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Tuesday , January 26 2021

‘Needs to activate the role of civil society bodies in combating graft’

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 2: Participants of the symposium titled “The role of the regulatory agencies to combat corruption” that was held recently at Kuwait Lawyers Society, with the cooperation of Kuwait Association for the Defense of Public Funds, stressed the need to activate the role of civil society organizations in combating corruption, reports Al-Rai daily.

They also emphasized that the first steps for fighting corruption must begin through the role played by these organizations. Some of the participants said there is an organized plan for corruption, adding that it is almost regulated.

Speaking during the symposium was Lawyer Saleh Al-Awadhi, who indicated that corruption begins with prioritization of personal interest over the public interest, highlighting that “the spread of corruption leads to the fall of states.”

He touched on a number of corruption cases, saying, “Despite all the laws, today we have the largest multi-billion looting of public funds, along with fingerprint issues, parachute appointments and forged certificates. Corruption has penetrated deep into the core of the state institutions.”

Lawyer Al-Awadhi noted, “The supervisory role comes in the last stage. Citizens are responsible for oversight before the employee. So we are all responsible for the state’s survival and continuity.”

Meanwhile, head of the Financial Control Union Anwar Al-Mazeedi indicated that the supervisory agencies have a strong role in fighting corruption, but there must be an actual will to fight corruption, adding, “The devil always lies in the details.” He said, “Our experience has shown there is no actual and sincere will for reforms. We have been asked to delete articles in the Financial Control Law in order for it to go through”.

Al-Mazeedi highlighted that the choice of leadership is a critical issue in dealing with corruption, insisting that the idea that there is no corruption is an irrational one, considering the fact that “the limits of corruption are great and its effects on the state’s corridors are greater. Despite our ability to change, the matter needs to be addressed”.

Furthermore, Lawyer Fahd Al-Habaini said, “Any community that wishes not to have corruption will definitely achieve this wish. This is in line with the directives of His Highness the Amir of Kuwait, and the formation of the new government”. He stressed, “We find that the government is obligated to adopt a program that is titled Anti- Corruption. Any society that wants to grow must face corruption.” Al-Habaini went on to say, “The State Audit Bureau is credited with exposing many cases. Its anti-corruption committee has citizens who are keen about fighting corruption.

However, is the presence of these agencies sufficient?” He indicated that, “The government, with its foreign relations, is responsible for recovering the looted money. The more we seek to recover these funds, the more we will eliminate corruption. This is because the prevailing idea is that it is possible to loot and escape forever.”

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