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Qat Poses Threats to Yemen's Food Security, Says Agriculture Minister

  Written By: Hasan Al-Zaidi (YEMEN POST STAFF)
  Article Date:
17, 2008



The reality of corruption penetrating all sides of political, economic, social and ethical behavior is very obvious to the naked eye.

Observing corruption, figures are increasing and growing day by day. Committees, organizations, civil and official reports, and the media are pointing out the rapid increase of the problem.

Existence of companies out of nowhere for officials, life risking drug trafficking, allowing illegal medicines and pesticides in violation of safety measures, bad hospitals and roads, shortage of foods, waste of wealth, contracts of oil  companies violating regulations and conditions, diesel scarcity, Sada'a war and arms smuggling are live examples of the ongoing and proliferating corruption.

Corruption is also the cause of other problems that form some serious concerns to  the country. Potential investors and visitors to Yemen consider corruption the number one obstacle facing their desire to come and invest in the country, which in return has cost the country billions of dollars.

Over the years, committees were formed and organizations established to uproot corruption. The Supreme National Anti Corruption Committee (SNACC) and Central Organization for Control and Auditing (COCA) are some of the organizations formed for the purpose of battling such a problem, but both are still far from the expectations locals had for them.

SNACC in its periodic meeting last Tuesday came up with addressing the government to investigate some issues like granting trends and contractions to foreign oil companies without verifying the legality of the contracts and allowing internationally prohibited insecticides to enter Yemen. The committee seems to be tackling some important issues, however, all major cases the country faces are until now still put on hold.

In spite of the efforts they are exerting, the committee is facing many difficulties. Ahmed Al-Anesi, Chairman of the SNACC expressed his sorrow that corruption is impossible to fight unless people understand that it is not a matter of someone gaining wealth illegally, but a matter inclusive of all behaviors afflicting and negatively affecting the society in all.

Ezz Al-Din Al-Asbahi a member of the committee defined corruption as destruction to political, economic, social and ethical aspects of life. “Understanding the problem means solving it in cooperation with the people. The last report we published includes some corrupt practices. Tax collecting is an example,  the report states that only 837 of 155,000 tax payers were charged the taxes while others were not accounted for," said Al-Asbahi.

The report pointed out that the futility of taxes collecting and the absence of accountability has caused the public treasury to loss YR 23 billion. It is also mentioned that the recorded corruption crimes over the last three years totaled to 8759.

The Ministry of Interior has also recorded 3836 crimes in the years 2006 and 2007, relating to the national economy.

As years continue to pass, corruption continues to increase. Nothing is able to stop such a phenomenon. For this political analysts in the country feel that the only option left for them is to start a revolution against corruption.