More of The Same


Around this time last year, we had argued in these same columns that 2022 would be a crucial year – wrongly, we should admit, but that was based on the premise that things could not get worse than they had been since the installation of the MSM-led government in November 2019. In fact, things have not only got worse, misgovernance and institutional dysfunctions have fallen to the lowest possible level and that could be equated with what obtains in the so-called banana republics, which by definition would mean a country run by a dictatorial regime supported by a handful of cronies, and that destroys state institutions for prolonged clinging to power.

The report of the judicial inquiry presided by Magistrate Vidya Mungroo-Jugurnauth, published by the media last October, says it all. Its detailed findings, namely the “abhorrent” conduct of the criminal investigations by the police and the latter’s ignorance of either the Magistrate’s or the DPP’s urgings to complete various aspects of their investigations into the murder of MSM activist Soopramanien Kistnen and its possible political motivations are a damming indictment of the state of governance or rather misgovernance that obtains in the country today.

The rot is elsewhere as well. Besides the public perception of organised cover-ups in relation to cases that have shocked public opinion and the questionable methods employed to silence perceived adversaries, in particular a few lawyer-politicians and their close ones with drug trafficking charges, the track record of the anti-corruption agency, ICAC, points to an institution that in the public perception has been a costly failure paid for from public funds. It appears unable or unwilling to fulfil its mandate as prescribed by the law, as evidenced by its never-ending investigations into cases involving members of the government or those close to the political masters of the day. To the long list of earlier affairs where it is yet to be known where its inquiries stand, and the more recent ones relating to the highly controversial purchase of Molnupiravir, an oral antiviral treatment for Covid-19 at the cost of Rs 80M as well as the alleged fictitious employment of Simla Kistnen, it cannot be held that ICAC has demonstrated to this day any willingness or zeal to go to the bottom of these cases in an objective, impartial and timely manner.

Mauritius Times ePaper Friday 23 December 2022

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