SEYCHELLES SUPREME COURT TO HEAR ST. ANGE’S CASE AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT
(Posted 21st January 2019)
(Alain St. Ange seen here while receiving the information from the country’s Vice President that his own government had ditched him in the face of an unspecified and allegedly unsigned note verbal from the AU about sanctions)
Usually reliable sources from the Seychelles’ capital of Victoria have confirmed to ATCNews that the archipelago’s highest court will hear the case which now pits the former Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine against the government.
The case has its origins in the sudden and rather unprecedented withdrawal of a letter of support for St. Ange, who, after resigning his ministerial office, then campaigned for the office of Secretary General of UNWTO.
St. Ange was seen by many, in Africa and around the world, to be the continent’s best bet to capture the office but Zimbabwe’s former and now disgraced Minister Walter Mzembi and his boss Robert Mugabe had different ideas.
Using state resources for his campaign did the Zimbabwean duo try to grab one of the UN’s top offices in a desperate attempt to give the country, long under misrule by Mugabe, a resemblence of respectability.
Though many of Mzembi’s friends and colleagues advised him that it would ultimately be a futile attempt, largely as a result of his nationality, did Mugabe nevertheless use his old boys network at the African Union in Addis Ababa to give Mzembi a – in retrospect – questionable endorsement.
Mzembi and Mugabe then used this ‘endorsement‘, when it became clear that St. Ange would probably already win at the first round but for sure make it into the decisive second, to have their buddies at the AU threaten the Seychelles government with unspecified sanctions, should they not, at the eve of the elections, withdraw their support letter for St. Ange.
The Seychellois leadership – notably was St. Ange not a member of the ruling party LEPEP as it was then still called – all too willingly caved in, as a result torpedoing St. Ange’s candidacy, leaving the electors in Madrid dumbstruck as to what had happened.
It was promptly argued that the AU’s so called Note Verbal was invalid as it was reportedly not signed, leave alone by an official empowered to do so. The AU Sanctions Committee had not held any meeting to decide on sanctions against the Seychelles or invited the Seychelles to a formal hearing, lending yet more credibility to allegations that it was the Mugabe Old Boys network which conspired behind the scenes to push St. Ange out of the race – with the question of race having been repeatedly raised by Mzembi to portray the Seychellois candidate as not being ‘African‘.
Mzembi made it into the second round where he then predictably lost against the current Secretary General of UNWTO, Zurab Pololikashvili.
While St. Ange was left to count his losses – he had invested his own funds into the campaign – was Mzembi and Mugabe soon afterwards history when a regime change took place, prompting Mzembi first to flee to South Africa and, upon his return being arrested and charged – the cases still ongoing.
St. Ange took the high road over the affair, which saw him arguably robbed of the Secretary Generalship of UNWTO by his own government and sued them and no doubt will all eyes now be on the Seychelles Supreme Court when the case is being heard and more so, when the decision is handed down.
Watch this space for updates once the case is underway.