On Wednesday Prime Minister Dean Barrow held a press conference and spoke on a number of infrastructure developments across the country which includes road works. His announcement included works in Orange Walk Town and saw GOB’s committed to upgrade San Antonio Road, which according to the P.M will be completed once and for all. On the day of the conference, the Prime Minister did not say who the contractor was but today CTV-3 News learned, that on the same day of the Press Conference, Wednesday July 30th, the paper works went to the contractor general and the man to get the job is no other that the controversial, Imer Hernandez, nephew of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. So, it appears that despite the previous problems faced with him on this very road, Hernandez has been hired once more for the work. The contract, we understand, is for two million Belize dollars and if it has not been signed, it will be signed by this weekend or early next week.
It is of interest to note though, that when the media contacted Hernandez on the matter, he was rather flustered at being asked the question of whether he got the contract or not and continued on by saying he didn’t know anything of it. While that was Hernandez’s reaction, CEO in the Ministry of Works, Errol Gentle, confirmed that Hernandez’s company, Imer Hernandez Development Company, has indeed received the contract for the project and now the papers only need be singed. As we can recall, at the press conference, the Prime Minister had been rather defensive of Hernandez saying that his work speaks for him and the government sees no problem in keeping him hired. Here is that clip.
Honorable Dean Oliver Barrow – Prime Minister Of Belize
“There are no complaints about performance where Imer Hernandez is concern so the controversies of the past will not stop us from giving this gentleman once he continue to perform contracts to do works for the Government of Belize.”
And while there are controversies surrounding Hernandez and the San Antonio Road, CEO Gentle said that there was no contract before for the paving of the road between Hernandez and GOB during his tenure and this is the first time that this contract is being awarded to someone. Viewers might recall that last year the media obtained documents which showed that back in 2011, the Social Investment Fund awarded a contract valued at $539,507.13 to Imer Hernandez Development Company Limited, for the Ministry of Works and Solid Waste Management. Out of that amount, $179,951.55 was paid out to the company in 2012 for the rehabilitation of San Antonio Road which never happened. When the story broke Prime Minister Dean Barrow defended his Government by stating that the money for San Antonio Road was diverted to another area in Orange Walk, Otro Benque Road and the money paid out to Hernandez was for the work his company carried out area. There is no shying away from the fact that since the UDP Government took office Hernandez has been awarded millions of dollars in contracts across the country.
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