Blog: Who are the real Dictators?
After failing lamentably to bring down the government in the wake of the rapturous exit of Sir Anerood Jugnauth (SAJ) from Le Réduit, the MMM/MSM personal partnership consisting of Paul Berenger and the Jugnauth clan have nothing to propose to the policies of the government.
What the Berenger/Jugnauth partnership is doing is misleading the population on the economic situation. So far the Mauritian economy has shown resilience but the situation is not easy. There are pressures from the IMF and the World Bank to review the workings of our Welfare State. Billions of rupees are injected to sustain that Welfare State and so far all governments have revisited calls to review the system. What the Berenger /Jugnauth partnership is telling the population is that the economy is being mismanaged and the government is leading the country to disaster. There are no arguments to back that theory that smacks of vulgar demagoguery. That partnership seems to be enjoying the fact that the international economic woes that are hitting, not only, the US and Europe, but also now China and India, are also hitting us hard.
Instead of showing patriotism and solidarity in the face of the economic difficulties that the government is trying hard to grapple with, the Berenger/Jugnauth partnership is simply bent on power grabbing. The new mantra of the Jugnauth clan is that the government is acting in a dictatorial manner. SAJ claimed recently that people from Rivière du Rempart who attended the 1 May rally in Port Louis were transferred. This statement reminds us of a comic strip from a Walt Disney cartoon. The son, Pravind Jugnauth is doing even better. He is invoking cabinet papers to which he has had access in the National Assembly thus dragging a court case in parliament. He is also complaining in press conferences about being summoned by the police. In his view being summoned by the police is an act of dictatorship. He is proving how poor a lawyer he is. If only Pravind Jugnauth could imagine how petty and ridiculous his statement is.
Under our law the police have the power to summon any citizen who can help in an investigation. The police are now investigating the arson at the place of Harish Boodhoo and they presumably believe that Pravind Jugnauth and his henchman Soodhun may help in the investigation because they have made grandiloquent statements on this case in public. So where is the dictatorship? Both SAJ and Pravind Jugnauth should be the last persons to talk about dictatorship. In 1982 SAJ along with Paul Berenger brutally sacked top civil servants who had loyally served the country from the days of independence in 1968. In 1989 SAJ had Sir Gaetan Duval arrested for alleged murder. In 1991 Paul Berenger contracted an alliance with the MSM but was sacked from the coalition in 1993 by SAJ because he dared have dinner with Navin Ramgoolam then Leader of the Opposition.
In 1993 SAJ called parliament at nine in the morning so as to ensure that Navin Ramgoolam would lose his parliamentary seat and this was considered to be a colourable device. The late Chief Justice Lallah brilliantly wrote in the judgment in the case that the then MMM Attorney General brought against Navin Ramgoolam that that sitting was so contrived as to be made to appear to be in the public interest and concluded that the “device used was a colourable one and even, failing that, was so unreasonable”. In 1991 there were massive sackings from the MBC and in November 2001 ECO was scrapped and its Director sacked to stop an investigation. And let us not forget the attempt at personality cult in the famous bank notes with SAJ and his wife, then a civil servant on the 500 and 20 rupee notes respectively.
And today SAJ and Pravind Jugnauth are talking about dictatorship! They should look at themselves in the mirror and be ashamed of themselves.