Saturday, 17 December 2016

Minister Charles Bastienne said “No fire, No smoke”

‘Innocent until proven guilty’

This newspaper has been following development in regards to the allegation of corruption made against the former Minister of Home Affairs, very closely. We have also spoken to the security company at the centre of this controversy to establish the facts about this situation because this newspaper is totally against any form of corruption. The editor quit opposition party politics because they had become corrupt like this government and when he left they targeted him to try silencing him, they have failed.

We are of the view that corruption in government and out is almost entirely responsible for the exaggerated high costs of living. This country is a very small country with a tiny economy and corruption is having a direct impact on the country’s financial matters and it is affecting the ordinary Seselwa the most, especially those on low incomes.

According to the local agency that did the recruitment for the Nepalese security guards for the Montagne Posee Prison; They also told us that the Minister was never part of any negotiation for money, other than the initial US500 paid for recruitment fees for the 19 Nepalese who arrived in the country. As far as the recruitment process was concerned. The Minister never received any money from the local agency or the Nepalese agency - there is no proof of that ever happening. If there any evidence to that effect this newspaper would like to see it and we will help nail the perpetrators.

However, all indications are that the recruitment agency in Nepal could be guilty of a serious case of human trafficking. They were charging an extortion fee of US8000dollars per head to the Nepalese security officers – who had to take out loans to be able to pay to come work in Seychelles. The allegations of corruption against Minister Bastienne were made without checking the real facts in this matter, with the full intention to create maximum damage to the credibility of the Minister and the government of President Faure. According to a comment made by an employee of the local security company involved in that matter,“the attack on Minister Bastienne was politically motivated by people who are known to have killed many people at Grand Police, maybe they should start telling the truth about their activities when they were the henchman for this brutal regime during the one party era”.

We are also of the view that Minister Charles Bastienne is being targeted because he had the guts to go after a big businessman (LDS benefactor) who scammed government of many millions of rupees in GOP fees.

Minister Bastienne has stated on National Television; “if I was interested in corruption, why would Charles Bastienne go out of his way and reduce the salary of the Nepalese officers from USD1,200 to USD700. The Government through the Police and Prison is employing around ... 200 Nepalese Officers, which would save the Government SR16 Million per year. Is this the corruption they are talking about?”

“Now that President Faure has asked me to work to reduce the cost of construction in the country in my new portfolio, and the fact that I have been told that there are cartels in this country, will I then be accused of corruption? If such is the case, then I am more determined to do it as I will be doing it for my country!”

As it stands now there is absolutely no evidence that Minister Charles Bastienne did anything wrong in this particular case, however, if fresh evidence do come to light it will be published by this newspaper. We are appealing to people with information on the matter and on corruption generally to come forward, your identity will be protected. We need to fight corruption wherever it exist in Seychelles; in the private and public sector. This is the only way to combat the high costs of living.


No Case to Answer for Minister Larue

The NDEA was on SBC on Wednesday night, to nullify allegations of drugs being found on the property of the Minister. According to the new head of the NDEA, Mr. Liam Quinn the drugs found on Praslin, which amounted to almost one kilo was not found on the property of Minister Larue and it is not connected to her in any manner or form as was being rumored by the LDS leadership – who had only one thing on his mind and that was to destroy the reputation of a government minister instead of establishing the real facts in that matter.

 It was clear that the accusation was politically motivated to cause damage to the government. The problem with this kind of strategy is that it is in fact helping the government because when there is a true story people have a propensity to doubt its authenticity. It is of paramount importance for influential people in society to verify the facts about any story before they pronounce an opinion.


Friday, 16 December 2016

Soundy V/s Ramkalawan

Dear Roger


I would like to thank you for your kind attention on Monday, and in understanding my position in respect of various issues which has left me with no other alternative but to resign from the above posts that I have been holding with the Party.

Sadly, this decision has been taken after evaluating and assessing my position, as an Office bearer, particularly in the post of Treasurer. I have therefore decided that this is the best option in order to safeguard my integrity, which cannot be compromised in financial transactions that I have no knowledge of.

The bye-election of Mont Fleurie district has shown me that the Party is not living up to its cause, which is democracy and transparency, and furthermore, our Party Constitution is not being respected.

