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Billions bagged in charity

Ahmad-Al-Sarraf

Some people did not believe me when I said in my previous article that the total money collected by charities, most of which belong to religious parties, in the form of donations had exceeded $50 billion over the past thirty or forty years. I do not disagree with them that the figure is big but it is closest to the truth.

In a lengthy reply to a question by MO Ahmad Al Fadhel in late 2017, and signed by the former Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Mrs Hind Al-Sabeeh, the following facts were disclosed:

The first fact is related to the number of charity societies which was 33, in addition to 88 foundations (the number has already increased by fifty percent).

The second fact is six associations, all of which belong to religious parties succeeded in collecting more than 716 million dinars ($2,360 billion) only from 2012 to 2016.

The share of the Social Reform Society, the branch of the Muslim Brotherhood in Kuwait, was 195 million dinars, and the share of the Revival of Heritage Society representatives of the Salafi movement, was 257,530 million dinars, the share of Direct Aid was 130 million dinars, and the Al-Najat Charity, which is a branch of the Social Reform Society was 70 million dinars, the share of the Patients Helping Fund was 43 million dinars, and finally 21 million dinars was the share of the Kuwaiti Society for Relief.

The reader can imagine how much was collected before 2012, during the financial boom and the religious wave with the beginning of the Arab Spring revolutions and the sectarian wars in Syria and Iraq, and what was collected after 2016 until today.

The doors of the so-called charity associations were closed in the face of the inspectors of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor for years, and their records were secret. No one knows how much wealth was collected and where it was spent and the situation in the charity work was almost chaotic. If it had not been for the events of Sept 11, and the US Treasury Department intervention in our internal affairs, the situation of Kuwait would never have changed,

I personally felt the strength and firmness of our charity and how things were not under control. Today, we in the Kuwaiti Humanity Friendship Society, and other committed societies pay the price of insincerity of our predecessors and therefore we understand the motives and firmness of the Ministry of Social Affairs’  inspectors stemmed from the rule: “You and others are accused until you prove your innocence” which confirms our claim that a large proportion of the funds that were collected had ended in the pockets of some of the senior officials of most charity associations according to evidences of the ministry.

Funds doubled several times immediately after the ministry prevented the receipt of donations in cash and limited payment through the K-Net. This means that donations have remained the same, but the theft has stopped after the donation has gone to the society’s bank account and is not paid in cash which was prone to theft.

Note: Major General Jamal Al-Sayegh, Assistant Undersecretary of the Interior Ministry called on me to comment on my article in which I referred to the decline in the work of the committee – the committee which was formed to remove encroachments on state property immediately after the death of its head Lt. General Muhammad Al-Bader.

Al-Sayegh pointed out that the committee now is an affiliate of the Interior Ministry and not the Council of Ministers and he personally chairs it and follows up its work, and that the committee is continuing to work, but silently.

He added the committee is in the process of developing a new work strategy in cooperation with the Kuwait Municipality and the Interior Ministry and the results will be published soon.

We thank Major-General Al-Sayegh for his communication, and we hope he will announce what the committee has done and send a message to those who intend to transgress on state property.

e-mail: habibi.enta1@gmail.com

By Ahmad alsarraf

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