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Tension between Minister Rodwell Ferguson and his CEO leads to uncertainty about the CEO’s future

Posted: Friday, April 7, 2023. 12:51 pm CST.

By Breaking Belize News Staff: Belize’s Minister of Youth, Sports and Transport, Rodwell Ferguson, recently revealed that there has been tension between him and his CEO, Marconi Leal Jr., causing uncertainty about the CEO’s future within the ministry. The disagreement arose when Ferguson declared that no purchases above $5,000 could be carried out without his approval. Currently, Leal is on vacation, with speculation mounting about his return.

Reliable sources close to Minister Ferguson tell Breaking Belize News (BBN) that the Minister does not want CEO Leal to return and would prefer that he be transferred, making place for his replacement at the Ministry.

Ferguson mentioned that only the Prime Minister has the authority to appoint CEOs in various departments or ministries, and it is uncertain at this point whether there will be a change. The vacation, which is expected to last less than a month.

In a recent interview with News 7 Belize, Ferguson admitted that the relationship between the two has been strained, stating, “I can publicly say that the relationship over the years maybe have, I don’t know, severed, and so I guess they’re looking for a new place to put him.”

Matters came to the public attention when it a leaked internal memo advised CEO Leal that effective immediately any transaction above $5000 must go to the Minister before any Purchase Order (PO) is made.

In a March 2nd Facebook post Minister Ferguson clarified the need for the memo saying “I will maintain my integrity. It is estimated that Government lose an estimated 100 million dollars each year because of misappropriation of funds in one way or the other.  I am not alluding that any hanky-panky is going on. While you will say that the CEOs are the accounting officers, I beg the question who do they account to,” Ferguson said.

Despite the strained relationship, Ferguson expressed his willingness to work with Leal for the betterment of the ministry. However, the ultimate decision lies with the Prime Minister, who will determine the CEO’s future upon his return from vacation.

 

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