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Social media post “smeared my name,” Faber charges; Opposition says “operatives” not involved 

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Posted: Saturday, September 26, 2020. 5:54 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: During his discussion of the 2020 Cybercrime Bill, Minister of Education Patrick Faber made his public reaction to the kerfuffle over the publishing of an invoice and associated documents to make the point that Cellular World Limited, which has a contract to buy and equip tablets for distribution to students was overpaid. 

The Ministry quickly dismissed the charges and documents as bogus, but in the House of Representatives on Friday, Faber said it’s more than that for him. 

“The infringement of copyright, patents, designs, trademarks. Recently I was telling my colleagues in the Committee, there was a whole generating of an invoice, with a logo from an international company, and they put in all sorts of figures – generating things from companies, all in order to smear my name, because they don’t have anything else, you see. Some of them are now being forced to make apologies, those who have shared it, Madam Speaker; you can’t just share things that you know is fabricated. I wish this bill was already law, so that we could sue of the people who – or get them to apologize; you can’t just make up things,” Faber told the House. 

Later, Faber added that in his 13 years as Minister, he personally has never been named in any scandal, and so he takes it “personally” that “operatives of the Opposition” have tried to damage his reputation and that of others this close to the election. 

Except, as Leader of the Opposition John Briceño quickly rose to point out, “I don’t know who the Minister of Education is referring [to], but whosoever that person is, is not an operative of the People’s United Party.” 

Faber took that as “disowning” NBZ Live, the originator of the post, and the Association of Concerned Belizeans, whose name is an ironic reference to the organization that was established more than a dozen years ago to point out sins of the then administration. 

The Minister concluded that this is the kind of behaviour that will be dealt with by the new legislation, which now goes to the Senate. 

And in related news, Faber rubbished another social media post that suggested the Ministry was ready to allow face-to-face schooling – that was “completely made up,” he informed. 

Primary schools continue to be held by distance and high schools will officially open in the same conditions on October 5. 

 

 

 

 

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