Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth has made a fool of himself by postponing the removal of Showkutally Soodhun as Vice Prime Minister and Housing Minister so long. He has also acted dangerously by this delay. Soodhun is also President of the MSM. Maybe he will be revoked later today.
In the most recent incident, when audio and video tapes were being circulated with Showkutally Soodhun as Housing Minister making the most insulting of communal remarks, and even when a witness spoke on radio, the Prime Minister still said he had to wait for the “enquiry” to be completed – as if he were the Police Commissioner or Prosecutor waiting for sufficient proof in a criminal case. When all he had to do was call in the Minister and ask him if he had made the racist comments or not. He clearly did, so then he should have revoked him on the spot.
Instead of calling for Soodhun’s resignation, Jugnauth’s other Vice Prime Minister Collendavelloo went one step further into both foolishness and danger, by saying that those who spread the tapes of Soodhun’s comments, were more to blame than he was.
Soodhun’s statement on the tapes is worse than insulting. It exposes, or for political expediency before one particular group of people, pretends, that the Government has communal criteria in allocating housing in NHDC complexes. This is what makes his comments not just insulting, but dangerous. He is not just prejudiced but claims discrimination on the grounds of community.
He has exposed that he should not be an MP, let alone a Minister. He should resign from Parliament immediately.
How can you keep a Minister in the Cabinet when he has made death threats against someone, and to make matters worse against the Opposition Leader? In that case, too, there was communalism in his threat. That was in July this year. There was the same ridiculous question of “waiting for the end of an enquiry” and then, even when there were criminal proceedings, he remained Minister.
In September 2017, he expelled a woman from a seminar with a hideously violent, sexist remark, “Al get Ramgoolam to pu gayn satisfaksyon!” Jugnauth should have revoked him on the spot.
His resignation/revocation as Minister was already long overdue. Ram Seegobin described him as “holding on to his Ministry by a thread” in September.
Even before all this, he was completely out of order when, in June this year, he declared that Mauritius was in the Saudi Arabia camp against Iran when Saudi Arabia put its blockade against Qatar. This was just not true. And Soodhun was acting like a specialized Foreign Affairs Minister, based on his community. A bit like Xavier Duval was doing, when he was in charge of Africa. This gives an indication of the mind-set of the entire Lepep Government, from the time of its surprise victory in the December 2014 general elections. It was an alliance cobbled together on an ad hoc basis, with nothing other than “community” as a concern in the selection of candidates and Ministers.
In August, 2016 he, as a Government Minister, accepted a flight in the private jet of a Saudi Arabian Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. Then there are all the lies about how much baggage he brought back.
And before that, in February 2016, he was the one who had the Ruhomally couple locked up for forwarding a memo saying he did not pay bills at the Apollo Clinic, when it turned out he did not pay them. This in itself should have merited a revocation. The fact that he has not been revoked shows how the MSM is in such a bad position politically that it cannot do anything without weakening itself. If it keeps Soodhun, as we have seen, it has weakened the MSM Government. And by kicking him out, this also weakens the MSM.