I always believed that the SNP existed because the people who formed this party wanted a change from the dictatorship rule of SPPF. Suffice to say, my short time within the party has shown me that should the SNP win an election tomorrow, the Leadership will not be much different.

After Wavel came back from his fund-raising mission from South Africa, he never mentioned to me nor the executive members if he had been successful in obtaining any funds, but I will have to assume  that funds have been received. I personally asked him 4 days later and he replied that he will speak to me later and this of course never materialised. In an Office Bearers meeting I was told that money received from donors should remain anonymous, which of course I respected, since Maryse Eichler and myself received some donations too for the election of R10,000-00 and R5,000-00 respectively. This, was mentioned in the Executive Committee meeting and the sums were also disclosed. Unfortunately, the overseas funds were not disclosed and I can confirm that I have no knowledge of any details, although Wavel stated in that particular Office Bearers meeting, that R100,000-00 was received by him and Jean Francois from other donors. Wavel further stated that amounts received will not be disclosed and does not have to go through the account, because SPPF has created such a precedence and therefore we should do the same. Such a strong statement coming from our Leader who is fighting for democracy and transparency has left me disillusioned and very disappointed.

Our Constitution stipulates, we have to declare and record all donations received and when I encounter such actions within our leadership, I can only conclude that this may have occured in the past, without the Treasurer’s knowledge.

The other issue which has disturbed me, is that the Party and its Leadership can no longer identify who the opponent and the enemy is. Most members of the Executive Committee are seen as threats and our Leader is more determined to fight against them, than with SPPF. Trust in the executive members, are of paramount importance if the SNP wants to lead the country tomorrow. Unfortunately, this is not the case within the SNP. To name every details of what has happened will be too tedious, I will however mentioned two examples which have also led me to resign today.

( 1) The remarks made in a meeting with office staff by Wavel, about an article in Weekly, demeaned his position as our Leader, by stating that if Bernard Georges had voter appeal, he would not have won a district election by only 4 votes. He went on further by saying he could contest and win by 150 votes. This for me, was uncalled for and I just could not comprehend who exactly was Wavel fighting with.

(2) Another one worth mentioning is Jane Carpin. This woman who has been working so tirelessly for Au Cap is definitely not well liked within the Leadership. I cannot understand why she was not told in the first place that the Party will prefer another person other than her to run for Parliament. After the Parliamentary elections, the Au Cap activists insisted to have a meeting with Wavel concerning Jane’s position. He promised that Jane will be allowed in after one year. When a questioned was raised by Nigel Rosette sometime back concerning rotation, Wavel stressed that he is not contemplating any such moves yet. He and only he will decide when to do so. I have been asking myself if other members on the Committee have been wasting their time coming to these meetings every Monday. Jane is now 52 years old and has given the last couple of years of her life to work full time for the party, is it therefore fair that she is treated in that manner? The only pension she will receive is when she attains 63 years of age and that is in 11 years time! All that, because she was working for country and not for herself! Was all this worth it? What about what she succumbed in October 2006, hasn’t she also put herself at risk? This, unfortunately has never been acknowledge by Wavel in all his speeches or remarks and I have personally noticed he refuses to name Jane’s name.

I know that somehow I will be ridiculed, and I am not showing anyone how to do politics, which is a remark that has been made countless times whilst I have been in this office. Respect, as we all know is earned and not gained, but one will never get respect from colleagues if he/she does not have respect for himself and display dignity, humility and true leadership without forgetting who put him there and why he was entrusted in the first place.

Boisterous remarks about different persons have been openly voiced in an unprofessional manner. All these people big and small, rich and poor, businessman and labourer have assisted in different ways to bring the SNP were it is today, but somehow all this has been forgotten, and this, is very sad to say the least. I could go on and on stating facts, but the big question I have been asking myself lately is, do I still believe in this Party and its Leadership?

It is true that every country is special to its citizens just like every child is special to its parents. However, a country is bigger and more important than one person or even a group of people. We also have a very stubborn leadership which refuses to respect views of its members and to accept change within its party. You cannot change the country if you cannot accept change internally and lead without being a dictator. Members who have dared to share a different opinion has been shut up or worse still have been made to feel small amongst his colleagues.

