Yemen’s Wonders: Administrative Blackmail in Government Posts [Archives:2001/45/Business & Economy]

November 5 2001

Abduh Al-Kawi Al-Qubati
It is truly saddening to realize that Yemen has turned into an a house full of greedy and crooked people who continue to waste the country’s resources year after year, causing more devastating effects to the already distressed population.
Institutions or public utilities in our country represent the main pillar of the Yemeni economy. The beneficiaries who receive advantages and privileges are confined to a specific group of people known as cronies. These people behave as if they enjoy a high status, particularly these in the political security circles. Those in charge of the cronies are to provide them with privileges and various opportunities. This supervision will be at the expense either of qualified people or those stationed in their workplaces and therefore submitted to administrative strict punishments. The worse thing is that some institutions and government offices adopt double-standard policies to take great care of privileges entrusted to these cronies.
We are in need of real reforms in every aspect of life and every matter that connects the authority to the people. In turn, the country’s wheel of development in the country would move faster and all malpractices of some individuals in the administrative system will be uprooted.
Consequently, the situation of the blue-collar workers has been greatly affected since 1990 as a result of the augmentation of prices and the current policies of economic reforms. In a contrast, those who use all means to gain money legally or illegally make unbelievable amounts of money exceeding by far their monthly salaries. This phenomenon has greatly affected the nature of work circumstances in most institutions and public utilities. Therefore, some of the cronies dedicate themselves and perhaps exploit public properties for their own benefit. Such uncivilized behavior from corrupt people, or as it is called by administrators, unofficial groups, constitutes a huge problem in our society.
What shocks me a lot is that if the administrative management delays the progress of our country, the responsible officials are unable to differentiate a qualified worker for a specific post from an unqualified one and are also incapable of checking and re-checking who is the careless employee. What makes matters worse is that those who control everything belong to the illiterate segment and are only interested in humiliating others, especially the skilled people.
Administrative reform is of high importance and, if not carried out, no achievements could be accomplished. To fight corruption, bribery and complex routine, the concerned authorities must conduct administrative reforms by applying a transparent and fair system based on reward and punishment. Any corrupt official should be held accountable for their wrong actions. Otherwise, the reform program will show no value whatsoever. So far, we have not seen or heard of any corrupt individual brought to justice. This has actually intensified frustration on people’s part and has led to their dashed hopes on the feasibility of these reforms.
We are in dire need of amending regulations and by-laws which could ensure an improvement in business administrations and administrative departments. In our country, some of the bureaucrats and cronies have been blocking the way, using legal and illegal avenues, to preserve their privileges. Therefore, I deeply appreciate the honest and sincere people who serve this country without any sense of hypocrisy or flattering. I hope this country will be prosperous and achieve continuous success.