Friday, 23 September 2016

A Vote For No Change!

After the euphoria of the LDS opposition win, now comes the stark reality of running a country. The complexities of political life in this small country of ours just got a little more complex. How do the two parties work together for the benefit of our country and all our people? Now that the celebrations are over, it is slowly sinking in that Parti Lepep is still in power. James Michel is still the President and that LDS in spite of its five seat advantage, got 226 popular votes more than PL. With just over thirty thousand votes each, it is pretty clear that the country is split down the middle and strictly along party lines. What does that mean for the rest of us?

The opposition does not have a big enough majority in the Assembly to effect change without the consent of the President through his power to ‘assent’ Bills. They are not in a position to sanction Ministers or indeed sanction the President. They cannot amend the Constitution. For those knife wielding powers, LDS would have needed a two thirds majority which they failed to get. The President does not have a majority in the Assembly either, to push his Bills through. To implement some of his programs, the President needs the goodwill of the opposition which he is unlikely to get bearing in mind the leaders in the Assembly are all after his scalp.

 However if their support is not forthcoming and if the President deems it serious enough, then he can always bypass the Assembly and seek the views of the voters in a referendum. The million dollar question is will the Executive and the Legislature be willing to compromise or will the historical hatred between those two groups of people come to the fore? The smart money is backing no compromise especially on major issues of which the private sector 13th month salary Bill is bound to be a hot potato for the LDS. This will be followed very soon by the budget. If LDS was thinking of abstaining, they better think again! PL will load a few scattered bombs in that budget which will explode in the opposition faces whichever way they choose to vote or indeed not vote. Damn if you do! Damn if you don’t!!

The other million dollar question doing the rounds is how will the dynamics in the opposition camp work out bearing in mind they are a coalition of four parties who do not trust each other? Will new Speaker Pillay seek to snooker Ramkalawan as revenge for not joining with him to oust Michel in the first round of the presidential election? Ramkalawan is well known for his fiery temper which begs the question as to how long will it take before the two men clash openly and Pillay pulls rank and throws him out of the chamber? It is no secret that Pillay and Ramkalawan despise each other but in the Assembly, the Speaker is Boss and whatever he says, goes!

The speaker has a heavyweight in the wings that he can bring on board to give him support and which may frustrate Ramkalawan even more. If ex-Minister William Herminie is chosen as the new Clerk to the Assembly as it looks increasingly likely, how will Wavel work alongside him? They don’t see eye to eye and Herminie has spoken openly about overthrowing Wavel as leader of the opposition. And how long will it take before Wavel and Jean-Francois clash? Jean-Francois is another loose canon who does not suffer fools gladly and has a low opinion of Wavel.

All in all, the theatre of the National Assembly just got a lot more interesting and Friday night will never be the same again. To add spice to our Fridays, the President has appointed Simon Gill and Basil Hoareau as proportional members for his party. Gill is a through and through political animal trained in Cuba and the nemesis of Ramkalawan. Hoareau is the lawyer who humiliated Ramkalawan in Court once or twice. The stage is set for sparks to fly. The best Reality TV show is coming to our living rooms!


Stella Afif ("Manzer Koson") the biggest foul mouth!

Stella Afif is now the undisputed Queen of sleaze with one of the biggest foul mouths in the country; not so long ago she wanted to know if former President Rene was in pampers. We just wonder if her sister would have said the same about the former president. Stella has now gone further with her latest insults directed at her brother-in-law and the Islamic faith, the spiritual faith of her husband. This woman has now stepped out too far with her insults and must be reined back before she does more damage with her lousy mouth. She has managed to push JFF, the King of insults, back down in second place a hard feat to attain.

However, Stella Afif is muted on the two pieces of land she bought from government, which this newspaper has been asking her to explain – when government policy only allow for one plot per person, without land. The way in which she executed this fraudulent activity goes to show that the lady a schemer and devious woman.

On the 25th March 1994 parcel No. H3013 (898 sq.m) was transferred in her name for only SR40, 000. It is clearly stated on the transfer document that: The Transferee shall before transferring the property to any other person within the first five years of this Transfer first offer the property for sale to the Transferor.

