Thursday, January 28, 2016


January 12th 2016 will be a date to be remembered by many of us landowners who have literally been at the mercy of the Minister of Land Use and Habitat in the ruling party and his predecessors when it comes to the planning authority and the right to build on a number of properties.

I must first congratulate Mr Talma and his daughter for having had the audacity, courage and perseverance to continue the battle for 20 long years to have the right to build his hotel on land that belonged to him at Anse Lazio, Praslin. I have held several posts in government for decades and am well aware of all frustrations that the Talmas have had to endure over all those years. How many of us would have continued fighting this evil government for such a long time? Many would have given up and sold to some rich foreigner. For sure there were many patiently waiting ‘in the wings’ for the Talmas to give up the fight for Anse Lazio, one of the most beautiful areas that would fetch a handsome little pot of gold with all the…….. We all know what happens behind the screen!!!

In talking to friends, we all felt we have hope in the judiciary. First of all, I must say ‘chapeau’ to the, CJ Mathilda Twomey, for having boldly and in no uncertain terms declared Christian Lionnet’s Land Use Plan invalid. For far too long some in the SPPF/ Lepep government have acted as if they are the arbitrary decision makers as far as land use and planning authority is concerned with little regard to the constitutional and legal rights of many Seychellois. How many of us have been refused permission to build on our own property for reasons that are not only unreasonable but border on the ridiculous.

I have experience of this senselessness when in 2011 my youngest son requested permission to build two chalets on my property at Port Launay and we were told that the request had not been approved because the project would spoil the natural beauty of Port Launay. I was working in London at the time and when I returned to Seychelles and made some discreet enquiries, I was informed that the order had come from the minister who is well known in local professional circles as the ‘High Priest of Lies’

I am well aware that the AG will be asked by he whose mother asked him “pour kit ou lanmen prop” when he was sworn in as minister to appeal against the decision of the CJ. It will be interesting to see how things pan out. Meanwhile all of you who have a story to tell about being frustrated and victimized by the Lepep government with regards to property development to come out and tell their story. It is only in naming and shaming those corrupt high government officials will we see change in the way the machinery of government operates. Mrs Alexia Amesbury’s revelation of the corrupt land deals of Lionnet and Morgan at Glacis and Praslin has put tremendous pressure on James Michel to the extent that the rumour mill seems to indicate that they will be dropped from cabinet. We will continue to push for an inquiry into the disappearance/ loss of $4.5 million under the watch of Morgan.

 Another breaking news that allows us to hope is the story around James Michel’s personal friend, the Indian Seychellois businessman, Mr Siva who was given precedence over James Mancham some years back and made Ambassador- at-Large. Nobody has asked what he has to show in terms of tangible benefits that he has brought to Seychelles after he was conferred such a high profile title other than provide his private plane to his friend from the house on the hill for trips overseas. Rumours abound about politicians; including high profile civil servants at National house having collected bags of cash from the gentleman in what has been labelled the ‘house of sins’.

One eye witness relates how members of the legislative have collected cartons of alcohol to organize parties for party faithfuls in the run up to the presidential elections. Whatever may be the given details of Mr Siva’s bankruptcy status (or lack of it), a number of high profile officers stand to lose substantially’ while many of us, observers of the unfolding saga, have the audacity to hope that we are witnessing a judiciary that is manifesting its independence from the executive. We should all keep the faith alive that perhaps we will be moving towards a truly democratic process faster than we expected.

To all of us Seychellois (opposition and Lepep supporters) I have two messages for you. The first is never to give up; the Talmas is an example for us to emulate. The second message is to come out into the open and tell your story. The time to fear repercussions and victimizations is well behind us. We can only stop the calculated frustration techniques and the victimization by coming out and telling your story by naming and shaming those who are retarding the development of freedom and justice. We will be all be helping our beautiful country to move faster on the path of true democracy.

‘Nou lizye in ouver; in tro tar pou fer nou dormi boner”