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Sapna = Collateral Damage

Sapna = Collateral Damage
September 07
00:00 2018

“I would presume so. No one knows where Sapna Budhrani comes from. No one. No one knows her in the creative sector or the culture sector. So, again, we understand that as the one in authority you have discretion but I certainly think there needs to be collective consensus and certainly when everyone, and when I say everyone feels the way that I feel, I am talking everyone. Even CEOs and directors feel the way that I feel. So, it is not a Shyne thing where I di pick pahn poor Sapna. So, everyone expresses the concerns that I have and I think this is a judgment call and definitely something that will be taken into consideration when you look at the kinds of judgment that are being made.”

— Shyne Barrow, 7 News, August 21, 2018

The recent outburst by Shyne regarding Sapna Budhrani’s appointment as President of NICH seemed at first glance to be a case of a man speaking truth to power. It now appears that it was in fact the first shot of what will no doubt be a bloody war inside the UDP; the battle they say, has been joined.

Up until Shyne’s attack and Cabinet’s subsequent decision to suspend Ms. Budhrani, the Hon. Patrick Faber has never been associated with any scandal that smacks of corruption or financial impropriety. The genesis of his public floggings have always been his own personal failings, butto repeat we have never seen anything to suggest that he personally was corrupt or that he was tolerant of corruption.

Since the disgraceful departure of Gapi Vega and up until the 2018 municipal elections, Faber was regarded as the heir apparent of the UDP. When Mr Barrow leaves, as he must, it was Faber who was to ascend the throne. He was considered to be the second most powerful man inside the UDP but somehow his stock began to fall. Perhaps it was a misguided sense of self worth that led Faber, in an attempt to brush aside Shyne’s broadsideassault,to say that “whatever it is they accuse Ms. Budhrani of they really should be accusing me of.” Shyne seems to have taken him up on that offer and thus the matter landed in Cabinet. The real question here though is who brought the matter to the Cabinet? Who exactly wanted to rattle Faber’s cage? Who?!

Immediately after Shyne’s comments, some in the UDP began to call him out for attacking the man who we all thought up until recently would be the next Prime Minister of Belize. By now the Belizean people must be aware that in party politics you publicly call out corruption and wrongdoing at your own risk. But the messenger on August 21, 2018 was no Marcel Cardona; the messenger was the son of an ailing Prime Minister yes, but a most powerful man none-the-less. In other words Shyne had backative and that is why he spoke the way he spoke.

You all may have already forgotten when Marcel Cardona called out what he thought was impropriety at the very same NICH. The then President was suspended but as a result of calling out a suspect contract (as he should have) Cardona’s political fire was extinguished in dramatic fashion. In fact he was assaulted in the House of Representativesby a member of his own Party for allegedly “making the Party look bad;” this is how poor people have been trained to behave in the defence of their “beloved” Party.

In 2008 Cardona, a sitting Member of Parliament, warned of irregularities at NICH and Cardona was knifed. In 2018 Shyne, an Ambassador, warns of irregularities at NICH butyet the SON STILL SHYNES!So again I ask, who took Sapna’s and Patrick’s business to Cabinet? And what really was the motive?

Since the Cabinet is now seized of the NICH matter Shyne’s job is done. The Board of NICH, no doubt in an attempt to rescue Faber, called an unprecedented press conference. They told the Belizean people that somehow, somebody lied to the Cabinet and thus thedecisionof the Cabinet waswholly misconceived.However, if alliances remain as they were leading up to the UDPdeputy leader’s convention in 2016,then 13 out of 19 elected representatives are supportive of John Saldivar and thus they would have relished the opportunity to further diminish Faber in the eyes of the base.

Shortly there will be a leadership convention and any perception by the base of the UDP that Faber is incapable of being leader inures to the benefit of Saldivar. In Saldivar’s camp there is a widely held belief that the 2018 municipal elections weakened Faber because as the DPM and the most powerful area representative in the City (beside the PM), Faber lost Belize City. So why not kick him when he is down?

All the noise about alleged mismanagement at NICH is bigger than Sapna. Some big people in the Cabinet want Faber’s head and it appears that they are prepared to destroy Sapna in the process. This might be a case of “if you can’t ketch Harry you ketch eh shut.” Somebody wants to uproot Faber and they are coming by way of Sapna: Sapna is collateral damage!

The truth is that what is going on at NICH pales in comparison to what went on at the Immigration Department or the Lands Department but not a single soul worth mentioning has been suspended much less dismissed for the Penner debacle or the land grab by Gapi et al.When Saldivar and George Lovell allowed a Guatemalan company to construct one of our military bases, a far more egregious offence than Sapna’s, not a damn person was suspended.

Look, we have seen this circus before: Cabinet ordering the suspension of mid-level public officials in the name of accountability: Diane Haylock, Kenworth Tillett and now Sapna. Cabinet never seem to have the will to deal with the real issues facing this nation but they go full throttle at Sapna? The words of Zenaida come to mind. Who lacks the Zenaida beads that they must go after Faber by way of Sapna?Who?!


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