01 April 2016

Mrinal Roy: The Mess Is Getting Messier

Is the country in free-fall? Too many things seem to be falling apart and going asunder. Why is there this sickening feeling that the stewardship of the affairs of the country and the policy responses to resolve the many problems faced by the country, particular sectors and the people seems incoherent and muddled up?

The events of the past week have jolted the nation. It has once again brought to light that the constant rhetoric on good governance repeated like a leitmotiv on nearly every official occasion is not matched by deeds. The innocent are arrested on terrorist charges by the police before these are struck off in court two months later. Was it too much to expect an official apology for this gaffe and the profound anguish caused? Is it not also time to amend the law to cast in stone the sacrosanct principle of présomption d'innocence and to put an end to the arbitrary use of arrest and custody as instruments of humiliation?

Any politician professing to serve the country must be imbued with the highest values and code of ethics. They must show sound judgement at all times and ensure that their conduct and probity are unimpeachable. Why is it that such simple and sacrosanct rules of conduct, which are part of their contract of trust with the people, are so often breached by politicians and leaders? Are the altruism and selfless sense of service to the nation of yore, so potently evidenced during the fight for our rights and the freedom of the country, no longer part of today’s political ethos?
The three smart city projects of Mon Tresor, Cap Tamarin and Moka which have so far obtained their letter of intent from government (as well as some in the pipeline) are thus a mixed bag of commercial, residential, office, industrial, educational, medical or leisure hubs developed in most cases by sugar groups on thousands of acres of their sugar cane land assets. The financial gearing of these projects is anchored on their commercial component and their high-end residential estates which target foreign buyers. From information made public, these projects will entail some Rs 20 billion of investment over the next years till 2020 and beyond and are expected to generate some 3800 jobs in all. Is it not too little for such high investments outlays and potentially highly profitable ventures?
Mauritius Times

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