The Caunhye Commission

Let clarity prevail

The commission of inquiry set up to investigate into the circumstances related to the “purported commission of inquiry” by Mrs Ameenah Gurib-Fakim in March this year has already come in for criticisms from some members of the bar on the ground that the said commission would go against the doctrine of the separation of powers as set out in our Constitution.

This matter calls for some comments.

First, it would have been more credible for the Government to go for a full-fledged commission of inquiry to probe into the Alvaro Sobrinho affair itself along the lines and as encompassing in its scope as set out in the terms of reference announced by the Ameenah Gurib-Fakim-inspired commission of inquiry. That the FSC expedited matters to revoke the licence of one of Sobrinho’s investment companies, in the wake of the tussle – which lasted almost two weeks – the Prime Minister had to go through with the former President, is indicative of the questionable manner in which Mr Sobrinho would have seen his investments facilitated in Mauritius. This would suggest that the real questions that should form part of a comprehensive due diligence exercise might not have been put prior to the issue of the relevant licence but only after the patrons of Mr Sobrinho, if any, had lost favour with whomsoever could pull the strings of political power.

Second, there is the impression that, notwithstanding his sources of funds, Mr Sobrinho’s worries started when he casually and perhaps innocently announced his interest to invest in the energy sector in Mauritius…


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* Published in print edition on 25 May 2018

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