Touria Prayag's Blog

L’express Weekly,28 January 2010

Posted in Uncategorized by touriaprayag on February 1, 2011


Incestuous Mauritius

The Prime minister’s fruitful visit to Reunion with the
agreements he has managed to secure could have grabbed
all the headlines this week. Instead, it was drowned
in the murky waters of what has been baptized “the
scandal of the century”.
And it’s all so incestuous. The minister of Finance, son of the
president of the Republic, proposes to sell his family clinic, which no
one has had any use for for the last ten years, to the government he
represents. His cousin, the minister of Health, agrees with him and
he is happy to sign the cheque to himself and his relatives in time.
The Capital Gains Tax which he reintroduced himself was, coincidentally,
not in force yet. In a unique press exercise called a “press
statement”, meaning the minister engages in a monologue and the
journalists shut up, and in a fashion reminiscent of the Tudor Court,
Her Royal Highness the minister of Health decreed that her cousin
had followed the procedures and that MedPoint was the best value
for money for the country.
Who cares whether the procedures were followed or not? In
banana republics, procedures can be bent backwards to achieve
almost anything. Who even cares whether it is the best value for money
or not? What is of concern to us is public morality and ethics. Is
signing a cheque to oneself on behalf of all of us ethical and morally
acceptable? Questions which will never be answered because Her
Royal Highness “decided” that they should not be asked.
And this disturbing trend did not start yesterday. The Sun Trust
was not built yesterday. The money for letting it out to the government
that the owners represented was not pocketed yesterday and
the contract which made the cancellation of the deal as profi table
as the deal itself was not drafted yesterday.
It is obvious that ethics do not exactly fi gure top of the list of many
politicians and that the language we speak is alien to them. It is equally
obvious that if the citizens themselves are unwilling to truly take their
gloves off and demand some decorum and a sense of ethics from
our leaders, we will continue to grow bananas for the rest of our days.
Until then, let’s congratulate ourselves for being the proud
owners of a dilapidated clinic resuscitated from bankruptcy and
oblivion, symptomatic perhaps of the state we will be in when we
need to use it. Let’s also take this opportunity to welcome Mr. Muni
Krishna Reddy to the helm of the State Bank, a position which we
will have to eat less rice and lentils to continue to pay for. We also
wish Mr. Harry Tirvengadum, yesterday’s advisor to Mr. Bunsgraz
on Air Mauritius matters, a peaceful life in the midst of his
family since it is clear now that he is too sick to ever be able to face
justice. His advice has been valuable, particularly to Mr. Bunsgraz
on whose behalf we allow ourselves to thank him. We will miss his
unforgettable voice which has been softly echoing in our ears since
we heard it on Radio Plus and we trust the integrity of the doctors
who signed his medical certifi cates. In the meantime, let’s have the
death penalty reintroduced for anyone who does not belong to the
above incestuous circle. Long live justice and transparency, the hallmarks
of this country!


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