SPPF/Lepep Museum

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SPPF/Lepep Museum

Post  Sirop14 on Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:12 am

SPPF/Lepep Museum

Tuesday 5 September, 2017
SPPF/Lepep Museum
A victory for the Umarjis
A new page of Seychelles history was turned yesterday. SPPF/Lepep has pulled down its flag and its banner at the building which it has been occupying illegally for years.
by R. Meetarbhan

It was a highly unusual sight in Victoria, yesterday. The building known as SPPF museum has been stripped of the flags, banners and signage it has been proudly displaying for so many years.

This development marked the end of a protracted politico-judicial process in relation to the compulsory acquisition of the property in 1984. The Court had ordered Parti Lepep to return the property to the Umarjis but the party resisted. It appealed against that decision. However, yesterday morning, they withdrew the appeal and discreetly complied with the decision of the Court.

A mention hearing was scheduled yesterday, Monday 4 September, following an appeal Parti Lepep had filed against the ruling of the Constitutional Court in the SPPF museum case. But the appellant withdrew its notice of appeal and, consequently all incidental applications.

The Government, who was also appealing against the ruling of the Constitutional Court, will likely follow suit and withdraw its appeal as well.

Owners of the building were not available yesterday to comment on the future use of the building but sources indicate the Umarji family recognises the duty to respect cultural heritage. They do not intend to demolish the building, we have been told.

The Constitutional Court of Seychelles had delivered a Judgement on 30 March this year ordering that the property on which stands the museum be returned to the Umarjis. Then Parti Lepep applied to suspend the execution of that judgement pending the appeal against it. On 27 June, the Constitutional Court refused Lepep's application to stay the execution of the Judgement.

The land on which the Lepep museum is situated was compulsorily acquired by the Seychelles Government on 13 February 1984 in the ″national interest.″ The family occupying the building was forced to leave their home and had to find alternative accommodation.

The State sold the property to SPPF in Janurary1997. In March this year, the Constitutional Court ruled that "national interest" cannot be invoked because there was no development on the property acquired compulsorily. The Court also ordered that the transfer of the land by the Government of Seychelles to Parti Lepep should be revoked and the parcel returned to Umarji and Sons. Now that the appeal has been withdrawn, the keys of the building will be handed over to the Umarjis.

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