Mauritius: Media bias does not help anti-corruption fight

Mauritius: Media bias does not help anti-corruption fight

March 9, 2017 0 By User

PICTURE CREDIT: People’s Pundit Daily

The fact that the Mauritius government controls the only domestic television network on the island (MBC TV), which opposition parties and media commentators often criticise for pro-government bias, said Transparency International or TI.

Hence, the solution is to get the Mauritius government to understand that if it want to get better linkages in the global supply chain and become a descent player in the modern world, it has to eliminate this media bias.

To do so, it has to allow the opening of the airwaves and let free TV players to play their role.

For this to happen, the people of Mauritius must tell the political parties – which are all bias when they are in power – to stop playing the innocent and to a act on curtailing the MBC’s power.

The constitution and law of Mauritius provides for freedom of speech and freedom of the press, and individuals are free to criticise the government without fear of reprisal.

However, the government has not always upheld the highest standards of press freedom and journalists have complained about censorship and harassment on political grounds.

For example, officials have occasionally used libel law to suppress media criticism, and although the charges have usually been dropped, there seems sometimes to be an intent to intimidate

The PPO’s 2013 annual report noted that two suppliers had been suspended (Mauritian Public Procurement Office 2013: 13), although the public list on the PPO’s website did not list one single suspended firm as of September 2014.

Ingrained corruption

Transparency International said corruption in Mauritius is ingrained in the country’s fabric, with enduring weaknesses at legislative level to tackle the problem.

There is a lack of right to information act and regulations to deal both with private sector corruption and the funding of political parties.

As usual, we can see it is politics that remains so dirty!

TI said Mauritius is frequently lauded as sub-Saharan Africa’s shining example of democracy, good governance and economic success.

In the last 15 years, successive Mauritian governments have placed a real emphasis on anti-corruption measures and achieved some notable results, particularly the passing of a series of laws and the establishment of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) in 2002.

Nonetheless, while it is true that Mauritius performs well in comparative regional studies and indices, all too often this obscures a problem with corruption referred to as “pervasive and ingrained” in cables leaked from the US embassy.

The role of the island state as a centre for offshore financial services continues to be a driver of high-level corruption. Petty corruption in law enforcement and customs is also rampant.

At the legislative level, there are enduring weaknesses in the integrity framework, particularly with regards to the lack of a right to information act and regulations dealing both with private sector corruption and the funding of political parties.

Perceived corruption in the country has been on a steady increase since 2011 following a series of high- profile corruption scandals.

The “accountability” component of the Mo Ibrahim score has been in gradual decline since a peak performance of 79.3 in 2009, and Mauritius has slipped down the CPI rankings since 2009, when it was judged to be the 39th least corrupt country worldwide (Transparency International 2010).

The main drivers of corruption in Mauritius include the complicated relationship between business interests and politics, an opaque party financing system, lack of citizen oversight and the occasionally partisan nature of investigative bodies.

TI said corruption also existed in the public procurement and the energy sector.