Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Seychelles Column - Disaster at Cascade - By Christopher Gill

Cascade Shows Signs of Despair

As the Presidential show took to the Cascade District, another SPPF strong hold, Mr. President was hoping his Party faithful would be gentle and understanding and Koste blindly according to his rallying call to all Seychellois.

His wish was not granted. The Cascade meeting reminded me a little of the moment Cinderella discovered her fine jewelry laden coach carriage had turned back into a pumpkin. The dream had a bad awakening and she had to walk back all the way home, after a grand ball of good times.

When the meeting was over, Mr. President was clutching his MONT BLANC PEN upside down for the whole Nation to see. Then he dropped his pen and used his hands, to finish his defense rebuttals as he carefully called Meriton and Morgan to the front lines to defend him and his Government. Meriton sounded like he was giving a speech to volleyball players and Morgan read from notes apparently tied to his feet when answering questions concerning a mismanaged landfill cum health hazard for residents of Cascade. 

MNA De Commarmond From Cascade Speaks!

SPPF MNA for Cascade Charles Decommarmond gave an introduction speech that lasted about 15 minutes - this time no role playing so he felt a bit uncomfortable with all the sweat beads on his face.

In classic Charles (comedian) style, he highlighted in a subtle but piercing manner, shortcomings to the situation at hand. He said a single light has not been placed on the Cascade Bridge since being built, requests have been pending for years; residents still do not have adequate facilities for Youth and small businesses, housing constraints, issues concerning rise in crime, the list was endless.

MNA Decommarmond made a sincere appeal for competence and leadership within the Executive Branch of Government. At times, he sounded as if he was in Opposition to JJ Spirit. In what appeared to be an offer of pity for Michel, Decomarmond seemed to offer Cascade fishermen as volunteers to fight pirates. I find this request acceptable if Michel puts his Colonel bars on and leads the way. But he will not, so the fishermen can stay home and tend to their families.

The very fact that the questions of competence were posed indirectly, shows that the SPPF have a real problem at hand.

Michel has abandoned the Districts and opted for the politics of the jet set traveler. As he returns to the Districts, he finds, there are no lights, no this and no that. Even buses are in shortage to take our people to work, in spite of having over 285 buses.

As Seychellois become poorer and poorer under Michel, we must all start taking the bus. This fluctuation in demand for public transportation increases a burden on Government. Failure has a way of strangling itself.

Charles Decomarmond must be commended for standing up to Michel's antics in his own subtle, but sure way. Congratulations MNA De Comarmond,sometimes, a single light under a dark bridge, can make a big difference for everyone, you are so right on this one.

Mr. Walter Labrosse Calls For More Autonomy 

Seemingly frustrated over lack of action in his District, Mr. Walter Labrosse businessman and traditional party liner, respected in community, has called on the Michel administration to grant greater autonomy to the Cascade District, as promised, in order for the District to solve its own problems.

Michel early on five (5) years ago, immediately sent the District committees packing with their assessments and recommendations. Preferring total control to be able to take credit for everything that happens in all walks of life of this country, Districts were left to being buildings of wasted resources, which we badly need today, when Michel can no longer borrow money to run the Country.

For years now, State House and Government rarely consulted the Districts on numerous matters. Now this decision has come back to back bite Michel. Having more or less abandoned Districts and suspended capital projects throughout Seychelles, now SPPF must redefine the relationship of Executive Branch and District-MNA Branch. SPPF will watch Michel as he steps on his own foot once more (the Spirit Dance of 2009).

Michel's tongue was noticeably twisted as his brain ran amuck in confusion over the question posed by Mr. Labrosse. Mr. Labrosse works for a living and does not live off others for a living, so he waited patiently for an answer.  Maybe he can find his own answers at the ballot box in 2011.

Proper leadership defines a moment and period of difficulty, it does not get dragged by the ear over it. In a crisis, leaders must rise to the challenge and not be over run by the challenge. So get that light for the Cascade Bridge Michel, even if you use the whole JJ Spirit team to turn the light bulb in the right direction. While you are at it, have your SOS YouTube the turning on ceremony.

Pere LaFortune Gives Us A Real Lesson 

How can a District meeting be heard, without hearing out the Parish Priest? A very difficult task indeed.

