Lawmakers prepare to grill public works minister over rain crisis

Anti-Corruption Authority sends 10 government officials to prosecution

Jenan Bushehri

KUWAIT: A grilling is expected be submitted against Public Works Minister Jenan Bushehri during the next parliamentary team due to the government’s contradiction in dealing with the November rain crisis, which caused extensive damage to streets and vehicles besides homes, particularly in Sabah Al-Ahmad City, parliamentary sources said. There is an agreement between MPs to grill Bushehri at the start of next term in October, the sources noted, adding that the grilling may include other topics related to the housing issue and lack of services in Sabah Al-Ahmad.
According to the sources, the grilling is based on a quote attributed to the minister in which she reportedly said that the rain crisis revealed that companies did not do a good job in infrastructure projects, which led to a deficiency in drainage of rainwater, apart from flying gravel on the streets, yet the minister did not send any company to the prosecution as she announced, and this contradicts the decision of the Cabinet in depriving these companies from participating in tenders as a punishment rather than being satisfied with repairs.
The sources said a parliamentary majority is not satisfied with the government’s statements about the companies and the rain crisis. The sources expect the government to explain its views on this issue before the new parliamentary term through discussions with the public facilities committee in order to protect Bushehri against any political escalation, adding the trump card in this issue is that the anti-corruption committee has sent senior officials at the ministry of public works to the public prosecution for not doing their job.
In another development, the government yesterday informed the legal and legislative committee that a grilling filed by MP Abdulkareem Al-Kandari against the prime minister is unconstitutional because it did not deal with major public policies that the premier is responsible for. Head of the committee MP Khaled Al-Shatti said the panel will submit its report to the National Assembly early in the next term. Kandari declined an invitation to attend the committee’s meeting to discuss if the grilling is in line with the constitution or not.

Public prosecution
The Public Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha) sent three officials and seven managers and heads of departments at the Ministry of Public Works and the Public Authority for Roads and Transportation (PART), as well as deputy chairman of the board of a private company, to the public prosecution. Assistant secretary general for the corruption discovery sector and official spokesman Mohammad Buzubar said the sector received a statement from Boushehri with attached documents and reports.

650 teachers
The education ministry has asked the Civil Service Commission to complete contracts with teachers and get the necessary approvals following the commission’s measures issued last year, most importantly withdrawing the exemption given to the ministry for contracting. Official sources said the number of teachers contracted so far is 650 of both genders on both local and overseas contracts, adding the commission did not approve any of the exemptions the ministry gave to teachers whose qualifications differ from what is written on the work permit in local contracting.
Meanwhile, the education ministry terminated contracts of expats in order to replace them with citizens as part of the ministry’s efforts to implement the replacement policy. The number of teachers who were terminated is 299 in Islamic education, computers, social studies and practical studies, while 275 Kuwaiti teachers were appointed in the same specialties.

Gone missing
Security authorities in cooperation with the coastguard and US air force located an American man who went missing on a rented jet ski. The American, who works for the US army, rented a jet ski and went out to sea at around 10 pm. He was late returning and was reported missing, prompting authorities to respond. He was found at dawn near Salmiya in good health.

By A Saleh and B Izzak

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