When Corruption Piles Up! [Archives:1999/46/Law & Diplomacy]

November 15 1999

By: Ismail Al-Ghaberi
Yemen Times

Corruption is considered to be one of the great worries of a country. Yemen suffers a lot from corruption and corrupts who are free to violate rules and laws without any kind of control. What is the role of the Central Organization for Audit and Control (COAC) to fight corruption. Ismail Al-Ghabiry filed the following:
Ali Ahmad al-Amrani
MP. Head of the Financial Committee in the Parliament.
First of all. I would like to thank the Yemen Times for its focusing on important social issues.
On the subject of corruption, it is a very complicated issue in our country as one of the developing countries. Corruption is connected with many other issues some of which are historical and others are related to the rapid changes in its contemporary history.
As you know that Yemen has witnessed a lot of events most of which were bloody. All of these events and changes have had their consequences. Corruption is a result of the wars Yemen has indulged in. However, there must be serious and strict measures to fight corrupts in all offices. Otherwise we will not achieve development.
I think the President is determined to make new changes and reforms. But it seems that all the attempts of either the president or the Parliament to address this problem has been confronted by many obstacles. We, in the Parliament, support the president in any measures he may take to fight corruption. The parliament has adopted a number of suggestions in this regard, and we discussed them thoroughly. Unfortunately, none of the corrupts have been punished. Only the common people are punished for corruption and as far as the high ranking officials are concerned, nobody dares to accuse them of corruption. There must be no fear to bring this segment of people to account.
Concerning the reports of the Central Organization for Audit and Control (COAC) about the illegal fees, the parliament has made a number of decisions in this regard. These reports are still with us and we will keep on investigating into these problems.
Ahmad Abdulla Maudhah, citizen
Corruption in Yemen has become an evil for which no remedy is available. The president is doing his best to fight the corrupts. However, there are still many hands tampering with the country’s wealth. These people must be brought to account and punished. I hope that the government will be very strict in this matter.
The new changes witnessed nowadays are auspicious and they prove the president’s determination to make reforms. I hope that all the organizations and parties concerned will join hands to make a better tomorrow.
Muhsin Mojahid Mawdhah, government official
Nobody can ignore the present sick situation in all offices due to bribes, mediation and the like. Since the government has begun its war against corruption, certain procedures have to be taken. For example:
1) Overseeing officials in their offices.
2) Honoring distinguished employees.
There are some auspicious signs of sincere reforms. At the same time I hope that all Ministers will do like the Minister of Civil Services for the positive steps he has taken at his ministry.
Talal Abdul Majeed al-Aghbari, lawyer
It is the COAC that is responsible for calling the corrupts in the governmental offices to account. During the last few years, many reports about corrupts and corruption were submitted to Prosecution by the COAC. However, these reports were all neglected and thus marginalizing the COAC’s authority. Many innocent people are accused of crimes just to throw dust in the eyes, while the real criminals are at large and away from being called to account.
The president has spoken proudly of courageous judges because it is they who can hold corrupts and criminals responsible for their deeds. I hope that they will be up to our expectations.
Hail Al-Ghabiry, MP
As far as there is a sincere will, great steps can be taken. During the last few days, a number of remarkable laws were passed concerning qat, carrying arms and corruption. The COAC sent many reports about corrupts but these should be followed by strict decisions.
Aaeyish Ghalib Rageh, lawyer
Corruption phenomena are felt everywhere in Yemen. This is because of the carelessness of courts and judges and because most of the corrupts hold high posts. As a lawyer, I have noticed that most of the people often accused of corruption or defalcation are from among ordinary people. I have never heard that one of the big guys has been called to account for such accusations.
Despite the availability of eight judges at the Public Finance Prosecution office at the Capital Secretariat, many cases of corruption haven’t been looked into yet. What is worse is that, criminals in prisons are sometimes set free in return for paying some money. I wish that COAC will play an important role in fighting corrupts and corruption.
Nasr Abdullah Al-Dhahiry, lawyer
Yemen is in dire need of administrative and judicial reforms. On the subject of corruption, reforming should start with those holding high posts. Mere rhetoric al statements will not do. In my opinion, fighting corruption starts with raising the salary of all employees. When they receive enough wages to enable them to lead a decent life they will not think of accepting bribes. The Central Organization for Audit and Control should play a crucial role in this regard because it embraces qualified cadre and is authorized to investigate into corruption cases.