Pere Lafortune had perhaps the longest winded question possible, which lasted at least 5 minutes, over crime and the case to stop "Escobars", from ruining our Country. When Pere Lafortune was finished, Michel's Mont Blanc had twisted and turned in his hand until it was upside down, then he simply dropped the pen as if it never belonged in his hand, as if to give up on answering a question, which should have been answered, everyday of his administration.  Atheist trembling or simple fear of God?

As the SOS went red in the background and girlie giggled as she saw her professional boy-friend President crack, the answer made its way out, although as lame as a duck out of water.

According to Michel, he is still working on the hunt for Escobars. But it takes time, and he needs to find their assets and seize those items. It has been five (5) years Mr. President, I do not suppose that you need five (5) more, do you? The assets of the Escobars seem to multiply overnight and at the rate that Michel is taking to track them down, he will be dealing with Medusa's heads all over our islands!

The issue of crime and robberies was also raised by other members of the audience. Michel had nowhere to hide as he felt powerless in not being able to protect his citizens (as per his commitment to the Constitution when he took his oath as President). Cascade is the best case in point as it has no Police Station since the last existing one was put to the ground more than 10 years ago! Cascade is not the only district without a police station to protect its district's citizens.

His team will have to do a better job at filtering the questions for the other district meetings. Crime is of prime importance today as this wave is hitting all and sundry - ironically it is the 'pti Seselwa' that is the most affected as the big shots are being guarded by the best security apparatus in the land.

As we are advised by Police to chain our bananas, Michel has no real answers, because his government has done no real work on Escobars, thieves and criminals that very likely are in his own Government as hinted by the good Pere Lafortune.

Yes there are a few Irish and a few dogs at the airport and yes you have a K-9 Squad, but that should have taken 5 months to set up not five (5) years dear Michel.

As the Drugs trafficking takes hold of our society, Cascade has sounded a desperate alarm for help. What are you going to propose Mr. President? Perhaps you need to clean up your State House security (like you did at the Central Police station) who have been implicated in the dirty gang warfare similar to Mexico and Columbia, where bodies have been found tied to engine blocks and floating in the sea or boats mysteriously exploding in the Ste. Anne marine park. The drug problem is now a dirty game that is filling the coffers (or accumulating assets) of a few big fish either in high positions within government or individuals enjoying the protection from very high up. We are still seeing those mysterious cargos addressed to big shots in the army or your very own government, the same one you keep touting every night as “Mon Gouvernement”.

So far, Michel has caused to be fired more Superintendents of the Police then he has caught Escobars. You would think he is targeting the wrong people again, based on Irishmen rumours.  And in fact, not a SINGLE Escobar has been caught under his Presidency.

The lesson of the Cascade meeting is revealing. A promise made to be competent and the best, is a promise even SPPF will hold you to, Mr. President. When you told us we were going to double our GDP in ten (10) years,and we would become rich, many people in Cascade wanted to believe you.

Now you tell them we are BANKRUPT, under REFORM, and the World Financial Crisis has slowed down our "aspirations", and "mechanisms", so what do you propose for us over the next ten (5) years when you will seek for another term (if you still have the courage to face this kind of tune), "doubling of our daily burden”?  Do you remember Rene’s “Ser Sang” slogan?  Well, the belt no longer fits as the people are hungry.

It does not look like the People of Cascade are willing to accept that to please you and allow you to get back to your jet set lifestyle that can be handled by a Minister of Foreign Affairs. In fact, why have a Minister at all if you want to do his job?

Many more residents of Cascade had much more to say, that was all valuable and revealing. I guess these poor residents will have the chance to decide at the ballot box in 2011 whether your lies are worth listening to.

But unfortunately, the whole exercise is showing only one thing: the only thing "Transparent" in Seychelles today, is the see through- Presidency, aside from that, People of Seychelles see no hope in Michel and JJ Spirit!  Emperor without any clothes come to mind!

Many still clap hands so they do not lose their jobs, their chance for a flat or piece of state land, or a homecarer.  How sad and how low can one go!

I ask the Minister of Social Affairs, if Mr. Michel applies for a job or homecarer assistance, to please do give him one or both, because in this condition as presented to us in Cascade, even the SOS will not be able to help him much.  By the way, is it not time to retire all these old Presidents that have been hanging around for nearly 35 years now?

May God Bless All Freedom Loving Seychellois and Our Beloved Seychelles!


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