Mauritian President to Resign Over $26 million Jewellery Scandal

Mauritian President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim refuses to resign from her post and vows to fight allegations following a financial scandal. Gurib-Fakim is Africa’s only female head of state; and has been accused of using a bank card provided by an NGO to make personal purchases of jewellery and clothing-amounting to around $26 million.
Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth announced that Gurib-Fakim had agreed to resign, with a date set for her departure to have been after the recent ceremony held to celebrate the Indian Ocean archipelago nation’s 50th year of independence.


A statement from the President slammed “weeks of attacks and false allegations”. It said that Gurib-Fakim planned to clear her name and instead, would not be resigning. “Her Excellency Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, having nothing to feel guilty about and able to provide corroborating evidence, rejects any idea of resigning,”


Gurib-Fakim whose role is mostly ceremonial: is a scientist and biologist of international renown. In 2015 she joined the London-based Planet Earth Institute (PEI) to try and develop scientific capacity in Africa. The statement added that in May 2016, she had received a credit card to pay for travel and logistical expenses linked to her role. Gurib-Fakim “who already had an identical credit card from the same bank; had inadvertently used the card from the PEI for expenses not linked to her mission, totalling $26,000”. She claims to have immediately informed the PEI and paid the amount back, as well as all expenses paid by the PEI for her missions.

This is confirmed by a statement released by the PEI. Gurib-Fakim “thus never received gifts, favours, wages or expenses from the PEI, nor undue benefits or advantage. Her mission ended on March 20, 2017.” The prime minister is yet to respond to the announcement that contradicts his earlier claims that President Gurib-Fakim had originally agreed to resign.


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