Tunisian authorities opened an investigation into a “suspicious deal” to produce millions of medical gags, sparking public opinion, both sides of the Minister of Industry and a deputy in Parliament, amid calls for the minister to be dismissed and the immunity of the deputy removed.
In detail, the head of the Administrative Reform, Good Governance and Anti-Corruption Committee, Badruddin Qamudi, explained in a statement to Al-Arabiya.net, that in the context of the government’s preparations to gradually lift the quarantine, it asked the Ministry of Industry to provide more than 30 million medical masks in preparation for the imposition of wearing them All citizens, however, seem to have a young flaw in concluding deals between the Ministry of Industry and industrialists specializing in the production of masks, in the smell of manipulation.
He added that the Minister of Industry, Saleh Bin Youssef, asked one of the specialized factories to provide two million muzzles urgently, before attending the conditions book, and the technical specifications required for the muzzle were leaked, so that one of the parties emptied the market of fabric for manufacturing masks and buying all the quantities available to monopolize them, before To determine that the factory that benefited from the deal is the property of a parliamentarian.
Moreover, Qumudi stressed that this complex file is still subject to follow-up to gather all the data, to show the truth and then to hold all the responsible parties involved in and related to this issue, which affects public money.
The involvement of a deputy who owns a private company
For her part, Chairwoman of the Parliament’s Industry Committee, Abeer Musa, revealed that a parliament member was “involved” in concluding a public deal for a company he owned to manufacture two million medical masks, which the Ministry of Finance urgently requested from the Ministry of Industry.
And considered in a video clip posted on her Facebook page, that this is a “serious violation of the law,” especially that Chapter 25 of the constitution “prevents MPs from entering into commercial deals with the state or public groups, institutions and public establishments.”
In the same context, the National Anti-Corruption Commission confirmed the existence of a suspicion of corruption related to the two manufacturing deals of 32 million non-medical protective masks and two million muzzles of the same class for the benefit of each of the ministries of industry, health and trade, noting that it had referred this file with the documents to the prosecutor of the Republic at the Court of First Instance in Tunisia To conduct an investigation.
The minister does not know!
In response to the controversy raised by the deal to manufacture medical masks and accusations against him with favoritism and involvement in suspicion of corruption, Minister of Industry Saleh bin Yusef explained at a press conference on Friday that he did not know that the factory with which he agreed to request the manufacture of 32 million protective masks owned by the deputy in Parliament Jalal al-Zayati.
He also pointed out that the matter “is not related to a deal, but to an urgent request, and we have directed it to the aforementioned factory, provided that the price of one muzzle does not exceed 2400 mm ($ 0.8), with the necessity that the goods be in conformity with the required specifications, especially since the situation the country is going through is exceptional and affects The health of the citizen, and there is no time to publish the request for proposals. “
The deputy explains: The minister called me
For his part, MP Jalal Al-Zayati said in a television statement that the Minister of Industry called him as the owner of an institution specialized in making medical equipment and not as a deputy, and asked him to make two million muzzles in two weeks, so he agreed to support the state’s efforts in fighting the Corona virus. .
This file sparked widespread controversy among the Tunisians, who considered that the “Corona” crisis revealed to the public the exploitation by some parties in the country of the current conditions of illicit enrichment by practicing monopoly and manipulating public deals.
The Republican Party demanded “the immediate dismissal of the Minister of Industry from his duties, the opening of a judicial investigation and the acceleration of the lifting of immunity from a suspected member of Parliament until the research took its natural course”, denouncing the delay of parties that participated in the ruling on the pretext of fighting the holy war against corruption, in revealing the existence of a “suspicion of corruption” In assigning the Ministry of Industry a deal to manufacture medical masks for a deputy in Parliament. ”