The scandal that was on the menu this week was nipped in the bud. As rumours of a story that would make Tarolahgate look like a pastoral care session flooded social media, Bashir Jahangeer hotfooted it to the police to denounce those "opposition members" who are so jealous of the great work he is doing that they 'fabricated' a video about him and were about to release it.
With one scandal chasing another, I thought an Encyclopaedia Mauritiannica of our VVIPs might be in order. So here are a few starting points, in alphabetical order, to help the nation remember their contribution to the country.
Anerood Jugnauth: Known for his sweet "Au revoir, mo pe aller" (Goodbye, I am leaving), he ended up embodying the expression "Lev paké rester" (Untranslatable). He quietly handed over the power to his son and decided to stay on and collect his full salary any way. Anyone not happy about the situation? "I p..s on you!" would be his reply. Some of his most notable talents: his astute business acumen and always putting himself first e.g. taking his money out of Bramer Bank before closing it down.
Boygah, Sandhya, enters history for being the best speaker in the National Assembly. In a budget speech, she made women proud by giving very explicit details of her caesarean section and her family life. She was rewarded for her talent with an inland lagoon for the cultivation of sea cucumber. Free of charge, of course!
Choomka, Youshreen is a truly unique success story in women's empowerment. She was so unique in fact that, nominated as the chairperson of the IBA, she appointed herself as the director general of the same organisation. She embarked on a mission to help the country by filling her pockets until some ungrateful journalist found out and she had to resign.
Dayal, Raj, was instrumental in breaking all the colour barriers. The bal kouler scandal was a lesson in how to get caught while soliciting bribes.
Etienne Sinatambou. He could have been a harmless minister, but then he got appointed as the government’s spin-doctor. Since then, the government's popularity has become adversely proportional to the number of times he opens his mouth.
Fakim, Ameenah Gurib: She admitted in an interview with CNBC AFRICA that she only accepted the position of president when 'they' told her "You won't have to do anything". And she did more than that: She spent more time doing nothing outside the country than inside. Until she got involved in the Sobrinho scandal. Then she went into hiding, while sticking to her promise of doing nothing.
Gayan, Anil: He is an equal opportunities minister: Everyone close to him got a job - his mistress, his wife, his son, his son-in-law, his cousin... He will be remembered for his statement, "Government is government and government decides".
Hanoomanjee, Maya: A loving mother and a loyal party member. Her two daughters got jobs and contracts and her party are treated well in parliament. Who cares about impartiality?
Ivan Collendavelloo: After the Sobrinho episode, we were treated to the nomination of his close female friend as high commissioner to Australia. Mother and baby are fine and are living well. At the expense of the state.
Jadoo-Jaunbocus, Roubina: Living proof that women can achieve the impossible: 37 unsolicited prison visits in one single day! Who can top that?
Kalyan Tarolah: Salacious, unethical, illegal, inane and objectionable acts from within the National Assembly - many feats, one actor. You may forget his face but you will always remember his film.
Lutchmeenaraidoo Vishnu: Euro loan, gold finger, BAI, appointment of his sister, you mention it. He swatted away all the threats through two famous sentences: "I am the cleanest member in this government. I am not the one with an account in Hong Kong!" Nobody bothered him again.
Maunthrooa Prakash and Bhardoiraj: The brothers have broken many records: Prakash's case, Boskalis, thanks to an invisible hand in Mauritius Telecom, will be the longest ongoing case in legal history. Equally, the brother is the most successful tailor after the one who designed the Naked Emperor's clothes.
Nobin, Mario: No case to answer for government members. Guilty as charged for the rest.
Oree Gowkaran. Never heard of him? Neither have we? But he is drawing a salary as an MP!
Pravind, Jugnauth: Unpaid bills to and donations from the BAI, Dufry, MedPoint, the tape released by Dawood Rawat… but Pravind will be remembered particularly for the way he hijacked power and for his propensity to pounce on any ribbon to be cut. He has also probably broken the record of the most televised minister in the history of Mauritius.
Rutnah, Ravi: Living proof that rogue, bullish, vulgar, misogynistic and vagabond behaviour can co-exist in the same person.
Soodhun, Showkutally: God's way of showing us that ineptitude is no handicap.
Sesungkur, Sudhir: Try this puzzle: His former partner, Kirti Taukoordass, sues him for Rs32 million for embezzling funds. He reacts by hiring Taukoordass, with a fat pay cheque involved of course, to look into the New Mauritius Hotels saga. Then the case vanished into thin air. A lady and her husband accuse him of sexual harassment. The husband is offered a juicy position on the board. This time, the magic didn't work.
Teeluckdharry, Sanjeev: It doesn't rain but it pours. Still facing disciplinary proceedings at the Supreme Court as well as the Bar Council, he now has to deal with the Drug Commission's serious findings.
Vijaya, Sumputh: A symbol of meritocracy the Gayan way.
Wenda Sawmynaden, the sudden rise to riches. Unknown as a notary, her great competence suddenly came to light and contracts started pouring in as soon as her husband joined government. She pocketed Rs7 million from the Apollo Bramwell sale alone! In addition, she also got contracts to handle the sales of 216 NHDC units!
Yerrigadoo, Ravi: A sad record of introducing repressive laws, (Unexplained wealth, Insurance Act, the Prosecution Commission bill) giving the wrong advice (Betamax, BAI) and degrading the country internationally (Dufry, Soornack). His love story with the government ended with Yerrigadoogate.
Zuberr, Joomaye: A great example to show that moral bankruptcy is not the monopoly of the old. After crossing the floor - inspired by the unelected prime minister - he happily joined an obscene competition in obsequiousness. What a waste of talent and youth!
I must admit that the encyclopaedia is incomplete. The letters Q, U and X are missing. But then again, we have two more years to go. So take heart.
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