Scandals and court cases does not augur good for MSM regime

There is no week – and sometimes days – that pass without a scandal erupting in Mauritius, scandals that involve high officials, ministerial advisers and others.

The people of Mauritius has shown its disgust more than enough, urging the current regime to buckle up or to vacate the corridors of power.

Since there are little signs the government in place is capable of turning things around – with the plethora of bad omen against it – it is not senseless to believe that the ‘friendly’ nations are exasperated by the situation.

In a recent survey published exclusively by and denied by the High Commission of India in Port Louis, we were told the following:
1. The Movement Socialist Militant (MSM) is in a difficult state having lost most of its ‘popularity’
2. The current government in place has lost its favours with a ‘friendly’ nation
3. It is expected that Mauritius would go for snap polls before December this year
4. That the MSM will be trashed in such an elections
5. That two non-Hindu led parties, the Movement Militant Mauricien (MMM) of Paul Berenger and the Party Mauricien Social Democrat (PMSD) of Xavier-Luc Duval are in a stronger position to topple the regime of Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth in an election

Many are disputing that, but others – particularly those in the mess – would not.

However, the government has its own reasons to fight it out, and prove itself capable of running the country.

It cited the vote of confidence it apparently received from the Indian government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the latter disbursed a whopping billion rupees financial aid to Mauritius.

But the regime in place should also know that India disbursed the money for two main reasons:
1. That it had to deliver what it promised
2. It has given the regime a chance to prove itself loyal to India’s helping hand and to the people of Mauritius

Nevertheless, a string of scandals has hit the country before, during and after the Budget was read by Jugnauth Jr.

Let us look at some of the most damning of the accusations against the MSM and its ally in power the Movement Liberateur (ML) of Ivan Collendavelloo and the factual elements behind them.

It is a fact that Pravind Jugnauth is still not free from his possible banishment as an Member of Parliament.

A Prime Minister in limbo
Recall that in June last year, two magistrates – Niroshini Ramsoondar and Azam Neerooa of the Intermediate Court – declared Pravind Jugnauth guilty of conflict of interests in the case of MedPoint Clinic.

He was charged with conflict of interest in the acquisition of MedPoint Clinic by the government to the cost of 144.7 million rupees.

The anti-corruption commission accused him of having given his approval in December 2010, as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, to the redemption of the clinic.

His sister was at that time a shareholder in the clinic and his brother-in-law director of the institution.

In March this year, the Supreme Court heard the appeal of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Satyajit Boolell, Senior Counsel, against Pravind Jugnauth, in the wake of MedPoint affair.

The DPP is challenging the decision of the Supreme Court which cleared Pravind Jugnauth in the case.

The clearing of Pravind shocked many in the country.

Some people said it actually weakened the Mauritius judiciary.

Boolell is trying to obtain the approval of this judicial body in order to be able to refer the case to the Privy Council.

This first step will be critical for the DPP and crucial for Pravind.

While the DPP will have to convince the two judges, who will hear his arguments, that his approach is in the public interest, Pravind lawyers will fight back in the hope their client will be freed once for all.

On the other hand, the DPP must use a Special Leave to access the Privy Council, which sources said will be the last resort used by the DPP to achieve its aim of restoring justice in this case.

Hence, we see that there is so much instability around the leadership of the PM.

Then there is the case of Ramprakash Maunthrooa who is a Senior Adviser at the Prime Minister’s Office.

The latter is still deeply entangled in a case that the powers that be is finding hard to bury, said a source.

The trial of the former chairman of the Mauritius Ports Authority (MPA) Siddick Chady and the former director general of the institution, Prakash Maunthrooa, accused of corruption and conspiracy in the Boskalis case, is still ongoing.

And yet, the man is still an adviser to the PM, which is a shady situation and this is reflected in the Indian based survey according to sources from New Delhi.

Magistrate Wendy Rangan dismissed the defence motion challenging the legality of the police investigation on June 15.

And the entanglement continues

Minister Showkutally SOODHUN, who is the Vice-Prime Minister of Mauritius and the Minister of Housing and Lands is facing a series of troubles of his own making, said a source.

In an editorial in Sunday Times, Zahirah Radha wrote:
“Ever since he was a minister, Showkutally Soodhun has stuffed his nose wherever it does not concern him.

“He has committed blunders on gaffes, whether on the management of the Hadj file or on his grotesque hold on our international diplomacy.

“It will be remembered how he negotiated for Mauritius to participate in a military exercise, dubbed “North Thunder” in Saudi Arabia last year, despite the fact that the domestic or foreign policy problem of this country does not concern us.”

She attacked his recent manoeuvres to terminate the relationship between Mauritius and Qatar, which she said have only tarnished the image of the country.

“This diplomatic oddity even necessitated the extreme intervention of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in order to limit the breakage,” she said.

But there are also accusations of corruption as reported by the Sunday TImes.

We are still waiting to see if the appearance of a video purportedly showing the minister taking the bribe in a development project in Mauritius.

And there is Ganesh Niko, a ministerial advisor with a tumultuous past.

He was already on parole in another case of aggression and is now behind bars again.

He is the counsel to the Minister of Finance, Sudhir Sesungkur.

Last but not least – and believe us the list is longer – we set our sight on the Attorney General Ravi Yerrigadoo.

Sunday Times – the most prolific media organ in Mauritius – revealed a soundtrack that purportedly implicates Yerrigadoo for taking bribes.

The publication is now facing a libel suit, with the plaintiff claiming it is an attempt to undermine the attorney and a president of a district council in Rivière-du-Rempart, Subiraj Ellayah.

And in these circumstances, with the load of suspicion weighing on the team behind Jugnauth Jr, there is little to wonder whether the foreign ‘friends’ of Mauritius are not worried at all of the impending situation?

Respect for Media Freedom!

At worldfutureTv we mean no harm to the political elite.

They should understand that Mauritius was built on the basis of media freedom and all attempts to curb on such freedom will be fought vigorously.

Remember Harish Boodhoo’s attempt to impose his grip on the media in Mauritius in the 1980′, and was the consequence in the end?

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