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The Cabinet of Ministers has addressed the alarming drug use and drug-related health issues in the Seychelles

prison revealed by a study which found that 92% of inmates are drug users while 25% are HIV positive and

over 40% have Hepatitis C, according to a report on SBC TV.

In its response, the Cabinet has not addressed the obviously disastrous security failures revealed by the

statistics. It has only endorsed a recommendation of the Agency for the Prevention of Drug Abuse and

Rehabilitation (APDAR) to introduce a methadone program in the prison as of next year, and to consider a

needle exchange program.

The level of drug use reported in what is supposed to be a securely controlled environment, and the health

consequences that are being attributed to it, represent a major menace not only for the inmates but for the

people of Seychelles as a whole, since they will in due course become part of the general population.

An alarming aspect of the situation is that sentencing any person to prison, in addition to the punishment of

incarceration, is also a condemnation to drug addiction and to potentially fatal health threats. Our prison

system is not only failing in its duty towards rehabilitation of offenders, but quite the opposite, putting them

in harm’s way and escalating the scale of the problem for society.

The Cabinet position reported by SBC is inadequate and irresponsible because it does not address the root

cause of the problem. While we can accept that methadone and needle exchange are useful resources in drug

rehabilitation and harm reduction if they are managed properly, they do not replace necessary measures to

prevent or curtail access to drugs in prison. By themselves they risk expanding the reliance on drugs rather

than curtailing it.

It is to be noted that the Budget allocations for the Prison Department and for APDAR have been recently

presented to the National Assembly without an acknowledgement of the scale of this problem, which should

be a subject for larger debate and consideration.

LDS urges President Danny Faure and the Cabinet of Ministers to look again at the issues involved in order to

better protect inmates and our society from drug addiction and its health consequences.

 

The LDS Women’s Association (LDSWA) assembled at the International Conference Centre on Sunday for its Annual General Meeting.

Members from all over Seychelles gathered for this meeting under the theme “Women United for Change”. The event was for the Association to fulfil administrative requirements under the law but also to discuss issues of interest to its members and look at the year ahead. 

Chairperson Desheila Bastienne opened the meeting and Hon. Flory Larue officiated as MC. The administrative duties included a report of the activities of the Association presented by its Chairperson and a Treasurer’s report presented by member Cheryl Philoe. The Association also adopted its revised constitution.

Two members made presentations on subjects of concern : Cynthia Haryba on the participation of women in politics and Beryl Valentin on women’s health.

In an open forum, members raised several issues which included suggestions to make the support of women for LDS more visible, to strengthen the presence of LDSWA in districts and for LDS to maintain efforts to tackle political victimisation. 

Closing the meeting, LDS leader Roger Mancienne took up the subject of women particition in politics, describing it as a vital goal. He called on the members of LDSWA to be the first in line to fight for this cause.  

 

The Danny Out campaign has mobilised thousands of Seychellois in support of the call for fresh Presidential elections.

Rallies have now been held on all three main islands, drawing large crowds.  LDS Party leaders have laid out the reasons for the campaign as a call to bring a new government able to tackle the problems we face at the moment and give new impetus to national development.

With the system of Government now split between the two parties, Seychelles is not moving forward. There is no unified vision for the country. The solution to this is to let the people decide what they want for the country.

The LDS has laid out its priorities in fighting courruption and cleaning up government finances.  It believes this is the key to establishing a fresh approach to Government. Clean government and good financial management will enable us to focus on what we need to do for the people of Seychelles. 

Issues that are important for the Seychellois people today are bringing down the cost of living, combating drug abuse and trafficking, security in our home and communities and delivering services effectively. WE need action now.

We need a unified Government with the Executive and the Legislature following the same vision. 

Empty seats of PL Members 

Members of the National Assembly from the ruling party failed to turn up for work on Wednesday afternoon, abandoning their colleague Waven William. 

Hon. William had presented a motion in the morning on which debate had started. But in the afternoon, only four members of his party showed up and the Assembly had to be suspended for lack of a quorum. Among those absent were the NA Assembly leaders such as de Commarmond and Simon Gill.

The absence was an act of dereliction of duty by the PL members and portrays the disarray in which the party now stands. The motives are not entirely clear. Hon. William, who has had a long career in the National Assembly, has sometimes broken with his party line, for instance when he voted to suspend debate on the supplementary budget that same morning. In this case, the action of his colleagues may have been an act of revenge.

But the worst part of it is the disrespect of these members for the National Assembly and the failure to live up to their responsibilities. 

Maison du Peuple, the party headquarters built with public money

LDS is pursuing the theft of state property by the Parti Lepep and its predecessors in government. The impetus now is to stop them selling land and assets that were taken from government on the cheap and are now being sold for millions.

The battle for return of state property was taken up this week by LDS MNA Flory Larue, who has made herself a champion of the cause. In a motion brought to the NA, Hon. Larue asked for the prompt return of property and sounded the alarm over the on-going sale of these properties now that Parti Lepep is under attack. She ended with the call : “We must stop them before it is too late.”

Hon. Larue, with the support of LDS members, detailed the list of 59 properties which had been taken by the ruling party. Among these were 10 transactions in which the current President, Danny Faure, has been involved personally on behalf of his party.

Many of these plots have already been sold to third parties at enormous profit, including some which were sold back to government. Examples are plots at Plaisance and on La Digue which fetched over R8 million apiece. The scam to net the party millions has been laid bare. 

Some other properties have been put to other uses, highly beneficial in most cases. This includes a warehouse rented by the Seychelles Trading Company for R800,000 per month and buildings rented out for commercial space. 

The urgency now is to get the assets returned to the people of Seychelles, to whom they belong. In the debate on the motion, the LDS MNAs have highlighted the great need for land for different kinds of purposes whether home building or socially beneficial business such as day-care centres. 

LDS has vowed that the fight for the return of assets plundered from the state will continue until victory is achieved.

 

LDS Secretariat

ADDRESS:  Lakaz Seselwa Mont Fleuri    |     OFFICE TEL 4321122  |     EMAIL : info@lds.sc

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