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How Michell lost a great opportunity to help Seychelles heal the wounds of the past

6th September 2016

COMMENT

by Lewis Betsy

 

The decision by President Michel to set up an Anti Corruption Commission was a very good gesture. But it came at the wrong time and it should have been put aside until after the National Assembly elections.

No disrespect for any of the appointees here, but when you look at the real situation on the ground the division throughout the islands is clear.

We saw from the close-run Presidential Election last December how the country is poltically split 50-50.

Surely, now is the time for all our political leaders to get together to discuss the future of our beautiful islands.

However, it was another lost opportunity as we saw the old order maintaining total control.

Michel appointed chair of the commission Justice Duncan Gaswaga, who has served as a Supreme Court Judge between 2002 and 2013. He is currently a High Court Judge in Uganda.

Daniel Jacques Belle, an Attorney at Law, was made vice-chair. Mr Belle served as a member of the Constitutional Commission which drafted the Constitution of the Third Republic, and also as a former member of the National Assembly.

The other three members appointed to the Commission are Hardy Daniel Lucas, Priscille Chetty and Marie-Claire Elizabeth.

Mr Lucas, a businessman, is a former member of the Public Service Appeal Board, as well as a former member of the National Assembly. Mrs Chetty is an Attorney and partner in the Chetty & Hoareau Law Chambers of Victoria. Ms Elizabeth has retired from full-time work after a long career in journalism with the Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation, but still contributes part-time as producer and director of SBC TV programmes.

All these people are clearly Establishment figures.

Yet I think there are a lot of qualified lawyers and capable people in the opposition that President Michel could have apppointed so that the Anti Corruption Commission could be more balanced.

With Seychelles divided into two it is surely the job of a caring President to work with the opposition so all its citizens can live in peace and harmony.

I recall that in recent times we had talk of a National Reconciliation Commission being appointed. Well what has happened to that particular Commission? It looks like we’re going in circles.

President Michel must stop running the country like it is still in the one party era. Times have changed.

We need to get real and make Seychellois work in harmony again. Seychelles needs a proper National Reconciliation process so we can discuss all that has gone wrong in our beautiful islands and start afresh.

We need to create a new chapter in our history. We cannot continue to live like this.

We need a new set of rules agreed upon by all political parties as has been done in places such as South Africa, Northern Ireland and Rwanda. 

I don’t know why we are still waiting.

We need a United Seychelles so all Seychellois can live in peace and there is a better Seychelles for all.

And we need it now.

Lewis Betsy, Publisher, Seychelles Life
Lewis Betsy, Publisher, Seychelles Life

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