There is no denial that there has been a change in the mood of the population. Anger and frustration have already gripped our towns and are making their way to our villages slowly but surely. Many people who were scared of expressing their wrath and dissatisfaction are now openly participating in national debates of critical interest and making their views publicly known.
More than the deteriorating economic situation in the country, what is creating more despair is the arrogance of the government and its irresponsible persistence in refusing to speak the language of truth. The divide between those who are toiling but finding it hard to feed their children and the greed of those in power is growing. So, there is a general consensus that the government has let its people down, consequent on rampant corruption, odious nepotism, galling incompetence, gross economic mismanagement and a criminal waste of public funds. The prime minister knows this, which is perhaps why his trip to the south yesterday required so much security protection, planning and deployment.
Having said that, if I were him, I would call general elections tomorrow. And I would win! For, the opposing camp right now looks like a bunch of entitled kids in a candy store. They are fighting each other for the goodies and are oblivious to the implications of their actions and inactions. While true patriots have been expressing the wish to have a united opposition front to counter a political party, wont on totalitarianism, which will not hesitate to employ any questionable means – moral, ethical, legal or otherwise – to consolidate and entrench its position, the opposition cannot even agree on a date for a protest march! Yet, a highly symbolic date is screaming at them! In the year 2020, August 29th saw one of the biggest citizen mobilisations ever seen in this country, which gave birth to the #BLD slogan. Since weekends inevitably attract more people, the Sunday before that would have been an ideal date to rally a big citizen protest movement, reminding demonstrators of their last gathering after the Wakashio ecological disaster.
For this to happen, all opposition political party leaders and civic activists have to do is put their hare-brained egos aside. A tall order indeed!
The opposition today is manifestly fragmented and in total chaos. The Alliance de l’Espoir is made up of political leaders facing the press together but not sure if they are still together. The Labour Party is unsure whether it will be able to rally all parties behind its initiative. Sherry Singh added to the confusion by stepping in to bring everyone together but declared he will first go and listen to the population to find out what citizens really want. As if citizens of this country, which is notorious for its pluralism along multiple defining characteristics, are a homogenous group with one wish and one spokesperson to voice it. Nando Bodha, who will probably be left out in the cold, is shooting at those he sees as competitors. The fringe parties do not want to sit in the same room as the mainstream parties…The only thing everyone seems to agree on is that that they all want to become prime ministers! The very recipe for this government to stay at the helm forever!
Since the opposition is not listening, here is my advice to Pravind Jugnauth: Put together another team of mediocre candidates who can’t believe their luck and will do everything you ask. Surf on the narrative being currently distilled by the Indian press – that the Indians didn’t sniff on us or on other countries but were only acting in good faith by protecting us from China. Whip up the communal sentiment even more through accusing everyone who dares point the finger at you of “India bashing”. Use all the institutions to your advantage in the way you have mastered by now: MBC, IBA, ICTA, the police, the Electoral Supervisory Commission and others. And swagger leisurely to conserving absolute power! Do this before the purchasing power of Mauritians plummets even further, before our debt situation becomes irremediably unsustainable, before we are downgraded further by rating agencies, before your widespread mismanagement takes the country beyond the point of no return. Do this especially while the whole opposition is in complete disarray and working for you.
Take advantage of this piece of advice. It is wise and it is free. No one else deserves to be the prime minister of this country. Glory to thee!