Yesterday the Opposition voiced their concerns over the awarding of an $8 million contract to Imer Hernandez Development Co. Limited, a company involving the nephew of former UDP Deputy Leader Gaspar Vega, for the rehabilitation of 1.1 mile of Faber’s Road in Belize City. The Opposition said in a release that it considered it a grossly bloated contract and it gave comparisons of other road works which cost much less for a greater road size. Today, Opposition Leader Hon. John Briceno gave media interviews to discuss his concerns about the contract.

Screen_Shot_2017-10-17_at_6.51.16_PMHonourable John Briceno -  Opposition Leader People’s United Party

“First of all, we want to put on record that we fully support the fixing of farber road, the street is in a bad state of disrepair but our concern is that we believe there is no justification to pay eight million dollars to a favored UDP contractor to fix farber’s road and we get very suspicious when you see favored UDP contractors getting in our opinion bloated contracts  just before a municipal election we believe that they are taking advantage of the taxpayers monies to be able to finance a campaign and we are very, very concerned when you look at what is happening and one more point, Imer Hernandez does not have the reputation of doing quality work and I will give you two examples; you are from Orange Walk Town and when you drive on the Phillip Goldson Highway going through Orange Walk town is already breaking up, the sidewalks is breaking up, when you go by the northern portion by Trial Farm several areas are sinking, the cement roundabout that he did at the end of that portion the cement is breaking up, when you go to the border the Santa Elena border the work that he has done the road is sinking and these are the people that are getting these contracts  and it makes us wonder what is happening.”

Today the Opposition Leader wrote Prime Minister Barrow, demanding that the surprisingly quick construction work already started by Hernandez be halted until a proper investigation is carried out.

Honourable John Briceno -  Opposition Leader People’s United Party

“We are asking the Prime Minister to halt this contract until everyone can take a look at exactly what is happening.  Secondly, we are asking for full transparency, we want a copy of the contract, we want to see who are these selective contractors because it was not advertised as the Press Released said a Selective contractors so we want to see who all these selective contractors were and how much did they bid to do the work and also we want to see what the contractor general said over this contract that if he gave a full support or did he not give a full support over the contract. Thirdly, we are demanding that the Prime Minister needs to do a full investigation or audit in all the contracts that have been issued through the ministry of works and the ministry of finance, could be though the Belize Investment Limited or directly through the ministry of finance or directly through the ministry of works, we need to know all the contracts that have been issued to whom and for how much and lastly if the Prime Minister does not take action because we  are sending him a letter today, that if he refuses to act we are going to take legal action against the Prime Minister, the minister of works and the UDP government.”

In it’s comparison, the PUP cited a contract awarded to Cisco construction in 2016, for road works on 3.5 miles on the Phillip Goldson Highway, which cost less than $4m per mile.

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