What happened to the Rule of Law in Mauritius?



 

People have the fundamental human right to “know where they stand” in relation to the law and for justice to be effective, it needs to be consistent and predictable. If there is no consistency then there is no fairness and when the Constitution that enshrines Universal Human Rights is undermined, democracy becomes the first casualty and a regime of “Fear and Favour” emerges that propagates fascism.

We must never forget that over 20 million people died in the Second World War so we can enjoy freedom and democracy, their death and the suffering of their families is the price paid for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Every time there is an act of corruption or a breach of those Human Rights, 20 million families grief is subjugated and dishonoured. Will Mauritius allow this suffering to be in vein?

So when we find judges, officials or police tainted with even the slightest doubt as to their propriety and integrity not only does it cast a shadow of doubt over their conduct and ability to hold office, it also insults the honour of those families whose men fought and died in the name of freedom and democracy.

How do we know when a public official is corrupt? Well it is usually very simply observed, we see incongruence……. Regulators (such as the FSC or Registrar of Companies) who do not regulate, police who arrest/don’t arrest to order and judges who hand down untimely or absurd rulings and judgments.

We only need to ask one simple question “what is motivating this person to act in this way that is incongruent with their public office”, with no obvious answer, corruption is apprehended. We can see just how many cases are being brought in the courts against the State and it is only a matter of time before senior officials are exposed and brought to justice.

The past year alone has seen anarchic levels of scandals and corruption, drugs trafficking, arms trafficking, Ponzi schemes and scams reach epidemic proportions: Sunkai, Whitedot, Je t’aime, Varmagate, Boskalis, Rejuvenation PCC, Centre Point, Uptoten, NTC, MITD, Gros Derek, Superfly Aviation, The Bay, Cornish Bay, Les Salines MPP, Centrepoint, Le Morne, River Club, Le Jardin to name but a few that have hit the headlines. The propriety and credibility has been seriously brought into doubt of The Financial Services Commission, The Registrar of Companies, The Director of Insolvency, The Banks (notably these four all fall under one particular Ministry!), The Police, ICAC and now even the Judiciary have all been exposed for their part in the plague and yet so little action taken.

. The former Attorney General himself was at the centre of a scandal, the State is in a democratic crisis of epic proportions, and no-one has come forward with the fortitude and leadership to change it.

Look at the disproportionate number of websites and media networks that are exposing the decay in such a small community: www.welovemauritius.com, www.lalit.mu, www.kotzot.muwww.islandcrisis.comwww.just-mauritius.com, www.mauritiuspropertyscams.com, and on Facebook: maurileaks, friends of Dhooraika,

In the confidential online survey [ its still open to responses at: www.surveymonkey.com/s/KVV8SFV ] 83% of respondents have reported that they have faced corruption or injustice, putting it frankly, law and order has completely broken down in Mauritius and the anarchy needs to be fixed.

 

The Impact on Foreign Investment and Tourism

The conduct of the police and judiciary was exposed to the world media in the Michaela Harte trial and again in the recent Supreme Court scandal but what has been visibly done to address these problems? NOTHING!

Mauritius has been exposed on the international stage as a thoroughly dishonest place, it is an insult to the vast majority of law abiding Mauritians who are tainted by this image that the corrupt few have given them.

The price being paid by Mauritians is perhaps difficult to see but lets say that for every $1m of foreign investment that is openly touched by corruption and scams, $100m finds a safer home. We can then extrapolate that for the corruption and scams made public in the past six months alone valued at over $100m, $1bn of foreign investment has gone elsewhere, that is $2bn a year or put another way, on average, every Mauritian family would have Rs20,000 more wealth every month if it were not for the corrupt greed of a few crooks.

 

What Needs to be Done?

Unfortunately the longer corruption continues, the more it grows like a cancer, infecting every organ of the State regulation until it becomes part of the culture so the measures needed to stop it need to be drastic and decisive.

“History has proven that when the core values are rotten – only zero tolerance can improve the integrity, culture and ethics of business and governance” Bloomberg

In an Island community with a population of only 1.2million, one of the biggest problems to tackle is that of inappropriate “influence” because so much of the control is in the hands of so few people. For any regulatory body to be truly independent in a small population it cannot be controlled from within the same community it is regulating. Mauritius needs to follow the example of so many of the Caribbean States and other Island communities by appointing non-nationals as heads of the regulatory bodies. This means the three key positions need to be appointed without political or other influence: The Chief Justice, The Commissioner of Police and The Director of ICAC. How different regulation would be when these officials can do their job without undue influence from politicians, businessmen and family connections? Or will they just be deported per Burt Cunningham when they get close the the heart of the problem?

The Government needs to have the courage and backbone to invite an independent enquiry into the breakdown of law and order, to be prepared to deal with the reconciliation of the truth it exposes and compensate those who have suffered.

We need to CLEAN UP OUR ACT! and do it fast or everyone suffers.

A FOREIGN INVESTOR  WHO LOVES MAURITIUS

Posted by on Sep 16 2013. Filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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