22 November 2014
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Friday, 11 January 2013 10:00

Squabbles over issues

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Politics is one of those parasites which we would rather like to stay away from at the start of a new year, but it his thick skinned and sticks to us.
But how? Well, right after the festive period, the country is gripped by a strange situation. What started at the end of 2012 as a naive and nasty story of alleged sedition against Opposition MP Jugnauth, with political score settling in the background, now threatens to become a real lawsuit against the government itself in 2013.

If we go by the initial press reports, this case seems to be no longer that of an indictment against the leader of the MSM, but takes more the form of a charge sheet against members of government. Whilst we thought that he was being unfairly detained for 16 hours at a stretch at the Line Barracks, Jugnauth, a lawyer himself, took advantage of the situation and personally drafted his statement 32 pages long, which look like a real indictment against the government.

The police, in its haste to satisfy the master of the day, had difficulties producing a complete record of the press conference of the leader of the MSM, who, for his part has been able to produce letters, affidavits, SMS and other physical evidence to support his allegations.

Better still! Jugnauth not only tried to defend himself but he embarked on another major offensive, accusing two ministers of their ‘inaction’, not to say ‘cover up’, after allegations of paedophilia rocked the MITD. He did not spare other prominent political stalwarts, linking them to cases allegedly marred by suspected irregularities, having been Minister of Finance himself.

Jugnauth further rubbed salt to the wound. He directly attacked the Prime Minister by targeting the one whom Dr Navin Ramgoolam strongly defended in the National Assembly. According to him, Madam Nandanee could have benefited from contracts and facilities under particular conditions that need to be clarified. Hence, an ordinary case of libel has now become a state affair. Dr Ramgoolam should call to order some of his sycophants who cause him more harm than good.
The funny situation arising is: what will the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) do if the case is referred to him by the police? Who will he sue? Jugnauth or those denounced by him? Pushed to the limits, will the leader of the MSM stop here or will he, as his close ones seem to suggest, communicate his testimony, ‘an explo-sive document’ directly to the DPP, the ICAC or to foreign embassies and other international institutions? Only the future will tell.

Meanwhile, we are witnessing a real squabble over files related to alleged scandals between the government and the opposition, especially between Navin Ramgoolam and the Jugnauths, father and son. The first tribulations started with the MedPoint affair, which led to the breakup of the Labour-MSM alliance. At that time, the MSM leader claimed that ex-ministers of his party - at least those who followed him - and himself were in presence of ‘compromising files’.

The resignation of SAJ as President accelerated the turn of events. The Roches-Noires bungalow saga became the main theme of the MMM-MSM May Day rally in Port Louis, while at Vacoas, Dr Navin Ramgoolam, enraged by the attacks on his private life, promised to unleash all the demons of hell against his opponents. Since then, the political debate has only taken the course of denunciations.

Even the Leader of the Opposition, who so far was cajoling the Prime Minister, has now donned his mantle of blowing the whistle on alleged scandals, with a spate of PNQs at the National Assembly. The government too retaliated, first with ‘the rosewood case’ and then with a commission to shed light on the allocation of state lands under the MSM-MMM regime. At the year end, the threat was more defined, especially against the Jugnauth family.

Le Défi Quotidien announced that an investigation would start on a case of sale of 130 acres of state land in Côte-d'Or to a businessman without a tender exercise.

Who can then complain, in a democracy, when the mightiest begin to denounce each other? Certainly not the powerless citizens, who see this as a means for the system to purge itself!  Except that this is taking place in Mauritius, where politicians hook each other by the beard, if not by the groins! Will all these diatribes really see any outcome or is it just to intimidate each other to silence?

The Mauritian omerta, the political class knows it too well! Isn’t it, Mr ‘Stop- Dreaming- My-Friend’ whose macaroni is infested with parasites during this crimson political weather?!

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