Suspected corruption in medicine purchases, supply contracts

KUWAIT: The Public Anti-Corruption Authority referred three top Ministry of Health (MoH) officials to the public prosecution on the basis of a report it previously received concerning suspected corruption. The authority added that thorough investigations were made and eyewitnesses were cross-examined concerning suspected corruption in medicine purchases and supply contracts. Having found the suspicions to be true, it referred the case to the public prosecutor for further investigations. The prosecution will decide whether to press charges against them or shelve the case.

MP Khaled Al-Otaibi said the violations mentioned in the State Audit Bureau reports about various government bodies for the fiscal year 2016-2017 are too many and were detected in various sectors. Otaibi added that most violations had been repeated over years, such as violating the rules of paying various contractors, unlawful bonuses, twisted recruitment and failing to collect overdue public funds. “These violations are like a cancer consuming Kuwait’s body,” he said, noting that every minister and official should respond to the Audit Bureau’s remarks to stop draining public funds to ensure keeping his position. Otaibi added that he has filed inquiries to various concerned ministers in this regard.

Regional developments
MP Osama Al-Shaheen warned that regional developments, in addition domestic and foreign challenges, call for forming a special Cabinet capable of dealing with such exceptional challenges. He added that the new government should be one that respects the constitution, the people and itself in a way that will help achieve success and stability. Shaheen added that Kuwait should always maintain its neutrality as instructed by HH the Amir. “Thanks to Allah, Kuwait is not part of any of the accelerating disputes, but we must take security, diplomatic, health and food precautions,” he explained, urging the government to periodically brief lawmakers concerning various related developments.
Meanwhile, MP Khalil Abul said that in view of the current regional circumstances, the new Cabinet formation should be in office as soon as possible, although he believes that “the presence of a government will not make much of a difference”. “We only call for the speedy formation of the new Cabinet because we are about to go through exceptional situations,” he added, noting that the coming Cabinet should be one of emergency and political stability and that it should work on reinforcing the domestic front and be ready to face various possibilities. “The new government should be capable to attend parliamentary sessions without fearing any threats of grillings,” he added. Abul denounced all talk about sectarianism in Kuwait and urged everybody to focus more on consolidation and solidarity. “Some animal-like people who had been burying their heads underground are now trying to lift them with such calls,” he warned.

Zone for conflicts
The Islamic Salafist Alliance (ISA) yesterday issued a statement in which it warned against attempts to turn the GCC into a zone for conflicts and wars, similar to those going on in Iraq, Yemen and Libya. ISA also called for shura (consultation), cooperation and consolidation to navigate through such hard times by complying with the instructions of HH the Amir rejecting racism and sectarianism. It slammed parliamentary practices to gain more votes at the expense of public interests. ISA also called economic reform, reinforcing the value of work and avoiding unconstitutional practices. “Everybody should realize how dangerous the current political, security and economic situations are,” it underlined, calling for fighting corruption and favoritism, equal law enforcement on everybody and stopping rumors, false and misleading stories, namely those circulated through social media networks.

A National Assembly panel probing Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC) said yesterday that forcing the resignation of former KAC Chairwoman Rasha Al-Roumi was wrong. The committee blamed the government for not providing legal financial aid to the national carrier.

The Capital Municipality cleaning department removed 122,284 cubic meters of debris and waste, in addition to 235 abandoned vehicles in October, said the department manager Meshaal Al-Azmi, noting that the department also issued 5,181 notices, marked 10,173 abandoned vehicles and vehicles displayed for sale and filed 1,166 citations. Azmi stressed that inspection campaigns would be launched to track violators of ministerial decision number 9/87 pertaining with littering by throwing tissues and cigarette packs and butts on sidewalks and squares, noting that violators would be subject to a fine of up to KD 200.

By A Saleh