Morocco World News
Morocco World News
Sidi Ifni, Morocco – Many Moroccans are beginning to feel more desperate than ever with each time they learn that a certain minister is reported to have embezzled a large amount of the country’s money. They are at a loss for words, especially that they have been kept in the dark for years. Now, with the PJD-led government, the Moroccan masses have regained their hope that Benkirane, head of the government, and his party would spur the change Moroccans have always looked forward to, and he would take to court all the corrupt officials, some ministers in particular, for all the money they have stolen.
The crux of the matter, which all Moroccans must now bear in mind, is that the reform process can never be fully carried out if the embezzlers are not severely punished for dashing the hopes of millions of Moroccans through taking away their fortunes.
Since Benkirane took the helm of the government, very little has been done to rid embezzlement and the hidden hands behind it. The Moroccan public has always insisted that the head of government take a bold step and disclose the names of the embezzlers of their fortune. So far, to Moroccans’ dismay, almost nothing has been done to drown the sorrows and regrets of the Moroccan masses.
For Moroccans, disclosing the beneficiaries of the transport licenses would never suffice. What would suffice for them, instead, is taking to court any minister or official charged with embezzling Morocco’s fortune so as to restore their dignified livelihoods. Yet, as time goes by, Moroccans have begun to doubt the credibility of the PJD and its leader, Benkirane.
On the contrary, it is as if Benkirane was implicitly defending the country’s corrupt individuals when he once announced that Moroccans should never dream of welfare and a high standard of living for the reason that Morocco is a poor country. Why didn’t he instead point an accusing finger to the high-ranking officials who made Morocco poor and Moroccans impoverished? Morocco as a country, where we live, must never be held accountable, for it is innocent of all that embezzlers and opportunistic officials have committed.
Think, for instance, of Taoufik Hjjira, an ex-minister of housing, who has allegedly accumulated a fortune estimated at 6 billion MAD ($750 million), according to Mohamed Tarek Sibai, head of the National Commission for the Protection of Public Funds in Morocco. How could he amass such an enormous amount of money? Was his salary what led him to accumulate all this money? I do not think so.
It goes without saying that if the current government delves into the case of this minister, it will surely find out that the minister had embezzled the money of Moroccans, particularly that the latter still find it challenging to buy even a small portion of land, let alone build a house. So, what was all that money for if it had not been reserved to solving the social ills of housing which the minister was once in charge of for six years.
The simple reason why many Moroccans feel skeptical about the credibility of the current government is that Benkirane is acutely aware of what is going on and has at his disposal the archives of Hjjira’s career, but he has not taken the issue seriously. Before the elections, the change Benkirane’s PJD promised to focus on and even adopted as their slogan was fighting corruption in its all forms.
Still worse is that Benkirane is now missing the historical opportunity to take serious measures against the embezzlers. What is he waiting for? Isn’t the country’s money a top priority for the impoverished Moroccans who still perspire to procure a living? Up until now, the PJD-led government has been lying to ambitious Moroccans who have always believed in change. It is the change that revolves around giving the embezzlers a fair trial.
Currently, some Moroccans are already deluding themselves that change is at last taking place when Khalid Alioua, the former president of CIH (Crédit Immobilier et hotelier) was recently sent to prison on the grounds of mismanagement of people’s credit and other forms of corruption. But, is that a bold step? Personally, I think that it is not.
Choosing scapegoats while ignoring real embezzlers of our fortune will get us nowhere. The current government is in the position to send to prison anyone charged with embezzlement, but it is still hesitant. Perhaps, for the current government, some high-ranking officials are more powerful and above the law. It is a pity the current government has not reacted against them, perhaps, out of fear that they might put Benkirane in jeopardy.
We can never hope for reform and change, if we are lenient with the officials who have stolen our dreams. Even taking them to prison will not calm down the daily cries of Moroccans. What we really need is to see the government restoring the confiscated fortunes and give back the stolen billions of dirhams to the impoverished Moroccan masses. Unfortunately, this is far from having occurred.
We cannot expect such a change from a government, which is surrounded and plagued by lobbyists whose only concern is amassing as much money as possible. I am afraid the PJD-led government’s actions with regard to embezzlement of the country’s money do not speak louder than their words. It is high time the Moroccans who elected Benkirane laid on the table the daring question of where their money has gone, who has embezzled it, and what has been done with the corrupt officials that dashed Moroccans’ hopes and aspirations for a better future.
Edited by Benjamin Villanti
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