We have no knowledge if that was the case, but, what we know is that in the same year, in fact barely six months after; on the 28th September 1994, she transferred ½ of that property to her husband; Mr. Ahmed Afif, making him a party to that fraud - And almost twelve months before buying another piece of land from government on 4th August, 2006. She transferred the other ½ to Ahmed Afif. On 27th April 2007 she bought plot number H6296 (2,860sq.m) from government.

So, before Stella goes off to insult another member of her husband’s family or anyone else – she must explain the circumstances surrounding the purchase of the two plots of land from government. It is clear that her husband was also a party to the deception and he too must now offer an explanation on the matter, especially now that he is an elected member of the National Assembly – more than ever before he is accountable to the electorates of Anse Etoile. We will publish their response in the spirit of the people’s right to information; the people who voted for him to be elected.

Ahmed and his wife have been shouting the loudest coming up to the National Assembly election about corruption. This is an opportunity for them to set themselves apart from the corrupt people in government with a simple explanation on the matter.


Potentially Dangerous and Dodgy People In The Assembly?

The first meeting of the newly elected National Assembly has been called for Tuesday, 27th September 2016; it will begin at 9.00a.m. According to the Constitution the speaker of the former National Assembly remain in office until a new one is elected; Dr. Patrick Herminie will preside over the first sitting, which will see the swearing in of the newly elected members. It will be followed with the election of the new speaker and both the outgoing and the newly elected speaker will address the house, followed by a recess. There is a strong possibility that Patrick Pillay will be elected Speaker of the new National Assembly.

The second sitting will reconvene after an hour at 10 am on the same day - chaired this time by the new Speaker to elect a leader of opposition and a deputy speaker. The leader of government business is appointed by the President this will also be announced. This will set out the first ever parliament in our political history where the opposition holds the majority. It is going to make interesting viewing or listening for that matter, eventually, when they venture in unchartered waters. The electorates will be watching attentively to see if the promises made to get votes will materialise or if it will be a case of deal making between the two sides behind the scene. This newspaper is of the view that this will probably be the case more often than not.

Knowing what we already know about Wavel Ramkalawan and co, we can expect a lot of business being conducted out of sight, in the dark, so to speak. We will be watching!

This National Assembly is full of dodgy people; lawyers who have stolen from  their clients, former Ministers who have abused their position when they were in office – a priest who has ordered sex toys for him to play with - former MNAs who have involved themselves in selling passports and making false declaration to the Land Registrar. In fact it is a mosaic of sleaze and dishonest individuals which the people have trusted to map out the future of our country. They could well surprise us by putting their worldly experiences to good use. However, if they don’t, one thing is for sure they will not get away with it, surely not in 2016.


Saturday, 17 September 2016

Parti Lepep remains in power, despite LDS win

Despite the LDS win of 19 seats to 14 seats the ruling Parti Lepep remains in power with James Michel as President until their mandate runs out in four years time in 2020.

The LDS victory means however that it will nominate the Speaker of the Assembly, in addition to the Leader of the Opposition. They will be in control of the legislation making body of the country for the next five years.

For LDS to bring about radical changes in the Executive, it is necessary to have a 2/3 majority, in other words at least 23 seats. Even then, it could only vote out a President at a time of acute crisis, or gross wrongdoing by the Presidency which would have to be upheld by the Supreme Court. The Speaker is a crucial post as he or she decides what items, such as proposed legislation, motions and questions will feature on the Assembly’s Order Paper.

Since 1993, when Ramkalawan was the sole member of the United Opposition (UO) party, the Assembly has been meeting once a week, which is on Tuesday.

Wavel Ramkalawan of LDS said during the campaign that if his party wins, the Assembly will meet three full days every week. This was not done even when he was Leader of the Opposition from 1998 to 2011. It remains to be seen whether the LDS will fulfill its commitment to the electorate - meeting thrice weekly will leave little time to attend to the electorate who voted them in.

The Parti Lepep has been more realistic in proposing two weekly sessions.

Despite the LDS having more seats, the overall votes tally is about equal for both sides.

Each side scored 49% of the votes, with the remainder going to the Seychelles Patriotic Movement (SPM) and the three independent candidates.

