Africa-Press – Mauritius. The Republic of Mauritius is facing significant difficulties on all fronts and yet the next generation is slow to surface. Skills exist even if they are disparate.
Why is renewal long overdue in politics? Dr. Vasant Bunwaree, leader of the Mouvman Militan Travayis, shares his experience and his hopes with us. Mauritius Times: The worst has been avoided.
The Government managed to unblock the situation in relation to the protests of the victims of the BAI case with the promise of the Prime Minister to seek Indian assistance for the reimbursement of investors in the Super Cash Back Gold plan.
But everything leads to believe that the fire is still smoldering and it is likely to get worse in the weeks to come. What do you think ? Dr. Vasant Bunwaree: It has become “enn model” for the Lepep Government to seek Indian help to get out of an abyss into which it has plunged itself.
By the way, this is proof of the Government’s incompetence, which is unable to find valid solutions for these people plunged into suffering because of poor management of their file by the government, and this, from the start.
It is also a feeling of dishonor for Mauritians in the face of the inefficiency of the Government, giving the impression of abusing the kindness of the Indians.
We do wrong, but to prevent Mauritians from suffering through our fault, we will beg for help from India… We must not forget that the Indians also contribute to the functioning of their economy and it is not fair to abuse their goodwill in this way.
They also pay taxes and it is not normal that they should regularly contribute so much to the State Budget of another sovereign country. Their expenses are increasing.
Do you believe this is normal? Finally, it is not only Mauritius that is helped by India. There are also several other countries. In principle, these countries are known to be in misery while Mauritius prides itself on being among the most efficient economies in Africa. Where is our dignity?
* In view of what has been happening in the country for months now and the hassle that the Government encounters almost every week because of cases involving its members and other nominees in different circles, would you say that things are going badly worse for the Alliance Lepep?
Not only are the carrots already cooked but, even worse, the beating will be dizzying. The people are not fooled. He is intelligent: we have already had several proofs and above all the new generation is no longer agitated in meetings but reasons differently.
The people are waiting for the right moment because they have a score to settle with this government which has abused its trust and its faith in a policy of renewal and probity in the face of a ramgoolamist regime which smelled foul.
The people believed, in December 2014, in a real awareness by a team in which they saw a modern, avant-garde, clean, competent, strong Mauritius, respectful of democratic standards, who could be an example of success and hit.
But, very quickly, the masks fell and the truth which is always only ONE re-emerged and made it possible to see the true faces – that both among the old and the new, the big and the small, which in their great majority have come to enrich themselves and to make live by means of an exaggerated wealth those of their families, their close friends, boyfriends / friends, girlfriends, close agents .
while the scourges are blazing everywhere – drugs, prostitution, alcohol especially among young people, road accidents, thefts of all kinds, rapes, corruption like never before – in short, a backward society where honor has taken for its fate, solidarity no longer exists, values are misunderstood, morals flouted and buried in an unprecedented decadence.
* The opposition would however be wrong to believe in the imminence of the fall of the Government which will seek by all means to turn the tide in particular with an improvement in the performance of the Mauritian economy.
Do you see the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance capable of achieving this and also overcoming the challenge from the opposition forces? It is true that Rawat and Ramgoolam had pranks.
The BAI saga revealed the flaws of an intolerable incestuous relationship between business and politics. Parliament was closed for almost a year thus paralyzing the system and dampening the energy and the value of those who, like me, wanted to continue to move the country forward.
But the people took their “rattan bazaar” and put a stop to this masked and made-up abuse of Ramgoolam. He ousted him from power to make way for the Lepep group.
Please note that these wonderful people really had no other choice. My party, the Muvman Travayis Militan (MTM) imbued with true labourism, had only just been born and could not create a stir in a few days.
But these two and a half years of the Lepep government have plunged us into a real nightmare. The economy, whatever one tries to say, is headed for ruin.
Thanks to the efforts of each and every one of good will and especially following the wake of the positive work of the government before 2014, some results are felt here and there.
But, in depth, no economic reform has been put in place, which means that the debt has become unbearable, incomes are stagnating, expenses are increasing and above all benefiting friends and associates, the budget deficit is widening further but will be camouflaged by budgetary expenditure planned, approved and voted last year but not realised, therefore becoming unreal.
In short, many economic constraints are sent back to be paid for by others in the future; therefore, these are carried on the shoulders of our children: it is cruel!
I have the impression that economic advisers and technicians, at least those who have the ear of Pravind Jugnauth, are empty of ideas; they are outdated and fail to lay the foundations for the projection of the country to the necessary level of development.
The foresight, the projections of the budget a year into the future, are not right or flatly lacking. The price of oil, for example, today at 53-54 dollars could rise and it is not impossible that it will touch 70 dollars with a terrible impact on inflation, the cost of living and infrastructure and could also upset all future data.
Inflation, now under control, remains very precarious and this decline could be very short-lived. Investments are not taking off. To govern is not to “manage badly and destroy” but “to manage well and plan”.
There is none of that in prospect. * If the government was forced to seek Indian assistance to unblock the BAI/Super Cash Back Gold crisis, it is undoubtedly due to a vulnerable and not sufficiently solid budgetary position.
The worst is probably to come with the outstanding cases including the arbitrations sought by Dawood Rawat and the Bunjuns in the BAI and Betamax cases respectively. What do you think ?
