the Department.

And with regard to the immigration officers who were suspended and publicly humiliated but ultimately allowed to keep their jobs, their Minister is not pleased.

He explained why as he was asked what happened to a senior official who is to appear before the Public Service Commission.

He believes the junior officers did not give a proper explanation of their actions, but he personally has been politely told to stay away and not intervene, so he will not.

In other news, the dispute between the Ministry of Health and the Pharmacists’ Association of Belize could be settled by the Ministry of Labour.

Minister of Labour Senator Godwin Hulse confirmed today that the machinery is in motion to file a formal complaint.

Labour Commissioner Ivan Williams has been in touch over who exactly are the parties in dispute and is awaiting a response.

 

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