Mauritius decriminalizing Squatter Settlements?

For a few weeks now, news in Mauritius has been marked with the arrest of a few officials of Aret Kokin Nu Laplaz. If you do not know what the organisation stands for, it’s an initiative by a number of NGOs to regulate government-granted leases to private contractors. Thing is, private contractors in possession of such leases use it to justify violating the Pas Geometrique Act, a legislation that protects the beaches of Mauritius and keeps them available to the public.

For a few years now, the collective Aret Kokin Nu Laplaz has been pleading to whatever authority cares to listen to pore over the granted leases and  try to enforce the law and get them to do their job to no avail. Instead, the efforts of AKNL have been met with arrest warrants for a few of its officials. The group faced intimidation from the local police and the authorities have been plotting with the private contractors to discredit them. All the effort the government is putting in to protect the illegal activities of the private contractors and the silencing of AKNL can only suggest one thing:

The whole issue is actually a ploy to decriminalize squatter settlements in Mauritius.

Many are uninformed on the subject but a nice fraction of the Mauritian population occupy land they do not own while over 500 families are straight out squatters.
With the government’s initiative of giving unverified leases to whoever cares to ask, Mauritius is effectively moving towards the decriminalization of all squatter residences of Mauritius.

And that’s not even it. According to the Dr Gerard Ogot, an oceanographer, since the coastal line of Mauritius is dynamic; due to constant fluctuation in sea level, the land mentioned in the Pas Geometrique Act spanning 81 metres and 21 random centimetres, is dynamic too.  Meaning that if the sea level rises up to 747 metres, the Pas Geometrique Act will effectively abolish the concept of property in Mauritius. An Anarchist’s wet dream.

Gary Homet

I'm a pacifist.

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