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[Blog] Democracy Watch Mauritius : credibility of our Institutions

Credibility of our Institutions

No country can survive without credible institutions. Legislation for their setting up is voted by Parliament, but the government is responsible for their proper functioning to the satisfaction of the population and in the eyes of the international bodies.

Presently, the government is struggling hard to convince the EU to remove Mauritius from the black list and yet we have in place a long list of regulatory and enforcement agencies, e.g. Bank of Mauritius, Financial Services Commission, Financial Intelligence Unit and ICAC. What is it that renders them ineffective? Political interference? Appointment of cronies? Lack of oversight? Obviously, if they are not credible, they will dent the image of our country. Government has the duty to restore the credibility of our institutions by making an independent evaluation of their performance and getting rid of inefficiencies. We really hope it will have the courage to take bold actions to do so. 

Meanwhile, public outcry is growing. A few days ago, the Kolektif Konversation Solider, grouping trade unions, NGOs, opinion groups and workers from different walks of life, organised the first post Covid-19 public demonstration against some of the measures taken by the Government during the crisis. According to the media, a huge crowd turned up, but the MBC was the only one reporting a meagre gathering. Who will believe that? Does the MBC not realise that its credibility is going down each time it indulges in unfair reporting? The situation becomes more complicated for the MBC, when it flouts its own legislation, the MBC Act. Furthermore, the request of that Kolektif  to the MBC for redress of its coverage has not yet been entertained nor has there been any reaction from the IBA, the regulatory body.

Another example of loss of credibility happened last week. The Parliamentary Committee on ICAC raised the question of an alleged non respect of tender procedures for the renovation of the office of the DG of ICAC and expected the DG to provide all the relevant papers. According to the press, the DG simply said that all procedures had been followed and did not circulate any paper.

No one can be judge and party. In the name of fairness and transparency, Democracy Watch has always advocated a system of independent oversight. Just see what happened last week in Nigeria. The DG of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was suspended for alleged corruption. He will appear before a presidential investigative panel. The Nigerian President took decisive action to safeguard the credibility of the EFCC. 

We should do everything to prevent the population from losing faith in our institutions. It is our civic responsibility. John Lewis, a civil rights icon and a veteran US Congressman, who passed away last week, gave us this piece of advice: “ When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have to speak up, you have to say something, you have to do something” 


Setting up a Shadow Cabinet for Mauritius

“Setting up a Shadow Cabinet for Mauritius, ALL in a spirit of planning and doing what’s best for the country and its citizens, especially in this post COVID-19 era” (M. Atchia, Le Mauricien, 26th June 2020)

COMMENTS: Comments: A Shadow Cabinet (SC) is composed of a group of elected politicians who hold political posts within their party, but whose party is not in government (that is in opposition). A member of the shadow cabinet is a shadow minister. The leader of a shadow cabinet is called the Leader of the Opposition (or NEW TERM a Shadow Prime Minister). 

It exists in the UK, where the British Parliament provides for an Official Opposition Shadow Cabinet, consisting of senior members of the Opposition who scrutinise their corresponding Government ministers, develop, offer alternative policies, and hold the Government to account for its actions.

Also operates in JAMAICA.  In CANADA , the Official Opposition Shadow Cabinet  (French: Cabinet d’Ombre de l’Opposition Officielle) is composed of members of the main opposition parties and is responsible for holding the Government accountable and for developing and disseminating the party’s policy positions.

In MAURITIUS, the official opposition of course exists and the leader of the strongest opposition party is officially the LEADER of the OPPOSITION. But there is no Shadow Cabinet, as yet. What use would one be, especially in the crisis during this post pandemic period?

To start with, the main opposition parties (PTr, MMM, PMSD) would have to discuss the merits of the proposal. Perhaps they could consider, for a start, a Shadow Cabinet of 12 members (half the number of 24 Ministers), each Shadow Minister (SM) taking up 2 ministries. Each SM will do his or her ‘homework’, to be fully able to contribute to improving proposed laws and measures in that field. This Shadowing will be very useful to new ministers who may not yet master their width of scope for action and their limitations.

