Thursday, August 11, 2016


Another Election is round the corner and to date PL(Parti Lepep) has not yet announced that petroleum has been discovered in Seychelles Waters? It has been a hallmark statement from PL for the last few elections but this time it has come up with another “vote winner” it has created an “Anti-Corruption Commission.” To be chaired by none other than Duncan Gaswaga. This raises several questions. Why a Ugandan Mr. Danny Faure?

Or does he qualify as chairman because he has acquired Seychellois nationality. If so, was it under section 5 (2) of the Citizenship Act 1994 which gives the President total discretion to grant citizenship to a person who, in his opinion, special circumstances exist even if they are not otherwise entitled or eligible to Seychellois citizenship? Or was he granted Seychellois citizenship under section 5 (3) of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2013 which curtails the President’s discretion to grant citizenship by the imposition of a “Citizenship Eligibility Committee” to whom all applications have to be submitted and who will have to be satisfied that all the criteria set out under the new section 5 (3) are met especially when bearing in mind that a member of the Citizenship Eligibility Committee is Basil Hoareau who is a partner in the Chetty & Hoareau Chambers, the Chambers that represents President Michel, and members of his Cabinet?

"Corrupt" under the section 2 of the Anti Corruption Act 2016 “means the acts of soliciting, accepting, obtaining, giving, promising or offering of a gratification by way of a bribe or inducement, or the misuse or abuse of a public office for advantage or benefit for oneself or for another person, and "corruption" shall be construed accordingly”.

The credibility of the Commission depends on the personal integrity of its members, it is therefore of paramount importance that the above questions are answered honestly.

Parti Lepep has given us other “Commissions” before, such as the Human Rights Commission which has not been seen or heard of, since its creation. It did not even utter a squeak when Robert Banane was shot and killed in prison. We also have an office of Ombudsman which to all intents and purposes shut down after Judge Gustave Dodin left the office to become judge. But the one Commission that is notoriously embattled is the Electoral Commission chaired by Mr. Gappy. It is not only being fought against in court, but also on the Streets of Victoria.

I suspect that PL has approached the international community with begging bowl in hand, and it must have been told that the level of corruption or as President Michel has said the “perception” of corruption in the country is unacceptable hence the creation of this “Anti Corruption Commission.”

Which of PL’s Commissions has lived up to its mandate, Constitutional or Statutory? Another farcical move by PL was its adoption of the Opposition’s call for a two term Presidency. The Constitution was amended accordingly and yet President Michel remains in power continuing in his third term in office but shortly after the amendment we heard that Mr. Ban Ki Moon the United Nation Secretary General, is on a state visit to Seychelles and first on his agenda is to praise Seychelles as an exemplary democracy, simply because of this “timely” amendment. So, it is clear that these “commissions” are simply created to “bat latet” the international community.

Is this Anti Corruption Commission or ACC going to finally get IDC audited locally? Is it going to tell us where all our money and other state assets are hidden? Is it going to tell us who killed Ricky Hermitte? Is it going to reveal the identity of the soldiers who killed Brian Victor’s two friends and  who only managed to escape his killers by faking death?  Is it going to tell the Umarji family where Hassan is buried? Is it going to force Commissioner Elizabeth to divulge the identity of the “skull” discovered at Bel Ombre? This ACC is created by PL, so whose corrupt acts is it going to investigate? So please President Michel give me a break!!!

 In my view if President Michel wanted to leave a lasting legacy for Seychelles he would have created a “Truth & Reconciliation Commission” to be chaired by someone like Bishop French Chang-Him instead of this Anti Corruption Commission which I predict will follow the paths of other such “bodies” before it, and die at birth.

Alexia G. Amesbury