By Lama Tawakkol
CAIRO, Egypt – With five ministers from the former regime behind bars facing charges ranging from embezzlement to abuse of power, it seems like there are hardly any officials of ex-President Hosni Mubarak’s government who weren’t criminals.
For years the people of Egypt have known that our country is full of corruption and theft, but we never imagined the extent to which it had reached.
So far, the attorney general has locked up a handful of former ministers and businessmen and says he’s investigating a lot more than that.
Egypt is finally becoming cleaner and ridding itself of the humongous dark clouds that had been accumulating and towering over it for the past three decades.
The new minister for social solidarity and justice, whose job is to implement social justice, take care of pensions, provide unemployment and welfare and the like, declared this week in Al-Ahram, the Egyptian state newspaper, that Egypt is not poor as former officials have repeatedly claimed.
Instead, he said, its wealth has been going into the wrong outlets – the pockets of government officials working for Mubarak, although he didn’t state it quite as bluntly as I have.
Despite the fact that the Egyptian people have always known they were being ripped off and left to live in poverty while the country’s elite prospered, the investigations and the public statements about it have made it all real and have given us a way of getting our rights back.
Most people still can’t imagine that the men who had had everything less than a month ago were now behind bars.
We had always known that someday somehow justice would be served and that God would stand by the people.
But whatever we thought might happen someday, it sure wasn’t this.
This is just the beginning as more reports and documents are delivered to the attorney general’s office and more former and current officials get called on their crimes and their taking advantage of their positions.
The Armed Forces High Council has promised that no crime will go unpunished and that no corrupt official, whether out of office or still holding a position, will be able to escape penalty.
Egypt is starting to bloom as the light of a new dawn shines on it.
I am hopeful of what the future holds, and I am happy to have seen the day when justice and honesty have returned to Egypt.
Who would have thought that the day would come when Ahmed Ezz, who had had the entire National Democratic Party and country in his palm and who had basically ruled alongside Gamal Mubarak, the dictator’s son, would be behind bars facing all he has done for the past 20 or 30 years?
Karma has decided to teach him and his peers a lesson, once and for all.
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