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The scandal of ‘Faza’a Kuwait’

Ahmad-Al-Sarraf

With successive announcements made by individuals, companies and institutions regarding making donations to the special fund to support the state’s efforts to combat the corona epidemic, and in a smart proactive step from the supervisors of the two main wings in charities, and before they are asked to contribute to the fund, especially since it is known that they have huge sums of money deposited in the current and savings account and foreign investment,  41 Kuwaiti charities met to organize a donations campaign to combat the coronavirus under the title ‘Faza’a Kuwait’.

The administrations of some of the charity societies extensively participated in the campaign and mobilized all the private and government media to support the campaign. Those responsible for organizing the campaign had high hopes, but the huge responsibility gave birth to something that was not expected, because the collections did not exceed 9 million dinars much less than what a single organization had collected to pay for blood money.

I believe that the reason why many people do not trust the majority of these charity societies is because they have ‘tried’ every current and ex-minister of social affairs since after the liberation of the country (from Saddam’s occupation) until today.

But some of these charities, or the mother of all such societies, have succeeded in distracting from the fact that they have donated nothing, neither to the campaign nor to the fund to support the government’s efforts, and if they did, perhaps, they can be considered ‘crumbs’, compared to what they own and what they have succeeded in collecting for more than half a century, which is in billions.

As soon as the campaign ended, disputes arose between most of the participants for the slice of the ‘cake’ or rather on the issue of money collected as to how and where it should be spent and who would be in charge of disposing this money.

Another dispute among them was the accusations which developed between each other after the ‘senior pious people’ differed on the percentage that the societies are entitled to calculate from the amount collected, as a commission or the percentage of “those who are responsible for it.”

Historically, charities have kept for themselves 30% of the amount they receive for any project. And with the increase in the size of what it was getting, especially during the petro-dollar boom, the percentage was reduced to 20% or “one-fifth”, in line with the text, since they are among those responsible for it.

But after a while, the Ministry of Social Affairs saw the need to reduce the percentage to 5%, only 12%, based on the ‘eight banks’ rule, and this gives some participating societies an opportunity to ‘swallow’ more than a million dinars from the campaign of ‘Faza’a Kuwait’ balance without raising their fingers or disburse a penny.

Is the cause of running around establishing the charities known? But the winds of ‘commission’ did not blow on the minds of some, as they called for ‘entities’, and often caused harm for other parties competing with them in charity work, demanding that no percentage be deducted this time, in appreciation of the circumstances the country is passing through.

But the affected parties refrained from the concession and the matter developed into a sharp dispute, and the ministry intervened, and after taking a decision, it left the matter to each society to decide what is in its best interest.

Some societies began publishing advertisements stating that they did not want to deduct anything, and others were silent, so the ministry was forced to intervene again and force the one who objected among them to waive the deduction, but this left through the door and returned the next day from the window, and asked a religious person in the highest authority to intervene.

The ministries of Commerce and Social Affairs, and their request to grant nine “charity” societies import licenses, so that the societies can be transformed from charity to “commercial”. Immediately after the announcement of this license, for which any manipulative gamer was liquefied, there were interventions, so the number of licensed societies increased to 13, among them the “Kuwaiti Humanitarian Friendship Society”, and we were not originally part of the ‘Faza’a Kuwait’ campaign, and we did not ask to grant us an import license and no part in this ‘silly play’.

Thus, the “Octopus Societies” succeeded not only in distracting themselves from their assets, by engaging the public in charity donations from ‘others’ bag’, but also obtaining import licenses that allowed them to bring whatever they wanted from abroad, selling them to the ‘Faza’a Kuwait’ fund, at the price they decided, and compensating the amount of commission, which you are deprived of.

Oh Your Highness we were dreaming of Kuwait being less corrupt after ‘liberation’ from the corona epidemic, but we discovered that we are just dreaming, my honorable Sir!

e-mail: a.alsarraf@alqabas.com.kw

By Ahmad alsarraf

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