Egypt vows to fight escalating corruption

Egypt vows to fight escalating corruption

According to a report by a global corruption overseer corruption in Egypt appears to be on the rise.

On Saturday Transparency International (TI), a Berlin-based non-governmental organisation, printed the 2009 National Integrity System Study which reported that despite the Egyptian government’s  mounting resolve to fight corruption, the power of anti-graft laws and organisations remains restricted.

Omnia Hussein, the programme co-ordinator for TI in Egypt ascertained that Corruption was wide spread in all sectors adding that there was a difference between the existence of law and the actual enforcing of it.

The obstruction by the country’s powerful executive in anti-corruption bodies, result in the lack of freedom which is essential to effectively monitor and fight political malfeasance.

The report which was accumulated by experts also referred to conflicts of interest in presenting government contracts, lack of knowledge and effectiveness of laws to protect whistle-blowers, and unchecked petty graft among law enforcement officials.

Despite human rights organisations approval of the report, some believed the influence-peddling reveals what many Egyptians perceive that is closed political systems almost leading to cultures of political impunity.

Hossam Bahgat, director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights claimed that although the laws are not perfect and the legal infrastructure in charge of implementing these laws could be enhanced, the problem remains a direct result of the deficiency in the governments’ political will to tackle areas of concern such as corruption.

In January, for example, a former housing minister and member of parliament were charged with misappropriation and giving away public land to friends and family members.

Abdel Fatah al Gibaly, a political analyst however believes that that the government has engaged recently in anti-corruption moves.

Observers blamed a lack of transparency and liability for extensive indiscretion during the 2005 parliamentary and presidential elections. Politicians in Egypt are once again getting ready for the Shura elections this spring and parliamentary elections in autumn. Presidential elections are scheduled for 2011.

The report has described the judiciary as a reliable organization which is widely respected by the public and activists highlight that the removal of the judiciary as the primary election supervisory body was a reverse step towards political freedom.

TI’s most well-known guide of corruption – the “corruption perception in index” based on citizen surveys has ranked Egypt at 111 out of 180 countries in 2009.