Friday, August 8, 2014


The President of the Republic, James Alix Michel, is the proud owner of approximately twenty thousand square meters of prime land at Sans Souci, Mahe. This is nothing extraordinary except that the land was bought from government.

In 2001, Minister Joel Morgan, then Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Land Use and Habitat, transferred to James Michel three plots of land at Sans Souci namely parcels V10426, V10427 and V10248; all totalling in excess of nineteen thousand square meters. Michel paid SR 561,000 for the plots; not at all an expensive transaction.

While the normal man is allowed to buy only one plot averaging four hundred square meters from government, Michel has the special privilege of buying forty times what the normal man can buy; he receives twenty times the normal man’s salary anyway.

 It has become a routine; Presidents buy as much land as they wish from the state. The former President bought his acres at Anse Polite amid a lot of controversy. This practice is most unethical and cannot be condoned.

Over the nearly four decades the regime has been in power, all it has done is to enrich themselves at the expense of the taxpayer. They have failed to even consider constructing an official residence for the President of the Republic like in all civilized democratic societies. Instead, they have acquired land from the state and built their mansions from state funds including refurbishment and maintenance. Once they vacate the highest office, everything becomes their personal belongings; this is atrocious and a highly corruptive practice.
James Michel overthrowing a democratically elected government
Moreover, the use of the defence forces to offer close security to the head of state has been inappropriately used. The former President created an army unit specifically to take care of his personal security; it is still in existence. James Michel, on his part, moved considerable forces to serve as his personal security detachment. Under the guise of combating piracy, the elite commando unit ‘Tazar’ came into being and a new barrack was set up in the hills of L’Exile. How long can the people of Seychelles pay for the extravaganza of a few irresponsible leaders?
James Michel in North Korea with Kim II Sung

It is about time the President behaves in a more responsible manner and puts in place the proper infrastructures needed to support the institutions of state; the President’s private office being the first. Parti Lepep has the misconstrued notion that they will lead Seychelles for the next fifty years. If each President buys large portions of land from the state and build their mansions, it will not be long before they bankrupt the country with elite commando units littering the landscape. This attitude must come to end without further delay.