With help of foreign experts:Government to fight corruption [Archives:2005/807/Local News]

January 13 2005

Hassan Al-Zaidi
The 2005 budget, which includes the agreement lift subsidies on oil derivatives, has been approved. The removal of the subsidies is intended to prevent profits from the subsidized diesel going into the pockets of corrupt officials.

Prime Minister Bajammal came out this week with some statements accusing centralization of being the real cause of corruption. These statements were followed by another symposium headed by Director of Presidency Office in collaboration with German experts to discuss issue of corruption in Yemen.

Corruption has become so prevalent that symposiums and foreign assistance are useless against it while the government and the Office of the Presidency remain unable to sack or sentence corrupt employees.

Abdu Bishr, GPC Member of Parliament said: “we ask the government to adopt the policy of austerity and to construct expenses on luxurious cars and furniture since they are at the expense of the poor people.”

Reciting a verse from the Holy Quran about corruption and corrupt people who consider themselves reformers, Sultan Al-Same'e, an opposition member, addressed the government “you have succeeded in increasing the number of corrupts and their accounts, you succeeded in destroying education. You succeeded in shutting the voices and violating the people's rights.”

Sultan al-Attawani, Member of the Nasserite Public Unionist Party, asked “what will the country's situation be if oil which its avenues go corrupts' accounts?” He confirmed that the government is the source of corruption and it is caused by the absence of auditing and control on those people who steal public money.

Sakhr al-Wajeeh, GPC member, demanded that the corrupt people be identified, referring to an issue in where a one-kilometer road which should have cost YR 10 million to be covered with tarmac reportedly cost more than YR 300 million.

Ahmed al-Aqari, GPC member, said that corrupt people in the government use public money to pay for their cars.

Naser Arman, Islahi member, said that, “when the government admits that the subsidies on the oil derivatives go to the pockets of smugglers why doesn't it audit even one of them.”

These are just a few examples of what the parliament members, government officials, and managers of Presidency Office have said in tackling this issue but without making any move in any of corruption and bribery issues that the governmental establishments are filled with.

It is believed that the financial support given to Yemen by foreign donors was decreased because reports from the Central Organization for Control and Auditing (COCA) showed the theft of funds intended for poverty reduction.

While everyone is talking about corruption, some people are asking if this talk is being allowed in order to absorb people's anger and distrust of the government over the new economic reform package.

The President must take decisive action, fighting corruption should start at the top of the ladder by removing all the corrupt people around him.

Shame on us, if we hold workshops against corruption with the help of German experts, while not working to eradicate the well-known causes of corruption.