Saudi citizens ‘lost trust’ in anti-corruption commission

Saudi citizens ‘lost trust’ in anti-corruption commission
Wed Jan 15, 2014 09:49:52

A Saudi female Shoura Council member has criticized the National Anti-Corruption Commission (Nazaha) for its failure to contain growing corrupt practices in the ultra-conservative Kingdom, saying it has lost the confidence of citizens.

Zainab Abutaleb, the vice chairperson of the media committee at the council, said on Tuesday that the body’s chief Mohammed Al-Sharief should have gone through citizens’ comments on Nazaha before highlighting its achievements at the Shoura Council next Monday.

“The national strategy to protect fairness and combat corruption, which is Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah’s most important initiative, should be the criteria for establishing transparency and social injustice in the Kingdom,” she said.

Saudis have expressed their disappointment in Nazaha on social media, she said, citing some of their comments.

“Corruption and corrupt officials are everywhere, but nobody is there to protect you,” reads one comment. “We want to see your work on the ground,” reads another.

Other comments include “It seems corruption is more powerful than Nazaha” and “We hear only talk and corruption is increasing by the day.”

According to Abutaleb, winning the confidence of citizens is the best way for Nazaha to succeed.

She said if Al-Sharief had understood Nazaha’s position and had fathomed the powers the king had given to the organization, he would not have told the Shoura that some government officials were ignoring its directives.

Addressing the Shoura, Al-Sharief said a new law would be soon enacted to protect public funds. He also said that measures would be taken against corrupt contractors. “Nazaha does not have the powers to issue punishments and sanctions or conduct investigations.”


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