Stop the decline of our nation | 10 March 2020
Our nation is declining too fast. Yet we have today in Seychelles sufficient trained and qualified Seychellois who can make Seychelles a very prosperous country. Our politicians insist on taking a begging bowl to our neighbours for us to make our way in the world. We are proud to be Seychellois and we are asking our politicians to stop begging and let us get involved in activities that will raise Seychelles and all Seychellois above the poverty line. The politicians in our government have made sure we stay poor while they steal our money and put it in offshore domains and the land they have stolen have been divided and shared among friends and family. The cow dung about taking from the rich to give to the poor that Albert Rene said he was doing is now in the open because in the process he made sure that he and his family received their share of the land which they later sold and made an absolute fortune. Time has arrived to give back to the People what belongs to the People.
Seychelles is going down a dangerous precipice
Not a day goes by that we do not have a power cut or water stoppage somewhere. Government departments and ministries do not answer the phone after 3.45pm anymore. Ministers do not answer correspondence, the President does not answer correspondence either. Every Friday our President sees a handful of chosen people then he goes out on an election campaign to shake hands with people to canvass their votes. People are given the impression that the government is giving them houses when it is the tax payers who are giving our people the home they deserve.
Farce and Masquerade
Each time a foreign politician comes to visit Seychelles we roll out the red carpet and we line up our soldiers to greet him/her, what for? This is a throwback from the old colonial days and must stop. Nowadays no politician is worth the red carpet treatment not even Donald Trump. Another farce is why does SBC interview every foreign representative who comes here to present his/her credentials to our President? What for and for whose benefits? During the SBC interviews these foreign representatives claim their country is in partnership with Seychelles in Commerce, Education, Agriculture, Fisheries and Tourism etc, which is a load of cow dung. If all these political representatives and their respective countries were doing what they say they are doing then Seychelles would have a booming economy trading with all these countries. Well do we? Of course not, it is a farce and masquerade.
The totalitarian mind-sets prevail
Our nation has endured 43 years of totalitarian rule, a recent example is we were told we will build 2 tunnels but we have not seen any study on the project and we do not know that in so doing we will end up with Mahé North Island and Mahé South Island. We are told we will have Free WI-FI on the buses when young people already spend too much time on their mobile phones. Instead of Free WI-FI how about more frequent buses? All these things surely must be discussed and agreed with the people before they are forced down our throats, is this democracy?
Atrocities committed on our people
Almost every day we witness on national TV our fellow citizens pour out their emotions about the loss of a family member who was taken away, tortured and killed by a brutal regime and yet the same people who were associated with the horrors of our Coup D’état now want us to re-elect them? Are they mad or are we stupid?
Areas of decline are humongous
Trying to have a meeting with the President is today difficult even when you send him an Agenda of important issues you wish to discuss such as the monorail to alleviate the unacceptable congestion on our roads. In addition letters including invitations to a charity show sent to important people including the vice-president and the president do not get acknowledged. By 3.45pm no one in any ministry or government department will answer the phone.
What about our Postal Service?
It took 10 days for a registered letter to travel from Praslin to me on Mahé and the Postmaster General told me that was because there were no deliveries to Anse Des Genets (opposite the airport) on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and of course none on Sunday because they have a shortage of postmen. Three days no letter delivery and no one tells us about it. When I enquired how much a postman gets paid I found that the pay is R8,000.00 per month which amounts to R96,000.00 p.a. Now consider the president gets paid circa R1,800,000.00 p.a. (150,000.00 per month); Wavel Ramkalawan circa R1,600,000.00 p.a. (130,000.00 per month) and Charles De Comarmond circa R1,600,000.00 p.a.(130,000.00 per month) how on earth can you expect to get a postman to work for R96,000.00 p.a. (R8,000.00 per month)?
What about training?
There is insufficient training of the lower grades in government and this creates a shortage of capable Seychellois workers. Only those close to their superiors get to go on overseas training.
What about our Police Force?
Some police officers drive around not wearing their seat belts, while others overtake you on continuous white lines. Are they not supposed to set an example?
What about drugs?
