Those who had wished that the Fillon scandal was dead and gone were quite unpleasantly surprised to learn that it is still reverberating not only in France but across the whole world.

Francois Fillon was a French presidential hopeful in the last election but his bid was destroyed by a scandal involving payment to his wife and children. The scandal raised several ethical issues including whether family members should be drawing a salary from a politician. This month, the French parliament, in the wake of the Fillon scandal, banned the hiring of spouses by politicians.
Stella Afif 

Although France is far from our shores, the case itself is close to home and reminds us of a similar situation ongoing in our parliament. Ahmed Afif, the LDS representative for the Anse Etoile Constituency and the chief whip of the LDS party in parliament is presently employing his wife Stella Afif as his Constituency Clerk. This situation is, to say the least; morally shameful given that Stella Afif is a rich business woman who has benefited from several murky deals during the one party state and later during the financial crisis. It is alleged that Mrs. Afif, a seamstress, had the privilege of importing as much raw materials as she wanted, despite the lack of foreign exchange. Her husband was then the Principal Secretary of Finance and was in charge of foreign exchange allocations in the country.
Ahmed Afif

What exactly the arrogant and crass woman does as Constituency Clerk is quiet questionable, as she spends most of her time on Facebook deriding her political opponents. The question that comes to mind is whether Ahmed Afif could not have hired somebody else from Anse Etoile to be his Constituency Clerk. That, at least, would have given employment to one of the less fortunate in the district.

 We are of the opinion that the National Assembly, should, as soon as is possible, enact the necessary legislation to ban the hiring of family members by politicians. And why not by way of a private member’s Bill by Ahmed Afif?



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