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KUWAIT CITY, Aug 10: The State Audit Bureau’s report on the 2021/2022 fiscal year revealed grave financial and administrative violations in the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, which cost public funds several millions of dinars, reports Al- Seyassah daily.
The report included KD 2 million in appointments to mosques that exceed the required numbers, and KD 1 million and 255 thousand owed to the ministry by the General Secretariat of Awqaf. Also, the ministry failed to refer a former undersecretary and six employees to the Public Prosecution at the request of the Violations Investigation Committee. According to the report, the ministry used the endowment funds in appointments that exceed the actual need of imams and muezzins.
The value of their salaries amounted to KD 2 million and 187 thousand, which is in violation of administrative circular No. 14/2017 issued by the Assistant Undersecretary for the Mosques Sector in the same year regarding determining the number of workers in the mosque. According to the circular, the number of workers in the mosque was limited to an imam and a muezzin only, unless the imam was an assistant Kuwaiti and so he would have another imam with him.
The latest audit statistics stated that the number of mosques in all governorates of Kuwait is 1,716, but the number of employees in them, according to the previous circular, is much more than that. The ministry did not take any measures regarding the failure of the General Secretariat of Awqaf to pay the amount of KD 1,255,936, the value of renting housing units and an investment leased shop for companies for the period from the date of the decision to transfer the subordination of those units to the endowments in July 2004 until March 2015.
The audit showed, during the minutes of the meeting dated October 6, 2021, that the ministry demanded the General Secretariat of Awqaf for the amounts collected from the rental income of housing units and an investment leased premises for the same period.
These units are divided into two parts – 43 units received from the General Secretariat of Awqaf, and units received by the ministry from the General Secretariat of Awqaf. By examining the rents collected from these units, it was found that the amounts of their rents were transferred to the ministry’s accounts. The Secretariat requested information on the measures taken by the ministry regarding the amount owed by the General Secretariat of Endowments to date