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State corruption spreads amid theoretical combat strategies: report - Daily News Egypt

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State corruption spreads amid theoretical combat strategies: report

At least 95 cases reported in 22 ministries in April as parliament’s role remains weak

At least 95 corruption cases in a number of Egyptian ministries were reported in April by anti-corruption NGO Partners for Transparency (PFORT). This comes despite 10 state-led initiative that aimed to raise awareness on fighting corruption.

According to PFORT, the ministries of agriculture, water resources, and antiquities among other state institutions held workshops on combating corruption, in addition to 11 statements made by officials, including President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.

Yet, PFORT counted 95 corruption cases in April, which shows that anti-corruption strategies remain unimplemented although officials cited the Egyptian Constitution’s requirements to fight widespread corruption within governmental institutions.

Minister of Local Development Ahmed Zaki Badr affirmed that the ministry will establish a plan to counter corruption in local municipalities, according to which sub-ministerial committees will also be formed, in a statement made in a meeting with MPs on 5 April.

However, PFORT reported that eight incidents of corruption were recorded in this ministry, ranking third on the list prepared by the report.

The Ministry of Supply topped the list for the fifth month in a row, with 13 cases of corruption reported. The Supply Ministry was followed by the ministries of interior and agriculture with 10 cases, education with nine, and the Health Ministry with eight.

Most cases include embezzlements of public funds, illicit gains, and sales in informal markets. According to PFORT, 76% of the cases are under investigation, 9% are in trial, while the rest remain un-investigated.

In a rare instance of officials’ penalisation, the Cairo Criminal Court sentenced former agriculture minister Salah Helal, who is charged with accepting bribes while in public office, to 10 years in prison and ordered that he pay a fine of EGP 1m along with his former deputy.

At the same time, the newly elected House of Representatives remains inefficient in monitoring the government to reduce corruption rates. “The parliament has not yet fulfilled its role in developing anti-corruption legislation, due to other tasks,” the report stated.

It added that while examining the cabinet’s programme presented by Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, MPs realised the lack of government action plans to fight corruption.  MP Medhat El-Sherif criticised the absence of a clear strategy in the programme.

The programme was nonetheless approved by a majority of votes in the parliament on 20 April, resulting in keeping Ismail and his cabinet in place.



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