Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Seychelles Comedy - State House Anytime Now

A clean government and getting rid of the old guard

With the IMF in town to present their latest report card, it seems that things are now moving at a slower pace in Seychelles. We had SupaSave just before the elections to save us from the days of ‘Napa’ and now we have turned it into ‘CityMart’ with plenty of things but no money to buy. SMB is now STC and in order to clean up shop and have the real leader of the party install his authority, it is getting much harder than the President thought.

JenPa: Good Morning Sir! With the economy in stability and your assurances that the government is on the right track, the people are starting to see the light (or are they?). They are still desperately waiting for the increment in salary to be able to afford the basic commodities. We have now set up various shopping institutions reserved for various classes. The high profile send their drivers and maids to raid ISPC with their forex, the more fortunate grab whatever is on the shelves at Docklands and the rest wait for the adverts on TV before descending on STC in swarms.

Mr. President: It is impossible to please everyone JP. I wish I could do like everyone and visit the various shops to ‘marsande’ but I am scared that I might end up with a slap in the face. After more than thirty two years running this country, I cannot understand how this economy functions. Fish is scarce, commodities are at exorbitant prices and my poor people are suffering. I do not know who to blame anymore. We used to blame the Indian merchants during our struggle and today every corner shop is owned by them.

JenPa: Our aim Sir is to run a clean government that delivers. The district meeting have put us on the spot and we need to come out with a new strategy about how to come clean. The problem of recycling the same faces will not work anymore. Parti Lepep needs to see a new departure. New people who are prepared to take us onto a new road. But here’s the dilemma. Who do we bring in?

Mr. President: I think we need to follow the path of Zimbabwe. And more recently we have seen that even in Madagascar the rival leaders are prepared to put their differences aside for the good of the country. This is the approach we need to take from now on JP. There are more brains outside Seychelles that can help us to resolve those entire crises that we have unleashed upon us. Koste Seselwa has to go beyond our borders. We need to reach out to all those that we have wronged in the past. I have finally finished reading Mandela’s book ‘Long March to Freedom’ and I am now waiting for Ton Jimmy Mancham to send me a signed copy of his new autobiography. I believe Ton Jim and Mandela are right and reconciliation is the only way forward. We need to call on all our Seychellois people far and wide to come and contribute so that this country can prosper.

JenPa: I know Sir. This is the perfect strategy. Instead of relying on all these foreigners who are just here for a royal time like they did in the colonial days, at least we can have the true men and women from our own patrimony contributing whole-heartedly to the well being and prosperity of our nation.

Mr. President: But we have one problem JP. We have some of the old guard who refuse to budge, especially those who have been indoctrinated by our revolution. They say that they have been put there by the old man and it is only the old man who can ask them to leave. I do not have much control over the whole issue. I am really scared when I contemplate what will happen when the old man goes. Some of them still have the 1977 blood running through their veins. I am not able to play the role of the pacifier to unite everyone despite all our efforts.

JenPa: Indeed Mr. President. The Parti Lepep’s attempt to go back to the people is failing miserably. It is really now that we are seeing the misery these people are enduring. The complaints in the district meetings are just the tip of the iceberg. Some kids are going to school on empty stomachs. This is the reality happening to our ‘pti trezor’! People cannot cope anymore. We might have a people’s revolution on our hands soon, and I fear that the election will be much worse.

Mr. President: So what do you propose in your bright mind Mr. Secretary of State. Perhaps you have been doing some extra homework on how we can solve all our sociological and psychological problems.

JenPa: The country needs a complete clean up Sir. We should start with all the vices that have permeated throughout our society. I know that you are doing your best efforts to tackle the drug problem. But another aspect that needs to be eliminated is the ‘baka’ and ‘lapire’ culture that Morgan condoned and gave everyone free licenses to brew. This is the worse scourge on our working population and it is all Morgan’s fault Sir. And now what’s making it worse is the substitute such as a good old Seybrew beer or a Guinness costs twenty times more.

Mr. President: I know that the families are suffering a lot because of that as no real money is being brought home and the wives and children are the real ones suffering. How can we overturn this situation?

JenPa: Well the women are busy trying their luck at Ramadoss’s amusement centre in the hope that the few rupees will bring in the all illusive jackpot. It is a vicious cycle and we need to find the magical solution to put an end to it. Our young girls are turning into prostitutes just to get some money for a burger or to get their daily fixes of heroin. As a president for all Seychellois you really need to take these issues seriously as it is the very fabric of our society that is being torn apart. Our youth are fast becoming extinct Sir, and we need their votes.

Mr. President: I have noticed that the gap between the rich and the poor is widening very fast and we have not much of a chance to arrest this situation if we do not become more serious. I think I need to assert my authority and find a solution fast. We are sweeping too much of all this truth under the carpet via the media and I am afraid that it will all blow into our faces very soon. We need an entente cordiale between all the parties. Judging from the census we are doing with the ‘perron’ exercise, I have lost already the majority and we will need a huge cash injection to buy votes next time around.

JenPa: Precisely Sir! Entente cordiale! This is what is needed. Perhaps towards the end of the year and after we get the first year report card from the IMF, you can call on all Seychellois to vote on a referendum that will allow them to decide on a new Government of National Reconciliation and National Unity. No recriminations and no witch-hunt Sir. Just a plain message of ‘Let Us Help Each Other Out Of This Mess”. My recommendation is that you reach out quickly and find a person of integrity, a man who can be trusted by all Seychellois local and abroad. A real Seychellois patriot who does not have any dirty hands and one who has not pilfered the country.

Mr. President: The old man will have a stroke JP. But I think you are on the right track as if I don’t do that, we may end up losing the election as I hear there are some young patriots who may run for President in 2011. And we simply cannot afford to lose JP.

JenPa: That’s right Sir. There are some rumours of a young Presidential candidate in the making and from what I hear, he has a lot of followers already and people are starting to talk about him in the streets. The people of Seychelles want a change and this guy can outsmart us and even Ton Albert. So you have to move fast Sir. I assure you that if you go the National Reconciliation way, the lost $2.5 billion will come back from offshore bank accounts in no time and will be reinvested into the country to rebuild our basic infrastructure. A bit like the Ramadoss hospital which has now stopped from lack of funding from the boys! IMF has been asking where the funds were coming from.

Mr. President: Brilliant idea JP. You do have some great ideas when it comes to rapprochement. This will also pacify the old guard who will look into this as a smooth transition. We can phase out the army for a better Coast Guard and let the USA help us fight the pirates, we can get more labour into the crop growing workforce and build an efficient fishing industry. Exactly what was being planned before 1977! Well we had some good lessons to lean from the days of apartheid and now let’s see how things pan out in Madagascar. Perhaps we can follow that model.

The President is contemplating with every passing hour how his days are numbered at these State House grounds. Whatever happens, he can still claim to be the legitimate president who compromised his stature and had to give in to a more popular one… a bit like the Madagascar scenario! But he could be remembered as “The Great Reconciliator”, and maybe win the Mo Amin award of US$ 5 million for bringing peace and unity back into Seychelles. Now that would be retirement a la Communist style!


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