Blog: Corruption as seen by the Opposition
Paul Bérenger, Pravind Jugnauth and Sir Anerood Jugnauth are obsessed by two issues: power and corruption. They see corruption everywhere when they are in the opposition. Whatever projects are started is tainted with corruption. The latest finding of Pravind Jugnauth is that the contract awarded to a firm in Singapore for the preparation of new identity cards is very suspicious and that this is the latest scandal among others attributed to the present government.
This is a current feature of the philosophy of the opposition and that has been the strategy of the MMM for the past 40 years. Lev Kopelev, a Soviet citizen, was born in 1912 to a Jewish family in Kiev. He was an idealistic Communist activist in the 1930s and a propaganda officer in the Red Army during the war. He explained the Stalinist propaganda as follows: “Our goal was the universal triumph of the Communism, and for the sake of that goal everything was permissible - to lie, to steal, to destroy hundreds of thousands and even millions of people... everyone who stood in the way”. Afterwards he denounced this and was sent to the Gulag, the Soviet detention facility for a number of years. Those who would oppose communism and Stalin became an enemy.
The MMM has always espoused that policy. When a politician is with him that politician will be showered with praise by Paul Berenger. A sample of his praise for Pravind Jugnauth can be found in the following statement Paul Berenger made when he was Prime Minister “la solidarité consolidée avec le temps grâce au leadership de l’alliance avec Paul Bérenger et Pravind Jugnauth. Nous koz ène langaz de vérité à la population, nou assume nous responsabilité et nous énan à cœur l’intérêt de la population et assure zotte l’avenir. Nous fine faire sacrifices comme ène gouvernement responsable, nous prêt pou elève les défis. Nous éna le leadership et la compétence pour relève les défis”. Where did that love go after Pravind Jugnauth ran into the arms of Navin Ramgoolam? The answer is in the evaluation Paul Berenger made on Pravind Jugnauth when the latter was Minister of Finance: “PravindJugnauth enn nullité kouma minis des finances. Vraimem li zéro, mohonté pou li. Rama Sithanen ti enn féser, mais li ti enn malin, li ti enn économiste ek li ti konn so dossier. Sann ti boug-la, nanier li pa kapav réponn dan parlement. Kee Cheong Li Kwong Wing, enn économis, pose li enn kestion lor l’inflation, li mem pa koné kisa kestion boug-la pe pose li. Li dir sa enn kik chose tecknik sa, mo bizin guett mo bann technicien, zot ki pou réponn. Li enn zéro kom ministre des Finances”. Yet today he adores Pravind Jugnauth and SAJ as he believes they provide a gateway to power for him.
These are the people who want to paint themselves all white and spotless and who are talking about principles, morality and corruption. It should be recalled that it was Sir Anerood Jugnauth who coined the infamous expression moralité na pas rempli ventre. When the MCB/NPF surfaced in 2000 it is well known how the then MMM/MSM government managed that mega scandal. The police were informed after a long delay. The case was sent to the DPP in 2005 - after five years and after a mismanagement of the case by the first ICAC that was marked by political interference in the case under the MMM/MSM government. On a website that the MMM/MSM prepared during the 2000 elections, they stated that corruption was so rife that after 11 September 2000, the date on which the elections were held, the Economic Crime Office (ECO) should investigate the Labour ministers and rid the country of them. Instead the MMM/MSM got rid of ECO to protect a minister against whom an allegation of corruption had been made.
What to say of the statement of the President of the Republic on his views about ICAC when he was still at Le Réduit. The President was the promoter of the law that scrapped ECO to halt an investigation in a case of alleged corruption. Today when his son has been quizzed by ICAC Sir Anerood Jugnauth expressed the view that ICAC pé fané. All that Paul Berenger had to say on this was that as a “bon père de famille et père du pays, il est, avec raison, bien inquiet de la situation dans le pays”. How ridiculous.
It is this man that Bérenger described as a person with a sense of statehood. What a shame! Yet before that he castigated Pravind Juganuth on the Medpoint affair by stating: “Si Pravind Jugnauth n’a rien à faire avec l’affaire Medpoint, pourquoi alors a-t-il demandé à son Special Advisor d’aller discuter de ce projet d’hôpital gériatrique? Pourquoi aussi Dwarkasing a-t-il cru nécessaire de démentir, dans la presse, sa participation à cette réunion”.
Paul Bérenger, Pravind Jugnauth and SAJ will blow hot and cold according to their own vested interest. When roads are built they see corruption. When a contract is awarded to a firm in Singapore to prepare identity cards they flair corruption as if it is that easy to corrupt officials from Singapore.
We may ask Paul Bérenger, Pravind Jugnauth and SAJ how much money was spent to have the effigy of SAJ and Lady Sarojini Jugnauth on currency notes some years back. That was not only a cult of personality in the manner of Stalin but smacked of mismanagement of public funds. If Paul Bérenger and Pravind Jugnauth have any evidence of corruption relating to any major projects that are under way they should file complaints with the police. We know they will not go to ICAC as they hate that institution or a particular person there.
In 1984 when the MSM was propelled to power with the help of the Labour Party of Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam and the PMSD of Sir Gaëtan Duval the MMM made a series of allegations of corruption against many MSM ministers including Vishnu Lutchmeenaraidoo.
SAJ, to his credit, asked the then Governor General to appoint a Commission of Inquiry to investigate these allegations of the MMM. The Commission was chaired by Justice Goburdhun and when the time came for Paul Bérenger and his stooges in the MMM to give evidence before the Commission they backed out. Was it out of cowardice or because their allegations were wild just as the allegations of Pravind Jugnauth and Paul Bérenger sound hollow these days?
Propaganda and Stalin, Goebbels, Marx type methods will lead the MMM further in the abyss in which it finds itself. As for Pravind Jugnauth he is already in the abyss and is desperately attempting to use the back and shoulders to extricate himself from that uncomfortable situation. The corruption obsession will suffocate them. The power obsession may cause even more damage to them.