LDS scored rather heavily- 57% at Au Cap with Stephen Pillay, Beau Vallon with John Hoareau and Anse Etoile with Ahmed Afif...

Its traditional bastion of St Louis however went down to 55% or a majority of just over 200 votes.

Parti Lepep repeated its record of 70% with Noline Sophola at Inner Islands, while veteran Charles de Commarmond of Cascade secured a sixth mandate with 62%.

Parti Lepep also easily retained Pointe Larue, Roche Caiman, Grand Anse Mahe and Baie Ste Anne with scores of over 55%.


LDS - For the People & by the People?

History has shown over and over again that many election campaigns and manifesto pledges with all their promises made by the parties leading politicians have turned out to be downright lies and had been nothing more than gimmicks to win voters. When in power the wishes of the people, what they’re supposed to serve, are mainly ignored.

The general perception these days is that our political system is highly corrupt. Our leaders are pathological liars even when they are Priests, lacking in genuine caring, thoughtfulness and empathy. So are most other politicians, while remaining spineless, weak and like their leaders, too programmed, brainwashed, arrogant and self-centered to see outside of the grand deception.

People voting for the major parties describing it as exercising their so-called ‘democratic right’ while calling abstainers apathetic intending to induce guilt are just plain wrong: Electing one of the major political parties is a way of not only giving your power away, allowing to be governed by fascist tyranny, but also supporting it (knowing or unknowingly). Most big political parties are controlled by rich businessmen who call the shots from the comfort of their armchairs.

As for those abstainers, they cannot be blamed for anything because if nobody turned up to vote then no party could claim ‘tax or draft.’ That is, no one could get in office “by the power vested in them by the people.” Elections continue to reach all-time lows because many consider that voting changes nothing. Less people are turning up to vote during elections because more and more are seeing right through the whole charade.

The only way out of this disempowering fascist dictatorship is to look at the independent candidates. If they are not supporting the major political parties but genuinely willing and conscientiously caring enough to serve wethe-people, the voice on the street for freedom and justice and keep promises, then this is a real solution albeit that our people are yet to get their head around this concept.

A build up of independent candidates may take years, but if the investment in time, effort and risk starts to pay off by getting results then more and more candidates will be encouraged to follow in the footsteps. The window of opportunity for change is here, to create a new paradigm experience using different political approaches from different ideas.

The elections might be over this time but take note that there is another one just around the corner and when this happens, independents will be the way to go. The unholy Union now enjoying a majority in the National Assembly is set on a collision course with the Executive and it is only a matter of time that they fragment if not dissolved by a shrewd calculating President who will get them to shoulder all the responsibility of policy failure and public frustration. Watch this space!


Friday, 9 September 2016

Not a word from Stella Afif or Ahmed

According to a reliable source from within her circle the wife of the erstwhile PS for finance Ahmed Afif is now a very angry woman following our article exposing her as a cheat. The lady with a big mouth has gone silent on us and has not said one word to explain her acquisition of more than one plot of land from government and/or to explain the manner in which she did it. We are bringing you here the full story on how Mrs. Afif and her husband executed a devious little plan to fool the system or was it all orchestrated with the full collaboration of their friends in government at the time. Be it as it may Stella is known to be the one who is wearing the pants. In fact she is the one leading the campaign at Anse Etoile for a National Assembly seat for Ahmed. Will the electorate be fooled on the 10th of September by her wicked charm?

On the 30th March 1994 Stella bought parcel H3013 from government under her maiden name; later in that same year (28-09-1994) she transferred ½ of that land to Ahmed and on 4th August 2006 the other ½ was transferred to Ahmed and Mr. Afif became the proud owner of parcel H3013, which comprises of 898 Sq. metres of land. We believe that Stella made that move (transfer to Ahmed) in preparation for her deceitful assault on another piece of land from government.

Barely a year after transferring H3013 to Ahmed; on the 27th April 2007 Stella Afif bought again from government; H6296 was transferred in her married name this time of Stella Agnes Afif Didi comprising of 2860 Sq. metres of prime property. We are of the view that both Stella and Ahmed planned and executed this move together with the clear intention to break the rules and to deceive the system This is not the action of an honest person it goes to show that all the shouting and crying that both Ahmed and Stella has been doing over corruption in the last twelve months is hypocritical to say the least. They are both corrupt! They are no different to those in government who have been stealing from this country. They too will have to face the anti-corruption commission when it is finally up and running or will they be protected if LDS wins a majority of seats?


