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UNIBAM says newspaper columnist and TV talk show were not being totally truthful
The United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM) today issued a statement taking issue with a newspaper columnist’s describing grant funds for the organization as siphoned money.
The column in question was published last weekend and quoted extensively on the Rise and Shine television program on Monday morning.
UNIBAM in its statement basically said that the columnist took a cheap shot at the organization as the grant funds that UNIBAM received was either a hidden fact or a cover up.
The UNIBAM statement said: “the Oak Foundation made a small grant to UNIBAM through Oceana Belize with the full knowledge and co-operation of its Vice President in Belize. Such a practice is not unusual where the recipient group and funding amount is small and the cost of processing and transfer of funds too onerous.
We are assured that in the same re-granting process via Oceana, funds were also given to other organizations in Belize such as Haven House, a shelter for women, Alumni 90, a group supporting infrastructure upgrades at the Belmopan Comprehensive School and UBAD Foundation to support radio broadcast during Reef Week.”
UNIBAM says that both the newspaper columnist and the Rise and Shine television program made serious allegations and that “the innuendo is that the process by which grant monies given to UNIBAM by the Oak Foundation via a re-grant from Oceana was done in a clandestine and nefarious manner.”
UNIBAM says that because of its valued partnership with the Oak Foundation and with Oceana, the organization chose to challenge the allegations made in the newspaper column and on the Rise and Shine program because “such suggestions are insulting and reprehensible.”
UNIBAM also explained that it was not the only organization that received money from the Oak Foundation through Oceana-Belize and that “it is ironic that the Vice President of Oceana in Belize did not see fit to mention that detail.”
The UNIBAM statement ends by saying “in the zeal to put forward another point of view on any issue, which is a democratic and fundamental right guaranteed under our Constitution, truth and fact must not fall prey to distortion and misrepresentation.”