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MAURITIUS MEDIA at a glance: 13 Sep. 2009

13.09.2009


Our newspapers and radios are usually very keen to expose the political ramifications of major financial scandals.

In the MCB/NPF case before the Commercial Court, in the course of the deposition of Pierre-Guy Noel, Chief Executive of the Bank, something very interesting has been confirmed. In April 1993, a cheque for Rs 5 million transited through Teeren Appasamy and ended up financing political activities organised by the UDM of Guy Ollivry. The gathering which took place at Lari Edward 7, in Rose-Hill, on 25 July 1993 was preceded by weeks of massive media coverage of Ollivry: his political agenda was obviously to try to replace the MMM as the potential alliance partner of the Labour Party, against the Jugnauth government. The events before and after the UDM gathering represented a landmark in the massive use of black money to achieve political goals.

The strange thing about the newspaper reporting of the present case is the obvious aim to avoid mentionning the fact that the UDM of Guy Ollivry was the party involved in the scam. This applies particularly to the L'Express newspaper which until recently employed the ex-Secretary General of the UDM. This is how the L'Express reports this particular aspect of the MCB/NPF:

9 Sep. 2009: "...un montant de Rs. 5 millions, dont une partie a été utilisée pour le financement d'une manifestation politique en date du 25 juillet. "

And

"... Rs. 5.5 millions ayant été utilisées pour les besoins d'une donation politique."

Although Le Mauricien of 10 September made it clear that the political gathering of the 25 July 1993 was organised by the UDM, the Week-End paper shows the same "shyness" as L'Express. On 13 September the Week-End, in a chronological list of the various "non-authorised" transfers of money out of the MCB, writes:

"... les Rs. 6 millions d'avril 1993 avaient été utilisées pour assurer une donation politique au nom de Teeren Appasamy ... un rassemblement politique en date du 25 juillet de cette mème année. "

If we can easily understand the reasons why the L'Express and Week-End papers should today avoid exposing the UDM of Guy Ollivry, it is rather more difficult to understand why just a week before the 25 July 1993 gathering unveiled its monument of corruption, the following should have been pompously declared by a "trade union leader" in an interview in the Week-End of 18 July 1993:

"Nous considerons qu'il est important de créer une vraie opposition suite au vide laissé par L'Alliance MSM/MMM. ... Cette opposition qui devrait reunir l'UDM, LALIT, les centrales syndicales, certaines ONG comme Space, le CDD, et l'ACIM, ne devrait pas avoir de structure rigide au stade actuel des choses."

Either the "trade union leader" was unaware of the corrupt money behind the UDM "revival", or he believed it was a "legitimate" political operation.

RS. 13 September 2009.