Seychelles’s economic regression has been caused by official neglect and the promotion of massive economic waste and corruption. We need a new vision and national rededication to halt this decline so that we can begin to take first steps in the direction of recovery. But is our party and its leadership ready for that?

If and when our economy is reawakened, there will be more for each one of us, as well as more security and stability. We have been making the point that Seychelles is not a lost cause. It can be rehabilitated. More importantly, the people of Seychelles will rally behind this country if Leadership shows the way. The most critical commitment by all of us must be that Seychelles will not be allowed to disintegrate. Today when our economy and the country is at its worst, SNP is not showing the people that it does care to come at the forefront with renewed conviction and gain mileage if we want to win the coming election. Instead, I have been hearing certain persons talk only about their pensions and what they will get at the end of each year, forgetting the labourer who is sweating every hour just to bring some food on the table. Pressure is not being applied on the Government by the leadership. Motions brought to the assembly is excellent work, but what about the extra effort, such as strong communiqués, press conference and so on?

 The political leadership that has brought Seychelles to the brink of ruin has shown near genius in its ability to understand the Seychellois character and to adroitly exploit this knowledge for political survival. Of course this elite leadership has helped to shape the Seychellois character in ways that facilitate authoritarian and corrupt rule. Seychellois are patient people and most are hard working and have a natural respect for authority and tend to believe what the authorities tell them. Seychellois have faith in authority, and expect the authorities to act honestly and in the best interests of the nation. But this does not mean that we are sheep and we are not scared to try out new ideas. Within the SNP, this has been the case, but often times the faith has not been respected. Above all, it is vital that we be faithful to the constitutional and legal reality of multipartyism so that we cease being a Jekyll and Hyde country with two conflicting personalities. The point must however be stressed that if multipartyism is genuinely practised it must contain the seeds of democracy and transparency. To conclude, I would like to thank everyone for the support given to me whilst in office and trust you will understand my position to that effect.

 Wishing you all, all the best in your work and dedication.


Saturday, 10 December 2016

LDS majority voted against 13th month salary

It was a well thought out plan by Wavel Ramkalawan to satisfy his financial backers, by using delaying tactics. We are of the opinion, that his little plan to stall the end of the year benefit for private sector workers to please his paymasters has not worked to his satisfaction LDS majority voted against 13th month salary and the people are not fooled. The political backlash could be costly for the multi-millionaire Anglican priest.

Wavel along with all the other MNAs, will earn an end of year extra pay cheque each. The ordinary MNAs will take home an additional scr80,000 each (eighty thousand rupees) as end of year bonus. Being the leader of opposition, Wavel will earn himself an additional scr102,000 (one hundred and two thousand rupees) as end of year gratuity.

The MNAs doesn’t care where the money is coming from, or who is making the sacrifices for them to earn this kind of money. However, when it comes to giving the private sector workers the same benefits; a 13th month salary cheque – Wavel is very concern about where the money will have to come from, as if it’s his money. He is doing everything he can to protect the benefactors.

On Tuesday in the National Assembly, LDS voted against the bill that would have granted the private sector workers a mandatory end of year extra pay cheque each - brought in for approval by Employment Minister Wallace Cosgrow.

This week on Tuesday the Minister for Employment was before the National Assembly again - this time to present the Employment Bill, which contained the 13th month salary for private sector workers. Right from the start, the LDS majority led by Ramkalawan went looking for justification to postpone voting on the bill or to vote against if he couldn’t get the bill withdrawn. They tried every argument that they could possibly come up with - Minister Wallace Cosgrow refused to pull back the bill leaving Wavel Ramkalawan with no way out – he literally ordered all the LDS members to vote against the bill that would have given all Seselwa private sector workers an end of year additional pay cheque. This is how Wavel repay them, (private sector workers) for helping him win the National Assembly election.

This is not the first time that Wavel has shown resentment when it comes to the salary of ordinary workers; two weeks ago he said in the National Assembly that he was against paying STC workers an additional month salary on top of the 13th month. Can we trust that man? Is he on the side of the working class or supporting big business?


