Opening the black box of Egypt’s slush funds

(Mada Masr) --
Nizar Manek and Jeremy Hodge, 28 May 2015
A version of this article was originally published May 26 on Africa Confidential and has been reprinted courtesy of the Angaza Foundation for Africa Reporting. Mada Masr has edited this story for length. The complete article, along with infographics and supplementary information, can be found here.
One sunny day last March, Egyptian government auditors walked past the concrete barricades surrounding the Ministry of Interior. There, they sought to ferret out irregularities from the ministry’s financial records, among them allegations that seven unnamed senior officials at the Interior Ministry used state funds to distribute nearly US$12 million in bonuses to themselves. Before the auditors could inspect the records, they were thrown off the premises.
Eight months later, the audit chief complained to Egypt’s new president and prime minister that Interior Ministry staff burgled a room his auditors used to investigate the ministry, stealing investigative records and notebooks. In a memo, the audit chief said the ministry justified the break-in with Egypt’s “war on terror,” claiming that how it spends state cash must be kept a state secret.
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