We send our naval vessel to patrol the area around Assomption Island, South of Mahé, to protect India’s oil route while drugs are coming to Seychelles from Mogadishu in the North of Mahé. Who is a clever boy then?
What about education?
2019 was an abysmal year for educational results and what does that tell us? We now have so many foreign teachers in our schools that you wonder which accent our school children will pick up. Why do we have a shortage of Seychellois teachers? The answer is the same as for postmen. The pay is disgusting and the level of pay does not allow us to attract the best foreign teachers either, so what do we expect the end result to be?
What do we teach our virgin minds?
When a child’s mind is fresh and can absorb learning what do we do? We teach them Creole. Who on Earth took this decision? Is this preserving our culture or is it stupidity. Creole, our children will learn at home anyway because it is our native language, our culture but when you send your children to school you do so for them to learn English and/or French so that they become bilingual or trilingual. All senior people in government and industry send their children to Montessori Pre-school or Independent or International School where they learn English first.
Inhuman act and a crime against humanity
Two thirds of the people of India live below the poverty line, 68.8% live on less than US $2.00 per day and 30% live on less than US $1.25 per day. Do our politicians think we do not care about our fellow human beings in India who need the money more than us? Money given to us could better be spent on improving hygiene in the cities of India where human faeces run in the open next to the dwellings. These are our fellow human beings being deprived of basic sanitation in order to build a new court house in Seychelles. Why? The Indian community in Seychelles should challenge their government instead of getting angry with me because I am pointing out these injustices. Both the Seychellois politicians and the Indian politicians who pose for photos when a new building is gifted to Seychelles by India should be ashamed of themselves and resign.
Do you know of any good lawyers and impartial judges?
Can you count them on more than the fingers of one hand? It is unfair, unjust and a crime when defending lawyers are allowed to entertain court officials at night spots while a serious case is in progress. It is even more disturbing when the Chief Justice and our Constitutional Appointments Authority (CAA) turn a blind eye. So where do we turn for proper justice? (propriis justicia).
Is the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACCS) a bad dream?
Yes a bad dream that has lasted for 3 years and all it has managed to do so far is prosecute one of its own employees, yet corruption on a massive scale continues to take place in Seychelles and not one single politician or senior government official has been prosecuted. Apart from corruption in land and real estate, cash (R50 million) transferred to UK ended up in private bank accounts. Millions in forex purloined from Seychellois travelling during the Napa Forex era cannot be traced. Activities of our Central Bank and Nouvobanq need serious forensic audits, so who is going to do it? We are a poor nation because all our wealth are in private offshore accounts and in private overseas real estate deals. Even the Irish Leprechauns have stolen from us and what are we doing about it? It is time to replace every member of ACCS who keeps blaming our Attorney General’s office for their failures. They have failed us completely and they must resign before they are thrown out.
SBC and Nation newspapers must be sold off and the money used to improve our standard of living. Both SBC and Nation are ready to compete in the open market and the employees can earn a decent wage. Both are being used as political footballs by this government.
Assets belonging to SPUP/SPPF/PL/US(same leopard different spots) must be repossessed, sold and used to pay compensations for the atrocities committed by this despotic regime during the Coup D’état and the period that followed including up to this day. The Truth Reconciliation and Unity Commission (TRNUC) is doing a great job but they cannot and must not propose that today’s tax payers pay compensations to victims for the atrocities committed by this regime, known under International Law as Odious Debt.
We need a new government of fresh thinking and guts
Time has come for a coalition government to take over and in addition to the structure of President and the Ministers we need a Council of Elders who will do the thinking and advising. The President cannot be a worker and a manager at the same time. We need a new way of doing things and only then will Seychelles prosper as a nation and stop the decline.The time has come when all the injustices committed on our people to be reconciled, compensated and forgiven but not forgotten. All the land, property and money stolen from the people must be returned to the people with no retribution. The victimisation that is still rampant 43 years after the Coup D’état must now stop, some senior civil servants who behave like little dictators must be replaced because they will never change.
Barry LaineFCIM, FInst SMM, MCMI, MBSCH
Seychelles Civil Society
The Wishing Well
Anse Des Genets
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Seychelles NATION newspaper.