Monday, 5 December 2016

Ramkalawan refused to vote on BULLYING motion

The Elected Member for Baie St. Anne tabled a National Assembly motion this week in the asking the Government and all concerned to take steps to address bullying in our schools. The Leader of Opposition played down and trivialized the issue, saying that the problem of bullying is being magnified and exaggerated. This is not what the many people being affected by bullying expected from Wavel. He went on to state that his son goes to a private school and the problem is nonexistent at The Independent School. When it came to voting for the motion Wavel abstained – The Speaker without realizing that situation said that the motion had been accepted unanimously, when it was queried by PL members. The Speaker asked for a fresh vote to be taken and this time around Gervais Henri also abstained. This is an episode tantamount to an old story about Mr. Joseph Jeanmore and Harry Savy – every time Harry would fart it was Joseph who would excuse himself for farting. It was a slavish mentality, which is now being adopted by certain members in the LDS to kowtow to their leader.


Sunday, 4 December 2016

Gerard Hoareau Assassinated on whose order?

Many people over the years have tried to use the good name of Gerard Hoareau and his assassination on a cold winter’s morning in London on 29th November 1985 to advance their political agenda. In our opinion this is totally distasteful. Certain LDS top officials, in the run-up to the National Assembly elections used and abused the hero’s memory to try win the election. However, on Tuesday this week in the National Assembly, they failed to observed a minute silence to honor the memory of Gerard Hoareau and all who have been killed fighting for freedom in Seychelles. Speaker Patrick Pillay has full authority over proceedings he could have called for a minute of silence. Proving beyond doubt that they are all a bunch of hypocrites…..

The Speaker himself in an article written in his party’s mouthpiece earlier this year, insinuated that the editor of this newspaper might have played a role in Gerard’s killing. It was gutter politics at its worse, coming from a highly educated man. Where was he when Gerard was being gunned down in a street of London? Knowing what he knew why did he accept Ministerial positions in a Government that assassinated people? Does that make him a party to the assassinations and killings?

However, Gerard’s memory with all the other fallen heroes must be used as a powerful instrument with which to nurture and grow our democratic gains so far, but not to be abused by people seeking political power.

We have forgiven Pillay in the spirit of national reconciliation and the fight for democracy, in which he has contributed very little, and is bigger than him, in fact far bigger than all of us put together. The memories of our fallen heroes must not be used and abused by those seeking high political office ever again. Their (heroes) cause and that of their families must be advanced in a sincere manner to achieve meaningful closure, not political mileage.

Now, that LDS has the majority in the National Assembly why are they not pushing through a motion to ask government to allow the body of Gerard Hoareau to be brought back to his birth place and 29th November declared the ‘National Reconciliation Day’ in memory of all our fallen heroes. This could ignite and fuel the flame of genuine reconciliation, which are now merely spoken words without any sincere action to back up the rhetoric of rapprochement between the two (PL and LDS) halves of the political divide in the country.


Jean Francois speaking on Government Land

On Tuesday Jean Francois Ferrari was disrespectful to Minister Dogley in the National Assembly – he was calling him “Minis SPPF” several times and The Speaker failed to intervene to call him to order and to ask him to withdraw his remarks. The way that he was talking to the Minister clearly had a racist connotation to it; the white slave master speaking down to the black man. However, the Minister who is far too polite than JFF will ever be, took it in his stride. Jean Francois continued his shenanigan in the afternoon when he had another go at the same Minister this time about land that had been leased out to a construction company for a hotel development, allegedly. Even if Minister Dogley is not holding the land portfolio Jean Francois persisted with his assault on him encouraged by the Speaker’s hesitation to rein him back.

It must be stated that Jean Francois Ferrari is the eldest son of former Minister Dr. Maxime Ferrari – who was land minister in the government of President Rene after the coup d’état; Maxime Ferrari is responsible for taking land from many people out of revenge under the compulsory acquisition law, because these people were supporters of former President Mancham. Ferrari senior was a ruthless guy who took no prisoners dishing out just reward to those he didn’t see eye to eye with, maybe he could speak to his dad about land for more information. Jean Francois is also the cousin of Patrick Lablache who has been in the land sector for many many years, under Rene, Michel and now Faure – if JFF was so keen to know everything about government land and the way that and has been distributed his cousin and father have all the answers. By attacking Minister Dogley who is not the Minister for Land, Jean Francois was out of order, but maybe the Speaker was afraid of him because he is a white man talking down to a black government Minister. This is the state of the National Assembly in 2016 under the watch of Patrick Pillay.