Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Seychelles Column - Where We Stand in 2009 Under "The Spirit" - by Christopher Gill

Where We Stand In 2009 Under Spirit 

As the Year 2009 starts to unfold before us, and 2007 is well behind us, 2008 has still left a bitter resin on the tip of our tongues, we must now see where we stand in 2009 with this "Spirit". Remember the Spirit, it is in Victoria, on Praslin, in Abu Dhabi, in Doha, Singapore.... it is everywhere....new offices usually follow it about wherever it goes as well as an entourage of camera men, journalist that have no courage to ask a single question, body guards, umbrella boys, waterboys, limousines.

The "Spirit" of 2006

In the Election year of 2006, Spirit told us that we were rich, rich, rich. Spirit told us that it had a plan that was dubbed "Strategy 2017", which was presented to us in the little white handbook with gold lining, and promised to double our GDP in 10 years. "Strategy of 2017" promised development, and enrichment of the Seychellois; even officials from the Central Bank would refer to its objectives when interviewed on SBC. SBC journalists never questioned the reference. In talk shows like Face-a-Face, government officials would refer to it in communist fashion as if it was a Bible. The host would pose no questions. Perhaps it is a Bible for non-believers, non-Christians like Atheists. 

The Spirit promised growth rates of 10% per annum and an accelerated economy for 10  years, every year, similar to the Madoff ponzi scheme that ripped off US$ 50 billion from investors in America. Head Spirit, sounded like he knew what he was saying in 2006. But soon, the Year 2007 would have a word with Head Spirits' artificial aspirations that were dreamed of in some deep slumber in the Presidential Suite on Silhouette Island, possibly, or maybe when he was on one of those Arab private jets that picked him up.

The "Spirit" of 2007 

In 2007, the Spirit was retrenching and after visiting the Pope of the Catholic Church at the Vatican in our name, he said that he was happy to announce that we "had paid all our debts", when in fact we had just borrowed more money to pay more debts, at an unbearable interest rate. Why borrow in a countries name at unbearable, unsustainable interest rates? Big question! Anyone with the courage to answer that at Spirit headquarters? 

As the Spirit borrowed to make it look like we were on our way to achieving the objectives of "Strategy 2017", we became more and more indebted. As this wave of borrowing took root in the Spirits' system, graft and corruption was ignored and paid lip service, to the point wherein allegations have been made and not denied till today, that the Ex Governor of the Central Bank, played with the money of the People. The Spirit did nothing about it, and just kept on borrowing to the amount of over $500Million in just a few short years, making us the most indebted country in the world per capita. This Truth is undeniable! I dare you to sue Bloomberg. I dare you, "Spirit" to sue Reuters!

The "Spirit" Falls on its Knees in 2008 

As the price of fuel continued to escalate in the Year 2008 and the world underwent a financial crisis in September 2008, and the Lehman Brothers collapsed, just before that, the Spirit was already defaulting on our external Bond obligations in July ($230 Million Bond interest payment)and August (Euro 54.75 Million plus default penalty of $50 Million on an interest payment) , just one month before the financial crisis hit Lehman Brothers and other companies on Wall Street and beyond. As the Spirit defaulted on the Bonds, first the $230 Million Public Issue Bond at 9.10 % interest, then on a second controversial Private Issue Bond for Euro 54.75 Million, then a $50 Million penalty fee kicked in on the Private Bond because of the default, the Spirit was kicked itself, to its knees. Spirit did not tell us about a $50 Million penalty fee for missing an interest payment of just a little over $1Million. My my "Spirit", you do work in mysterious ways, how you fake it so well, if you could only make it! 

As Afif aka “Gollum” and Faure the shadow president told us and the World that Seychelles could no longer cope with its external commercial loan obligations, under the Spirit, we were already not even performing on bilateral and multi-lateral obligations in 2008. We were ignoring our debts which were created by no other than the Spirit itself, and his predecessor Rene.

As we became non-performing sovereign state like Republika De Cuba (Faure’s higher education), our credit rating dropped in 2008 under the Spirit to the point that we were ranked lower than even Pakistan, a terrorist infested Country, where a former Prime Minister has just been murdered in cold blood.

Today, under this same Spirit, we are the only country that enjoys "The Lowest Credit Rating in The World". Under Spirit, SBC journalist AND Nation, we are officially BANKRUPT. So if you love Seychelles, start asking some questions or seek journalistic -asylum in Madagascar, where journalists are encouraged to remain silent, in exchange for a salary and maybe a hut. 

To make matters worse for us all now the little "Spirit-esses" are looking for a Sr. 100,000.00 micro credit loan, the Spirit is planning on running for Re-Election in 2011, again and shatter Mr. Four's (4) hope of retiring the Spirit in a keep sake jar once and for all like Boss would like.

May the Lord have mercy upon us and spare us this foreseen wrath about to come down upon us in the Omen Year of 2009. What is an Omen you ask SBC "journalists"? An Omen is a being, possessed by the Devil. The Devil lives inside the being. I leave the rest to your imagination. But please, start asking some questions. The People of Seychelles are witness to your cowardice in the face of our motherlands moment of weakness and frailty.