 No special law may be required to set up such a Shadow Cabinet; it would simply be an arrangement between the leaders of Opposition Parties in the House, with the blessing of the Speaker.

NEW ATTITUDES: This is called for from both the Government in power AND the Opposition. The Government Ministers to be ready to consider proposals/alternatives proposed by the SMs, in the interest of the nation, rather than systematically “defeating’ any such proposal. Shadow Ministers to follow closely the actions and strategies of the ‘parent’ Ministry and regularly come up with constructive criticisms, alternatives, evaluations and adjustments. ALL in a spirit of planning and doing what’s best for the country and its citizens, especially in this post COVID-19 era. MAURITIUS would be the winner in this strengthening of Democracy.


Se réinventer contre la Covid-19 en trouvant des gagne-pains additionnels

Texte : Tirs croisés …Covid-19…Quelles séquelles et quel rebond pour les Mauriciennes ? La perte d’emploi peut nuire à l’estime de soi…Des femmes sans ressources, du jour au lendemain…L’occasion de se réinventer (Le Mauricien,  15.7.2020)

Commentaire : Comment se réinventer…Soi-même…Sans l’aide de personne car, contrairement à ce que croient trop d’idéalistes, sinon démagogues, nul n’est tenu à nous venir en aide. Même pas un gouvernement certes généreux mais en puisant dans la poche du contribuable/consommateur. L’idéal serait peut-être de s’inventer un 2e ou 3e boulot, basé sur un savoir-faire individuel, susceptible d’être utile aux autres, surtout en période de crise et, de surcroit, rentable. Privilégions alors la production alimentaire, synonyme d’économies domestiques et possible appoint financier. Voilà ce que nous réapprend brutalement la pandémie de Covid-19. L’école peut-elle apprendre cela à ses élèves, enseignants, dirigeants, décisionnaires ? 

Cela peut supposer un 4e ou 5e boulot quotidien pour des Mauriciennes, déjà aux prises avec de multiples tâches domestiques et professionnelles. Elles sont heureusement plus résilientes que les hommes. 

Pareils propos choqueront seulement ceux ayant une vision trop douillette de notre existence terrestre. 

Se réinventer par le travail, sinon la lutte…d’abord contre soi-même.


Doute télévisuel et météorologique quant à notre souveraineté sur Chagos/Tromelin

Texte : Souveraineté territoriale : une loi pour faire taire les « esprits perfides » (Week-End, 19.7.2020)

Commentaire : Compte-rendu d’une apparition de notre ministre de la Justice, Maneesh Gobin, à la télévision nationale, tellement monopoliste et partisane. Il nous demande de comprendre qu’un récent projet d’amendement à la Criminal Code Act  ne vise qu’à sanctionner  « les esprits perfides » pouvant distiller le doute quant à notre souveraineté sur les Chagos, archipel mauricien volé par British Born et recélé par les  États-Unis, même sous l’ère Obama. Tant mieux pour ceux qui luttent désespérément pour qu’Agaléga ne devienne jamais « Agalégoa ». Espérons quand même une clémence législative pour les Chagossiens s’exprimant sur une certaine autonomie pour leurs îles ancestrales, les Zîles-là-Haut. Le malheur, pour les téléspectateurs ayant compati avec Maneesh Gobin, veut que, à la fin du JT (Journal Télévisé) du 18.7.2020, ils ont encore eu droit à une carte météorologique, montrant le territoire mauricien amputé de nos Chagos et de Tromelin. Qui croire ? Maneesh Gobin ou MBCilité patentée se croyant encore sous l’égide de Mc Cormack, son premier directeur British Born, avant le regretté Matou Delaître? 

Portons sérieusement attention à notre souveraineté !


DWM Team

La Team de DWM offre de nouveau à ses abonnés et à nos médias ses bulletins réguliers, et reprend la surveillance de la démocratie à l’œuvre dans notre République.  DWM demeure un groupe indépendant et non-partisan.  Nous prévoyons un bulletin tous les 15 jours. Comme toujours, nous attendons vivement les commentaires, contributions et surtout les critiques de nos fidèles lecteurs. Bonne lecture.  Si vous appréciez notre bulletin, diffusez-le auprès de vos correspondants. Merci.

 

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