CAIRO: As part of its mission to accelerate social development and end corruption, the Kefaya movement has issued a report tackling various cases in Egypt under the name of “The Hidden Corruption.
George Ishaq, head of Kefaya, said in a press conference yesterday that the report is composed of five main parts, each addressing different cases of corruption in its various aspects.
“The first part of the report explains the issue of ‘corruption and corrupting the political system,’ while the second discusses corruption in aspects of health, culture, the financial sector, petroleum, investments and the media. As for the third part, it focuses the spotlight on famous Egyptian corruption cases and figures in Mubarak’s reign, and the fourth includes a full explanation and a detailed analysis of the main topic, which is The Hidden Corruption, explains Ishaq.
According to Ishaq, corruption, as described in the report, is a phenomenon that is widespread in Egypt. The fifth part of the report, the conclusion, carries the title: “Kefaya, and offers ideas of practical actions that would put limits on a phenomenon that has been severely hampering the lives of ordinary Egyptians.
Abd El Wahab El Mesery, an activist in Kefaya, says the aim of this report is not to attack; rather it is an attempt at establishing an executive authority in society that can be monitored by a number of organizations.
“If we are able to establish this authority, we shall be able to witness real social improvement. Although there is an actual executive authority in Egypt, the political system, unfortunately, has full control over it, and obviously the monitoring process has gradually disappeared, says El Mesery.
He adds that the report can be considered a monitor or as a form of checks and balances, keeping an eye on all cases of corruption.
During the conference, Ishaq pointed out the reasons behind corruption in Egypt, saying that both political disorder and corrupt political figures are principle causes of corruption. These causes have eventually resulted in the loss of several valuable development opportunities, destroying important organizations and contributing to the immigration of efficient work forces.
For credibility, the report cites a number of different local and international reports and papers, including the transparent international report, the journalistic archive and various academic researches prepared by scholars and political experts.
El Mesery highlights the importance of the government’s attention to the report.
“I believe that if the government disregards this report, it is then closing all the peaceful ways for actual social development, and thus it will be indirectly pushing the other organizations for attack. Therefore, I would like to urge the Egyptian government to start investigating those corruption cases, mentioned in the report, so the society would change to the better through peaceful means, says El Mesery.
Ishaq also urges all Egyptians to take heed of the report.
“We issued this report for the Egyptian society as a whole – the Egyptians should all interact with this report, including civil organizations and political parties. Kefaya can’t do the whole job alone, but it helps in opening the doors of interaction and allows the Egyptians the opportunity to be exposed to the corruption cases and demand a legal investigation in them, says Ishaq, adding that “Kefaya insists on the fact that all Egyptians should unite and interact against corruption, saying that Kefaya’s 25 lawyers are ready to help any citizen who would like to stand against corruption and demand investigation from the government.
Ishaq says the report is mostly general, focusing on types of internal corruption occurring all around Egypt and negatively affecting the political system and its organizations.
“Documenting all the corruption cases that have been taking place since Mubarak took over in the early 80s in a report proves that corruption has become a general phenomenon of different types. Some of them are hidden, while others are obvious, explains Ishaq.
Mentioning one example of an instance of corruption, Abd El Mawla El Sadawy, a heart physician who used to work for El Suez Hospital, said he discovered that all patients who underwent kidney dialysis at the hospital became infected with virus C.
“I discovered the situation in 2005. I followed all the legislative means starting from reporting to the general manager of the hospital and the Suez governor up to the current minister of health, but none of them cared and no one took any action in this dangerous situation. When I announced this issue openly, they forced me to present an obligatory resignation and even when I resigned, they didn’t even investigate the case, says El Sadawy.
This case led to all the patients being exposed to a dangerous virus that can be transmitted from one patient to another, without any clear symptoms; the patients may not know that they have been infected.
He points to his case as an example of how corruption is taking place, even when Egyptians actively attempt to report such events.