Task Force on Drugs

Political Caricatures

Two months after the Lam Shang Leen report on drug trafficking, we are still waiting for some determined actions to implement the recommendations of the report. The drug problem is too important to accept any slackness from the Task force. We have to keep up the momentum following the Lam Shang Leen report. Where are we with the Drug Control Master Plan? We all thought Government meant business, or is it another of those “fizettes”?

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Metro Express: Another Rs 180 million

In the context of the second phase of the Quatre Bornes-Curepipe Metro, there is need for an interchange at the crossroads Avenue Hillcrest-Motorway M1. The fixed price Metro Express contract will have become a variable and costly one by the time we have our metro running, it would seem.

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Shocking claims for the drug report: Rs 31 million

Damningly costly for a damning report but one wonders whether this represents value for money. Does it bring in any new elements on the drug networks, their modus operandi, the degree of infiltration of the local mafia in our institutions and a listing of these corrupted institutions? Most of the Report’s recommendations to combat drug trafficking are du déjà-vu. We need not pay Rs 31 million to be told that the “GRA is not fit for purpose“… There are some who are saying we could have got an equally good and damning report for much less. Point to ponder!

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The precious e-mail of Mr Fernandes

Now that the contents of the e-mails of Mr Fernandes have been made public, it confirms what we already knew: the Banking Act was amended in 2016 to transfer the authority to issue Investment Banking Business licences from the Central Bank to a more pliant FSC.

And we hear from those who until lately still had some doubts about the forced exit of the ex-President exclaiming: “Good riddance!”

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Electoral reform: Do not kill our democracy

Our friend Ivan, who was speaking to RCC students about electoral reform on the occasion of the launching of their magazine, argued that “c’est une honte de retenir le même système”. My politically alert nephew who was in the audience wanted to shout back that c’est également une honte d’atrophier notre démocratie »… He did not; he thus missed the opportunity of becoming a national hero like our “principled” lady who was ejected from a meeting at the Gold Crest Hotel by a former Minister

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Revision of electoral boundaries… Hypocrisy, you say!!!

Guess which political party, when in power, did not do much besides kowtowing to their political partner and securing lucrative positions and deals for their cronies? They were so busy enjoying the spoils that they did not even bother about the 2009 Electoral Boundaries Commission’s recommendations. Now they are shouting over the rooftop about hypocrisy. Those who live in glass houses should not throw out such abject words onto others, isn’t it?

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Substance abuse in our colleges: an urgency

This social scourge, which is taking its toll on the Mauritian economy and population, has now reached our younger generation. Indeed, the explosive proliferation of alcohol and synthetic drugs in our colleges has reached alarming proportions. It is an emergency. The authorities must act now. Already the Ministry of education is being blamed “de pratiquer la politique de l’autruche sans adresser réellement ce problème”.

The EDB – a “macatia”?

In spite of the advice of some knowledgeable ones, they went ahead and merged the three specialised agencies namely the Board of Investment, Enterprise Mauritius and Financial Services Promotion Agency to form the Economic Development Board (EDB). The EDB is now saddled with too many objectives and it is finding it quite onerous to get everyone on board. Too many well-connected captains, trying to maintain their positions and privileges, may spoil the broth.

* Published in print edition on 5 October 2018

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