Corruption investors reject reforms [Archives:2004/724/Opinion]

March 25 2004

Hassan Al-Zaidi
Calls have been heard condemning the reform project offered by US for the Middle East. Critics insist their rejection to the US reform project mainly because reforms must come in from within and not from abroad. May be we could agree with those critics in this point in the case of having reforms to encounter damages inflicted by the state's officials. The fear may come from imposing political reforms in Arab countries, when the beneficiaries may lose a lot of interests by giving in their influence, privileges and authority. Could those corrupts repair the exacerbated corruption cases in order for the peoples to exempt them from political reforms.
But how can corruption be eliminated without having political reforms?
There is no doubt that corruption, originated from the womb of system, could not be eradicated since it has become one of the system's important pillars. With the increase of wealth of corrupts, the increase number of cynical hypocrites and beneficiaries surrounding those corrupts. This factious cycle deepens and begins to root in the society and the people are lift in despair while the state's fortune continues to funnel into the pockets of limited number.
The lingering question to the Arab rulers is,” Could these rulers mend what the state's officials have spoiled? Could the rulers eradicate corruption and corrupts from the authority ladder?
Dr. Ahmed Alrobai said that corruption in some countries is the authority itself, the elimination of corruption means the collapse of the authority. They are not afraid of US reforms, but are afraid of national reforms, which would deprive them from many amenities.
In Yemen, corruption has swallowed everything the reformists had hoped to build. Leaving to having the minority influential and beneficiary class verses the majority devastated class. And today, we are at the verge of death dose on the pretext of economic reforms. It would be the killer dose of the people after the consecutive governments have failed to make actual economic reforms due to the spread of corruption and dominance of corrupts. The doses may eventually awaken the people and would ignite a real war against corruption and corrupts, especially in a country where the corrupt is rewarded by promotion to a minister or an ambassador.
The reports of Central Organization for Control and Audit (COCA), which refer to only 5% of corruption related cases by officials are indication of the dominance of corruption in Yemen. Some reports have confirmed the loss of many loans and foreign donations. Other reports have indicated the misappropriation and spending of public funds and revenues of economic public sector, estimated at 125,903,846 Riyals, as assistants, gifts and cars for some high-level officials, without official documents.
If embezzling public funds has disturbed at one time those in the top of government authority pyramid, corrupts would not have dared to continue to bluntly exploit public funds for their personal benefits. The corrupts would not have actually built palaces, driven fancy cars considering they came to power owning nothing just inferiors.

Extravagant wealth:
Palaces, Mr. President are being built in Haddah for the corrupt officials and fancy cars are being driven by their children. Sometime ordinary citizens barely surviving are run over by these cars due to reckless driving. The people wish if only five of those corrupts would go to trail to be examples.
We suggest that instead of economic doses, the confiscation of just several officials' illegal funds and banking accounts here and abroad towards the state's treasury and suspending them from their offices would actually boost the economy for two years. Otherwise, the worn out people are only left with pray for US project.