Monday, 5 September 2016

How many plots of land did Stella Afif buy from government??

Mrs. Afif has been very mischievous – she has been playing a naughty game with Mr. Afif, since 1994, however, maybe not in the sense that you are thinking. They have been swapping more than they should between themselves and now it is out in the open and we are all looking at them stark naked. We are publishing here two titles for two plots of land, which shows that Mrs. Stella has bought two pieces of land from government, when the policy is one plot per person. Maybe there is a good explanation, so we are providing Mr. and Mrs. Didi with an opportunity to provide the public with their version of the story in the name of transparency, accountability and good governance. We will have the full story next week:

Source: Independent

More Questions for Answers for Mr. Afif or maybe for Mrs. Afif too!

As we head into the 2016 Seychelles National Assembly elections an extract from the wikileaks concerning Mr. Afif the Principal Secretary of Finance states:

“In 2006, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Finance (MOF) explicitly told a USG-funded debt management advisor that GOS would not consider currency devaluation in the immediate future. Furthermore, despite the exasperating effects that overvaluing the rupee had on foreign exchange and GOS’ ability to pay off foreign debt, the Central Bank of Seychelles (CBS) and MOF Debt Management Team encouraged the USG advisor to focus on domestic debt only…”

The cable from the wikileaks. org describes a situation of chronic corruption within the civil service headed by the Ministry of Finance with the Principal Secretary of Finance at the forefront of managing our finances or as in the case pointed out by the wikileaks cables mismanaging our finances.

It is important to note that Afif wants to go into the National Assembly on the promise to work for the betterment of the condition of Seychelles. On what do we judge Mr. Afif as to whether or not he will keep his promise? If it is from past performance Mr. Afif will surely fall far short of what is required to meet expectations. This is because he is part and parcel of the problem – and by shifting sides he wants us to believe that he is now part of the solution.

An ominous scenario that beckons over the horizon is that the evil gangrene of corruption has made inroads in all the political fabric of our society. By playing across the board (Koup de kote), the corrupt are sure to always be on the winning side. Having sounded the warning remains for us to only see the fruits of the seeds now supposedly being planted.

The basis of the above is that all the anti-corruption legislation produced by the Government of Seychelles had Mr. Afif as the technocrat supervising its drafting. Given his deep involvement in all of the above, how will Mr. Afif proceed to guide Seychelles out of the clutches of the kleptocrats and save his neck at the same time?

Ahmed Afif has so far refused to answer any of our questions, he has remained quiet without any reaction, however, his wife has not been so calm; on several occasions she has attacked  the editor of this newspaper on Facebook. Ahmed is a shrewd guy he knows that we might have something up our sleeves, but the lady is not so clever. She has been barking at the editor senselessly to show that she can bark. Now it is her turn to answer some questions, because she too is corrupt like her husband and we have evidence: Can Stella Agnes Afif Didi nee Morel, please tell us how many pieces of land she has bought from this government? Can she explain under what criteria she bought parcel H3013 on the 10th January 1992 and additionally under what criteria she bought again from that same corrupt government parcel H6296 on the 27TH April 2007? Mrs. Afif we also know of the unethical transactions that took place in regards to parcel H3013 – that is another little story for later. We can safely state that Ahmed and his wife (Stella) were in cahoots with the clear intention to manipulate the system for personal gain.

You see Stella when you live in a glass house you don’t throw stones to someone who fought for your freedom and democratic rights – when you and your husband were enjoying the trappings of this corrupt system, which you were part of and you are still corrupt to the hilt for supporting another corruptive political party (LDS). The editor was doing jail time for you be able to “pil lo li” today in 2016.

Questions that Ahmed Afif  has not answered so far:
(1) Ahmed Afif have you ever lied to the Seselwa when you were Principal Secretary for Finance – when you said many times there were no corruption in government?

