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Linyon Demokratik Seselwa (LDS) has reviewed with the gravest concern the report on the tragedy of the ‘Sea Horse’ cargo vessel at Coetivy Island in August last year. This report  by the Marine Accidents Investigation Board (MAIB) has been posted on the website of the Seychelles Maritime Safety Administration (SMSA) but has not yet received publicity in the national media.
The findings of the investigative body reveal a shocking array of mistakes, disregard of regulations and bad practices on the part of the authorities involved, namely the Islands Development Company (IDC), Seypec and the Prison Authority.
The MAIB found serious fault with the handling and transport of the volatile fuel  cargo as well as with the response to the accident. The details of the report leave a lot for the authorities concerned to explain, but more importantly to take into consideration to review their procedures and safety measures in place, not only for an incident of the same sort but also in the wider operations of their enterprises.
The President of the Republic and the Ministries implicated must take full note of the report and act with all due haste to address the issues raised. All national institutions must give full attention to it as well. The Seychellois public needs to be reassured that the authorities concerned face the responsibility for the incident and the tragic consequences, and that at least the appropriate lessons are accepted and acted upon.
The report has served as a reminder of the heartbreaking loss of lives in the incident and the grief that is borne by the families, relatives and friends of the victims which we continue to share.

Seychelles has improved in the Corruption Perceptions Index for 2018 published by Transparency International. LDS can claim credit for this improvement because functional institutions and Government oversight are key factors in limiting corruption.

Since 2016, Seychelles has improved its score by 11 points on the 100 point scale. It stands at 66 for 2018, coming from 55 in 2016 and 60 in 2017. The scale runs from 0 to 100 with 0 as the worst  and 100 as the best. 

With the score of 66, Seychelles is ranked 28th in the world but the highest in Sub-Saharan  Africa, where it is followed by Botswana with a score of 61 and Cape Verde with 57. .  

LDS has been rigorous and persistent in combating corruption, exposing several cases which have shocked the country. It is now recognised that there is now more awareness of corruption and of the need to eliminate it. 

Transparency International has noted the relative good standing of Seychelles compared to other African countries which are still hampered by weak or dysfunctional institutions.

Seychelles also now has an organisation dedicated to promoting transparency. This is Transarency Initiative Seychelles.

Some victims of the one-party state can see justice. 

A new Commission to deal with cases of forced acquisitions of property after the 1977 coup d’etat has begun work. This is directly the result of the LDS majority in the National Assembly. 

IN the 2016 National Assembly campign, LDS placed high on its agenda the task of overturning the injustices of the one-party state. One of the first motions brought by Leader of the Opposition Wavel Ramkalawan after the LDS victory was for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to address the abuse of human rights of citizens during the one-party state. 

Out of this motion came the formation of the Commission specifically to deal with the cases of people who lost their property as a result of compulsory land acquisition. Many people lost their homes and businesses as a result of this policy. Some of them had their properties seized with no compenation. Others were pressured to sell at a low value. Our picture shows the headline of the news magazine ‘Life’ which reported on the acquisition of farms.

Since the return of multi-party system in 1993 many people have been seeking ways to have their cases for return or compensation addressed. A few cases have been dealt with but many others are outstanding.

The new Land Commission under the direction of Lawyer Joey Athanasius has begun hearing some of these cases and is inviting anyone with a grievance of the kind to come forward. 

The office of the Land Commission is in Le Chantier Mall in Victoria. The phone number is 4325110.

The Land Commission has taken some time to start work but it is here at last. This is a major contribution of LDS to setting things right.

 


A brand new petrol station stands unused, three months after it was completed. It was supposed to be opened to the public in December 2018, but when the time came it was announced that it could not be put into operation yet.

Officially, the explanation was that there was no access road. The authorities assembled for the TV camera said it would take them three months to fix that. This is surprising because the station opens onto a paved road just a few metres past the Ile du Port roundabout.

But since the announcement there has been no sign of any work. The brand new petrol station is just sitting there like a ghost station.

Yet this facility is very much needed. People on the north-east side of the island, from Victoria to Glacis, have to go all the way to Roche Caiman for fuel. The cost in fuel and in time and it’s already a big price for the ordinary consumer. But the traffic situation on the road makes it a real hardship. The Roche Caiman service station is very often  jammed with traffic. An alternative would be a great relief for all road users.

The story of the Victoria North service station is one of deplorable planning and coordination between the government agencis conserned. How was the station planned and built without any consideration for the road access? This is a typical example of Government dysfunction which is costing our country a lot. Our Goverment needS sHaking up.

 

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.

 

LDS Secretariat

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

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