UNJUSTIFIED AND INEXPLICABLE WITHDRAWAL OF OFFICIAL ENDORSEMENT COSTS THE SEYCHELLES GOVERNMENT DEARLY
(Posted 18th November 2019)
While the principle culprit in the case of Alain St. Ange – former Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine – versus the Republic of Seychelles is clearly the former Zimbabwe government under the late Robert Mugabe and his now disgraced boy Walter Mzembi, is the Seychelles government ordered to pay Alain St. Ange a reparation of SR 164,396.14.
St. Ange, unlike his rival Mzembi, who used Zimbabwe’s sparse government resources to run his campaign, did the honourable thing and resigned from his ministerial position, in order to campaign for the position of Secretary General of UNWTO.
Said St. Ange to ATCNews at the time: ‘A minister has to be doing his job, every day of the week. The campaign for UNWTO’s top job takes up all the time I have and therefore I have decided to resign and campaign without leaving the Seychelles’ most important economic sector without a minister present on so many occasions. In Seychelles we do not have the position of a deputy minister unlike in other countries, where someone could step up to cover. I also did not want to use state resources for my campaign‘.
(The reportedly fake letter from the AU, unsigned against all convention and protocol and issued without the required prior consultation between the AU and the Seychelles)
After receiving the blessing for his campaign from President Faure at the time, and the prerequisite letter of endorsement, did St. Ange then embark on his campaign, rallying support from around the world and notably, much of Africa. This irked Zimbabwe’s then tourism minister Mzembi, who, after first using racist sentiments against St. Ange, then began to insist the African Union must direct member states to vote for him, after securing an early and in fact rather obscure ‘mandate‘ from the AU.
As Mzembi’s fortunes in the campaign began to falter and St. Ange’s vote count rose, did the Mugabe government then play their last card and engaged their old boy network at the African Union to, on the eve of the elections in Madrid, threaten the Seychelles government with unspecified sanctions, should they not immediately withdraw the mandatory endorsement letter, effectively insisting that the St. Ange candidacy would be brought to a halt.
It was then, that President Faure inexplicably caved in and had his Vice President call St. Ange the next day to inform him of his decision to withdraw the required letter of endorsement.
Without that, the St. Ange candidacy was dead in the water, his resources spent wasted and Africa was robbed of taking the UNWTO top office as Mzembi, after his shenanigans were exposed, could not get the support he needed and current Secretary Pololikashvili was voted into office.
The case of St. Ange vs. The Republic of Seychelles took off in January this year and judgement came in earlier today, handing St. Ange a well deserved victory.
Wrote Alain to ATCNews soon after he emerged jubilant from court:
The Supreme Court of Seychelles has today delivered a judgment in the case of ex-tourism minister, Alain St.Ange.
St.Ange filed his case against the government, two years ago after he was nominated by President Danny Faure to run for the post of Secretary General of the UNWTO. Two days before the election was set to take place in Madrid, Spain, the government decided to withdraw his candidature.
St.Ange, who campaigned tirelessly for the post incurring huge financial costs in the process, was tipped to win the election.
The decision to withdraw his candidature, was taken by the government, after severe pressure was brought to bear by the African Union which threatened economic sanctions against Seychelles, if it did not cancel the nomination of St.Ange. The government finally caved in and recalled St.Ange only two days before the election was due to take place.
St.Ange has been vindicated by the Supreme Court, presided over by Judge Melchior Vidot, when he was awarded damages in the sum of Rs164,396.14 cents.
St.Ange has already instructed his lawyers to appeal against the quantum of damages only, as he feels that it does not reflect his expenses, pain, humiliation and psychological damage that the decision caused him.
Congratulations to Alain St. Ange for this belated vindication as the ruling showed the Seychelles president had erred in his judgement when he decided to pull the endorsement letter.
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