Before, in the more or less distant past, there were the greats of this country, like SSR, equipped with his pilgrim’s staff and surrounded by a rehearsed team who had used all their intelligence and charm to convince the greatest of this world like General de Gaulle, Willy Brandt to negotiate projects and agreements of extreme scale.
It helped transform the economic and social profile of our country like the now defunct Sugar Protocol. For more than a quarter of a century, this has made it possible to create the Republic of Mauritius of today, even of tomorrow.
The late Gaëtan Duval also brought his most to the development of tourism in the country. SAJ also had its role in the industrial development of the country in the 80s, but with blue-white-red.
It was always about the creation of the pillars of the economy where Mauritians played their role in making these sectors flourish and flourish in order to develop and modernize our country.
But this time, what Pravind Jugnauth does, having become Prime Minister in an irregular manner, gives the image of someone who is troubled and dejected, not knowing how to balance the annual State Budget.
He turns to the India to express its despair at the head of the Nation hoping for crumbs here and there to offer Mauritians mirages that few people can foresee today. But it is the others, young people of today – adults of tomorrow, who will pay the cost of his mistakes.
What can India do? Have pity on us and allocate us a line of credit (debt again), donations to try to absorb the consequences of the big gaffe of the premature, rapid and brutal abolition of the DTAA.
In any case, the two peoples – Mauritian and Indian – will have, in one way or another, to contribute in spite of themselves to these failures of the government of Pravind Jugnauth.
* We are presently witnessing the attempts of each other to avoid all responsibility in this affair. nTan’s auditors examined the mechanisms put in place within the BAI Group and which led to its loss.
Should we go further and locate, through a commission of inquiry, the responsibility of politicians in this affair? Certainly, in any case, the BAI file was badly managed from the start, as I had already said at the very beginning.
The government of the time (early 2015) was too quick, too abrupt without realizing the damage that their actions would cause. All right-thinking and competent people will tell you that there were surely other means which would have resulted in a solution to the problems of the customers without leaving the institution unpunished.
In my opinion, the Rawats must have made a mistake, the Prime Minister of the time was also surely clumsy, to put it mildly… The Bank of Mauritius also had its share of the responsibility and the government of the time a policy of revenge who never pays in such circumstances.
The result is what we have seen, but I can say that there are still solutions some of which have already been mentioned in public recently and others which are our recourse and the MTM – in a possible government and why not at the head of a government – will know what to do to precisely compensate all these people who are really suffering today and to restore serenity in this environment.
They would have everything to gain by maintaining their patience, but the Government must immediately give them an advance on a case-by-case basis to deal with their immediate difficulties.
However, I deplore the excessive politicization carried out recently where some irresponsible took advantage of the actions initiated by the strikers, to try to rebuild their image.
This is where we should follow the saying “act differently”. * The Government is already suffering the consequences of its own management of the BAI Group affair.
There will be a heavy price to pay for years to come. Politicians but also the heads of regulatory institutions will no longer be there to answer for their acts or omissions. Isn’t it also time to consider legal measures to hold all those who run the affairs of the state accountable? In fact, it took too long.
We have been hearing the same refrain for a long time, these incestuous links, this unhealthy way of managing affairs and politics where the “infected” politicians who spend their time serving themselves and fulfilling their loved ones while benefiting from the state largesse. The MTM has made two proposals in this area.
First, the establishment of a permanent committee under the responsibility of forensic lawyers and experts to regularly investigate shady cases and/or allegations but while legally protecting whistleblowers, and second, the overhaul of the system for reporting assets to more easily identify possible abuses and cases of corruption.
Of course, the sanctions in these cases must be not only severe but exemplary and prescribed in the legislation. * What is your opinion of Pravind Jugnauth’s 100 days of prime ministership?
There was a political hijack of the Prime Ministership which for a hundred days achieved nothing as scandals surfaced and traumatized our people. There will surely be ONE day soon for the electorate to take revenge.
* The impression which emerges from now on is that the MSM, by its management of the BAI affair and the other affairs which marked out its mandate, will be – ultimately – unable to represent a serious challenger for both major parties on the chessboard.
We will therefore return to square one – with a struggle between the PTr and the MMM – these two parties led by Ramgoolam and Bérenger respectively… The MMM and especially the PTr were already rejected by the electorate in December 2014.
Their attempt to reign as a monarch, their contempt for the role of voters in democracy got the beating they deserved. It is not to them that the people would want to turn. The MSM by chance, already a party built on silver if not gold, never, at the height of its glory, exceeded 20%.
Today, with the perceived immorality at the base of their actions, the numerous scandals, the absence of concrete results, the violation of probity by their unacceptable family policy, this party is again strongly rejected by the population.
Of course, it is not to them that the people would want to turn and adhere. However, care must be taken not to allow once again – because of a possible default – an old policy with Navin Ramgoolam to return and surely this time in a new spirit of revenge. This vicious circle must stop.
The country still counts on some rare and worthy birds, imbued with a sense of duty, discipline and homeland and who should have the responsibility of recruiting a good number of equally worthy youngsters who ask only to be well informed, trained and learning to avoid mistakes and above all not to repeat past and present blunders.
The MTM works together with Xavier Duval’s PMSD. There are all these people of good will, with real values who today may be found in other structures or formations. Still others emerge outright on an individual level or in small well-inspired groups.
We would like to guide them on this long journey towards a safe and better future in a transformed Republic where the WALLS will fall to make way for the BRIDGES that will connect the various components of a united, strong society of which we will always be proud.