Action vs Words In 2008

At the beginning of 2008, the Spirit was increasing salaries for itself. By the end of 2008, it was making redundant over 2000 workers and cutting public assistance through a weights and measure scheme to ensure that all members of the Spirit, get their fat-cat salaries, in spite of their failures. Strange for a Spirit that feels for ordinary people. Journalist did not question the matter.

As IMF engaged the Spirit, it transformed itself overnight into a beast we are unfamiliar with. One moment they cut a program, the next moment they re-instate the program. One moment they commit $5 Million to Tourism promotion, the next moment they say that money is to pay debts going back to 2002 and the Industry is on it own. Strange. Journalist said nothing.

One moment they implement a weights and measure scheme for welfare recipients, and turn away 375 applicants, the next moment they tell them to come back and get reassessed with new weights and measures. Strange. Journalists were silent like lamb, after slaughter. 

One moment the Homecarers were told by a Minister that they will be out of employment on December 31, 2008, then the next moment the Spirit possibly possessed by an Omen says that they will stop end of April, 2009. Strange. Nation had no words, SBC said nothing of the matter. Not a question posed!

One moment they say the Commissioner of Police is doing a fine job, ignore the fact that he is Army and from Cuba, the next moment, he has resigned and disappeared like an Exile, only to be replaced by retired Irish policemen. SBC and Nation were silent like a co-conspirator that lives in fear. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil, or anything in between.

One moment we are told assets will be declared, then Captain Adam tells us on SBC , he will not declare assets until after SEPEC is audited. Strange. Journalist posed no questions.

One moment Spirit said bus passes would not go up, then the next moment , the prices shot up, even though the price of fuel dropped. Journalists turned the other cheek and prayed they never had to take the bus.

One moment Spirit said plane tickets would not go up, the next moment, the prices shot up. There has been silence ever since. In fact there is so much silence, you can hear the planes when resting in hangar. Strange.

One moment Spirit said we need a professional Police Force, the next moment, they cut its Budget. Strange. How can one profess to love Seychelles, and remain silent as our Police Force is sentenced to scavenging for batteries and torches.

One moment the Spirit said we need to maintain excellent hospital services, the next moment Spirit was removing hospital beds and mattresses from wards. Strange. No comment, not even about the new hospital going up by a person who helped run the old one to the ground. Wonder if Spirit and Boss have shares in this new venture?

It has been mentioned, one moment the Army had a Budget of almost Sr.90 Million, the next moment checks of Sr. 195.00 were not clearing. Strange. Is that true? Perhaps the Army can clarify a matter which is in the public interest: use of our money. Send a letter not a bullet.

As Spirit asked IMF for $100Million in assistance (200% of our allocation), IMF gave only $26 Million, maybe, in installments less then 50% of our allocation). As Spirit said it was their Plan, IMF said it was their own Plan written in Washington DC USA and implemented in Seychelles, Mahé, Victoria. Strange. What's happening here? Is Spirit taking credit for an IMF Plan? Strange. Say something SBC and Nation, show us that your mandate is to educate the public, and not keep them living in ignorance.

Not long ago, the Spirit said" Kile, Les Spirit Travay" . Then, in early 2009, Spirit goes on SBC with one eye looking to the South, and one eye looking to the North, and says....Koste! Whats going on here? Strange. Do we fully understand what's happening to Spirit? I doubt it. Do lead journalist at SBC and Nation care? I doubt it!

One moment we are told development is for Seychellois then we see only Arabs developing and Seychellois are placed on "Deferred" status, while Arab sheiks have their plans approved in their own country. Strange. No further comment.

One moment we are told to protect our environment, then we see our environment being ripped apart for villas for sheiks and the rich people of the world, without any control. Strange. What kind of Spirit are we dealing with? Is it a spirit that protects the environment or one that lives off the environment?

We are told ADAMS force will fight drug traffickers and operate to catch escobars. The next moment, the force is disbanded. Strange. No questions asked, not even a squeek!

We are told farmers will  get $500,000.00 hard currency for grains and the next moment they are given the animal feed factory and told to sink or swim, fatten or starve your pigs, on your own, on a thread of hope. Strange. Why control animal feed on a national level, only to let pigs and chickens starve to death? Is that right?

We are told the price of fuel will be adjusted according to the world market trends. The next thing we know, fuel price does not adjust to world trends and stays the same. When it goes down in mid-January 2009 (a little late), gasoline drops but gas oil/diesel hardly drops. Strange, especially since gas oil is almost junk.  Any comments SBC and Nation?

Where we stand in 2009 with the Spirit is in quick sand! I apologize for digressing in quality of writing, but I am trying to keep up with a falling Spirit. It is not easy.

Next week I will address serious economic issues and give an opinion, where we really stand on the economy in Seychelles today, something the Spirit does not seem to comprehend, judging from its performance.

But Spirit can use the points I will highlight in its State of The Nation Address if it has the courage too.......don't hold your breath! Does the Spirit even breathe?

May God Bless All Freedom Loving Seychellois and our beloved Seychelles!

For comments, email me at sezfree4u@yahoo.com

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