We have been reporting on the latest matter that came up within the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association. That surrounds the registration of the association under the companies act by, what we know so far, at least six members of the Committee of management of the BSCFA. Alfredo Ortega has spoken on the matter sating that it was not done to hurt the association but rather to protect it and all its assets. Others don’t take the move to mean this however, and one of those is the Prime Minister Dean Barrow who commented on the matter. Here is a clip from his statement to the media yesterday, provided to us by our colleagues at KREM News.
Honorable Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize
“I don’t know, I can guess, I don’t know which lawyer or so called lawyer advised those that subscribed to this new company. I don’t know how there could ever have been any sense that to find this new company would automatically mean that that company can step into the shoes of the B.S.C.F.A., the real B.S.C.F.A., the association that is recognised by the Act. I was told where the objects in the memorandum of association for this new company state that the B.S.C.F.A. has been abolished by law and that so when this company is formed, the B.S.C.F.A.—having become extinct—this new company can appoint a committee of management for the same B.S.C.F.A. that has been abolished. Now, I don’t know, I say again, which lawyer offered that sort of advice. If you look at the amended legislation, there is a saving clause that makes it absolutely plain that the B.S.C.F.A., which pre-existed the amendments, continues to be a recognised entity under the law, continues to be a legal entity and continues to operate under the egis of its bylaws, except and until the members would vote to change the bylaws. So this argument that the B.S.C.F.A. fell by the wayside—and even if it did—that you can form a company using the name and take over, presumably that is what they want to get at, the assets of the B.S.C.F.A. is absolutely madness. My difficulty has been that the legal advisor to the minister of finance has been ill. Gian Ghandi is actually sick and has not been able to come to work. So I have not been able to pursue, what I will declare from now is my intention, an effort to get the companies registry to delist or de-register this so called new company because of various things that went wrong, including the absence of the limited in the nomenclature of the company. But legality apart, it’s a dastardly move man on the part of those who somehow feel that they can usurp and remove the democratically elected leadership of the B.S.C.F.A., properly speaking, and who feel that they can as well get after the people’s assets.”
Audrey Matura Sheppard has indicated, in speaking with the Belize media that she did assist the farmers with advice but that’s as far as her involvement in the situation goes. It seems that the entire situation continues unclear for many but from after what he was told, the PM told the media that he wants to delist or deregister what he understands is a new BSCFA company.
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