Assembly rain panel insists probe is exhaustive, denies shielding anyone
KUWAIT: The Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha) referred yesterday an official – without disclosing his name, position, or the entity he worked for – to the public prosecution on the charge of accepting a bribe. Nazaha spokesman and assistant secretary Mohammad Bouzber said in a press release that this case is considered the first of its kind.
The authority said in a statement that it had received a complaint backed by documents against the official and conducted its own investigation, including interrogating the official. The statement said the official failed to justify the larger-than-usual funds that were deposited into his bank accounts and also failed to justify overspending in his government department. Nazaha affirmed that it will continue its work on fighting corruption by following leads and investigating suspicious and illicit acts.
Meanwhile, the head of the National Assembly committee to investigate damage from last year’s heavy rains MP Adel Al-Damkhi yesterday defended the probe’s report, saying it is complete and includes full details. Damkhi’s comments were made after the report was criticized as lacking important information that could be used to indict some companies and their owners.
MP Ahmad Al-Fadhl said yesterday that the report does not include important information provided by the Audit Bureau, which directly accused some companies by name. But Damkhi insisted that the report is not brief, did not ignore any facts and has held a number of senior officials responsible for the massive damage that impacted several residential areas in November.
The committee was formed by the Assembly after heavy torrential rains lashed several residential areas, especially Sabah Al-Ahmad, causing heavy damage and losses to property. Damkhi said the report includes both technical issues and political responsibilities, adding that the minister of public works has so far been very slow in implementing the recommendations. He called for holding the minister accountable in case the recommendations are not implemented.
The lawmaker warned that floods will happen again in winter if the sewage network is not repaired and necessary infrastructure is not completed, adding that Sabah Al-Ahmad, one of the worst affected by the floods, will be hit again if repairs are not completed. Damkhi said the investigation was very comprehensive and the committee sought help from the Engineers’ Society and the Audit Bureau, which was asked to conduct technical studies on loose gravel, the Mangaf bridge and Sabah Al-Ahmad area. He attributed the criticism against the committee to the fact that it was straightforward and transparent to make sure that such violations are not repeated in the coming years.
By B Izzak