Soundy V/s Ramkalawan
RESIGNATION – TREASURER AND CHAIRPERSON SNP WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION
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.
Sincerely, VIVIENNE SOUNDY