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PUP demands Cancellation of Bloated Contracts

Posted: Monday, October 16, 2017. 12:00 p.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: The People’s United Party (PUP) today issued a release condemning the awarding of a “grossly bloated contract for the ‘reconstruction’ of one mile of Faber’s Road to Imer Hernandez, the nephew of disgraced former Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega.”

The PUP says that there is no rational justification for this portion of road costing $8 million when the conventional rule of thumb for routine reconstruction of roadways is $1 million per mile.

The PUP believes that with Municipal Elections just months away, it is clear that this is nothing but an attempt to enrich select UDP Ministers and cronies and pad election coffers.

The party notes that in 2016, Cisco Construction was awarded a contract for major works on 3.5 miles of the Philip Goldson Highway, including the widening of the entire stretch by 10 feet, placement of lights and the construction of a heavy duty retaining wall to stop erosion of the riverbank. That contract worked out to less than $4 million a mile. It is beyond comprehension that routine works on 1-mile of Faber’s Road would be almost double that.

The release states that it is not the first time that Minister of Works Rene Montero has been scrutinized for bloated contracts. Almost $7 million was recently awarded for the paving of a short stretch of road in Santa Elena, from the Loma Luz Boulevard to the Hawkesworth Bridge, the PUP said. In addition, Montero was also involved in the awarding of the contract to an under-qualified construction company owned by his brother for the completion of the Twin Towns’ municipal building and allegedly a multi-million-dollar contract for the completion of the Marshalleck Stadium in Benque Viejo Del Carmen.

The PUP called on all social partners and other entities with a stake in the development of the country and who are fighting corruption to stand against the awarding of these bloated contracts.

According to the PUP, “…this is nothing more than business as usual in the UDP where select persons gorge at the public trough while the majority of normal Belizeans remain poor.”

 The party called on the Prime Minister to immediately rein in his Minister of Works, who has seen his fortunes improve beyond all proportion while in office.

“It is time to change how things are done!” the PUP said.

The party also called on all Belizeans to take a stand against the corruption which has affected every facet of our development.

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