In fight against corruption, Seychelles must watch land management decisions, expert says
Land management is one area that is a likely target for corruption said the expert. (Gerard Larose)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Authorities should pay close attention to business monopolies because that's an area where corruption is likely to take place, an international expert said Thursday.
Malika Aït-Mohamed Parent, an independent anti-corruption expert, gave the example of the management of land, which the government in Seychelles has a monopoly on.
“I have met with the senior management team at the Ministry of Land Use and Habitat to discuss preventative measures to prevent corruption and bribery. If you look at continents, land management is a huge target for corruption,” said Parent, who gave a public presentation organised by the Transparency Initiative Seychelles.
The anti-corruption expert, who is in the island nation for one week, said she has met with several officials from different ministries including the local Anti-Corruption Commission to talk about issues relating to corruption.
|Malika Aït-Mohamed Parent, an independent anti-corruption expert is in Seychelles for a week. (Joena Meme) Photo License: CC-BY|
“We have talked about pertinent issues relating to corruption trends, bribery practice, and corruption schemes. We also talked about different preventive actions they can take in their different contexts,” she said.
Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean, is in the process of revising the Anti-Corruption Act of 2016.
The expert said that she also shared with the Attorney-General her observation and complexity of the subject and “of course the revision of the Anti-Corruption Act is important and the Attorney-General needs the right thinking.”
Parent said that the setting up of the Anti-Corruption Commission is a good sign, but that the country is on a learning curve on this issue.
“The body will be effective if it has the right resources in terms of people with investigation skills to run the case they have decided to work on,” she added.
The chairperson of Transparency Initiative Seychelles, Chrystold Chetty, told SNA that the expert was brought to Seychelles because “we wanted the public to learn and ask questions about the practice of corruption.”
Transparency Initiative Seychelles is a not-for-profit organisation launched in April last year to help fight against corruption and bribery. It is part of the global entity Transparency International.
Chetty said that the aim of the presentation was to ensure that the children born last year in the Victoria hospital can say no to corruption by the time they reach 18.
He added that “we always need to stay vigilant as corruption is no longer a perception and in fact, there have been cases where people are scared to come forward to report on corruption.”
To date, the Anti-Corruption Commission Seychelles has recorded three cases of corruption, two of which have been sent to the Attorney-General's office to be analyzed.
In last year’s Global Perceptions Index, Seychelles was ranked 36th out 180 countries – the best performance for the island nation since the Index started in 1995.