 (2) Ahmed Afif did you lie when you also helped defend and cover up the loss of 4.5 million dollars intended for the housing project at Perseverance?

(3) Ahmed Afif can you confirm or deny the allegation that foreign exchange confiscated by the currency police was given to you directly?

 (4) Ahmed Afif did you apply for a duty free vehicle, namely a Ford Ranger (s5318) in February 2005 on the basis that you are a handicapped person?

(5) Ahmed Afif can you tell us what you know about the consultancy firm ‘White Oak’, who hired this company and how much was paid to them and for how long?

 (6) Mr. Ahmed Afif during your employment with this “corrupt” government have you ever asked a supplier for Health Supplies for a commission of Euro 50,000 saying that it was for your superiors, “pour mes superieurs”?

(7) Ahmed Afif will you be prepared to appear before the Corruption Commission when it is finally set up?

 (8) Ahmed why did you stay quiet over the 50 million USD and what part if any did you play in allowing it to leave the country?

 (9) Ahmed was it you who authorized the transfer of that money to a branch of the Bank of Baroda in the UK on the request of France Albert Rene?


LDS candidates spoke for 5 minutes, saying nothing

What a let down for opposition supporters! The LDS candidates, many believed were strong, have turned out to be weaklings.

Some can hardly speak for just a couple of minutes, without repeating themselves twice or even three times. They were easily outsmarted by the SPM and independent candidates speaking after them.

This was clearly borne out to all SBC TV viewers who tuned in last weekend to hear the candidates for Au Cap and Baie Lazare, Baie Ste Anne, Beau Vallon. And Bel Air.

At Au Cap, Stephen Pillay was ram-rod stiff reading from a prepared script, presumably written for him by someone else. There was a lot of repetition.

In contrast the PL candidate Geralda Desaubin, and the Independent Ralph Volcere, came out relaxed and speaking off the cuff in the open air.

Mr. Volcere, for instance, clearly explained how the best way to fight the drugs scourge was to relax restrictions on the use of cannabis, using it for its medicinal virtues and recreation; some countries have already adopted this practice. There will be legislation to control its sale and use and never think for an instant that such relaxation will lead to large scale trafficking.

The main worry is hard drugs, notably heroine and shifting the focus from cannabis to the hard stuff will go a long way towards solving the scourge.

At Baie Ste Anne, Achille Savy turned out to be a pathetic speaker. He had difficulty getting a few words across, saying all the time what “a good man with a good heart” he was. Man, if you cannot speak for two minutes, how can you aspire to go into the National Assembly? What are you going to say there?

Speaking after him, the SPM candidate, Davis Accouche, a former driver with Land Transport, beat him by miles. Accouche went into a list of shortcomings from Anse Lazio to Anse Boudin and from Cote D’Or to Baie Ste Anne, including the non-existence of toilet facilities at tourism sites.

John Hoareau of Beau Vallon, as with Stephen, was also nervous and stiff. The 5-minute PPB was clearly an ordeal for them both.

Hoareau was clearly outsmarted by SPM Gerry Sopha of SPM who is not new to politics, having backed SNP in the past. He clearly had done his homework and questioned the follow-up on plans for the Beau Vallon Promenade concluded with “Savoy Hotel”. He also questioned the outcome of negotiations with “Societe du Logement” for Pascal Village housing development.

However, PL candidate Mirena Souris had an answer to that and she produced the recent agreement with the Catholic organization for government to continue its housing development programme.

At Anse Royale, Flory Larue of LDS had promised a surprise! The awaited surprise was the transfer of several plots of land to Parti Lepep. Then she dropped a bombshell. PL had used the land to build a public market! So where is the controversy? At least, VP Faure did not help himself, as was the case with Pat Pillay at Port Launay and Montagne Posee, or Ramkalawan with a prime site at Anse Royale.

As for the big flower pot Loizeau of Bel Air, who said two weeks ago he will sack Alain St Ange who got him elected in 2007, he had nothing to say. According to Loizeau, a former lightsman at SBCTV, he had been in the Assembly before (2007-2011), where he had “learned”. As such he is not new. In his PPB on Monday, he brought in two of his sisters to speak for him. You can never beat that for being ridiculous!