Authority and opposition lash out at corruption [Archives:2003/652/Business & Economy]

July 21 2003

Mahyoub Al-Kamaly
The authority and opposition forces have been unanimous to a great extent that corruption is creeping steadily inside the government institutions in Yemen like the incurable cancer. Both are also in accord that it needs surgical operation to be taken out for good. Nevertheless the two sides do not offer clear solutions for uprooting corruption in those institutions.
By diagnosing corruption the government admits that there has been manipulation in the distribution of public jobs and the opposition says that the seminaries of the corrupt have exploited certain criteria and controls for distributing jobs in their favour and therefore committed certain violations.
On its part the government is of the opinion that corruption existing in the judiciary apparatus, the civil service, and the financial departments must be controlled and violators should stand trial. But the measures are meager and would not be implemented due to not determining the corrupt and sending them to justice.
Specialists confirm that complication of measures and their non-elasticity, violation of regulations and laws, inefficiency of the judiciary system and its administration led to abstention of many businessmen and industrialists from resorting to courts especially also because of prolongated procedures and conflicting legislation related to investment and investors.
Corruption in endowments: In this regard the council of ministers urged the ministry of endowments to take measures to safeguard endowments and deter those who try to infringe upon them whereas corruption has affected endowments estates and the law of legal endowment. Large properties that were endowed to persons and families have been changed upon various names and justifications. Corruption has also benefited from endowments' properties that have been dealt with as private properties, and monopoly contracts have become prevalent on the legal endowment.
In reality the so-called lands and estates of the state have been seized by some influential personalities under very weak justifications under the very nose and help from concerned authorities. Despite the existence of the apparatus of audition and accountability, the Yemeni opposition says its performance is weak compared to strength of corruption lobby. That criticism has led to changing the head of the apparatus and replaced by another official in the hope he would manage to make accountable those who violate and abuse their authority and duties.
The opposition also says the faithful employees working for official institutions and departments do not receive allowances and are not promoted to higher positions because they work silently, whereas those whose production is weak entertain privileges and travel allowances.
This contest between the opposition and the government denotes the volume of the problem of corruption inside the government establishments. This situation needs practical measures to replace the corrupt and adopt the reward and punishment principle and transparency in running those institutions to attain improvement of the economic performance in general.