A Hostage Nation: When Government Officials Betray The Oath

A Hostage Nation: When Government Officials Betray The Oath


What is it about the government and its agents and employees that they can lie to us with impunity, but we risk being sent to jail if we lie to them?

Andrew P. Napolitano

One can only be gob-smacked when learning about what is going on behind closed doors in government buildings. Those invisible actors behind the scenes proved to be more efficient in decision-making than the puppets we often see in the political arena. Yet, every now and then, we get some “courageous” official, who supposedly, earned people’s trust to serve them, coming out with what would be considered an embarrassment to him, as a person, and to his entire office.

It is perfectly understandable that in countries wherein illiteracy is the trademark of the nation, corruption reigns and spreads its web in every way of life. I am not defending corruption; but rather stating a phenomenon that is gnawing in the every political, economic and social institution. Lack of education, poor economic conditions and a strong grip on power are what makes ordinary people feel that those officials scramble on their rights for a decent life and to obtain what belongs to them, or at least, getting their fair chances in the society.

mourad beni-ich 1

The man of the hour in Morocco these days is no stranger to many scandals and controversies throughout his political career. Mr. Salaheddine Mezouar, the current Moroccan Foreign Minister and former Minister of Finance. Mr. Mezouar, apparently, has to leave his mark every time he is appointed to an office. The whole nation is fully aware of what I love to label it “Bonusgate”, when he and Mr. Noureddine Bensouda, former Director of DGI. They were both involved in a scandal related to wage bonuses. Leaked documents, revealed that both officials issued orders to reward themselves with substantial monthly and quarterly bonuses, totaled roughly MAD 97.772/month, which is about $12,000. Mr. Mezouar declared that “the bonuses were legal, basing the decision on a 1941 decree by the French colonial-head which is still enforced. The French decree allowed.

MEZOUAR corruption

In modern Morocco, I cannot believe that we still function by out-of-date decrees enacted by colonial France in early 1940s!   

Another scandal, our beloved Mezouar is involved in, is what is known as “Cablegate”, and how he managed the scandal at the Casablanca Stock Exchange in November 2008.

When the government coalition collapsed, thanks to the incompetent Chabat due to the withdrawal of his party’s ministers, the current Prime Minister was left by no other choice but to form another coalition and convince Mr. Mezouar’s party to join the government. Mr. Benkirane friend Mr. Saad-Eddine Othmani to please Mr. Mezouar who was appointed as Morocco’s top diplomat, and was officially installed on October 2013. Many objected his appointment for his infamous abuse of power and use of his position to reward himself and his entourage. But clearly the voices of people will never be heard in Morocco, and top leaders will always go with what will work best for their interests. The case with Mr. Mezouar is a prime example!

The best is yet to come.. Mr. Mezouar is a man full of surprises!

On November 14th, 2013, the French Foreign Minister came to Morocco on an official visit, and of course he had to meet with his Moroccan counterpart. There is no doubt that there are always many bilateral issues, both France and Morocco need ot address and on a regular basis. That is clear. So I, along with many others, assume that what the two Foreign Ministers would discuss would be immigration, trade, defense, counterterrorism, Sahara… etc, but what I, and many others, would never expect is that either of the ministers would cease the opportunity to plea for a personal favor. I did not know that in diplomacy and politics, and during official visits, we can mix business with personal matters! This would be new in the art of diplomacy, and no wonder Moroccan foreign policy is going from bad to worse!

According to a document I have received exclusively, Mr. Mezouar, apparently, derived from performing his duties as a Foreign Minister, and pulled Mr. Laurent Fabius aside and asked him to assist his daughter to land a job with McKinsey; a leading consulting firm in France and the world. Now, whether the minister’s daughter is competent and deserves the position is totally different story, but what is important here is why Mr. Mezouar, and during an official government meeting, involved his personal matters in the discussion? Wouldn’t this act be considered a breach of his job description? What made him believe that his daughter’s career is more important that the country’s foreign policy? In countries wherein civil servants respect themselves, an act like this one can lead either to an immediate dismissal or he the official could save the blush and steps down from the office. But, this never happened and will never happen in a country like Morocco!

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It did not take the French Foreign Minister more than a week to write back to Mr. Mezouar that he intervened personally to assist his daughter to land a position within the consulting institute. Impressive! I wish the French Minister could have done the same to solve many crucial problems Morocco and Moroccans endure in France, but the priority of course ought to be the minister’s lovely daughter. Who are the Moroccans to feature in the minister’s agenda? Why should he care anyway?! He knows that his days in the office are numbered, and he has until 2016 to gain as much as he can, and of course secure the future of his babies, just like some Royal Counsellor did when he was at the same office!

I am truly amazed on how Morocco’s institutions are run. Every man or woman in charge consider the office and the country a personal property and Moroccans are only there to serve them and sing hallelujah to whatever they come up with. Mr. Mezouar is not the only one, for sure, who has been abusing his position; there are certainly many others out there who, probably, are similar, if not worse. But the question is until when Moroccan civil servants underestimate and disregard Moroccans and their interests?

Morocco is a beautiful country, Moroccans are generally peaceful and law abiding citizens, they want to live decently, they do not ask for much; all they ask for are their rights, that’s all. They do not want to compete with those on top, they just want to be respected and not fooled around. They believe and trust blindly, they cast their votes hoping for a real  change from their representatives, only to be disappointed and let down. Morocco and Moroccans deserve better than the likes of Mr. Mezouar. It is so sad that there are no ears to listen to the real voices of change. They pretend to listen, but at the end of the day, they all do what is best for them. Fact.

I demand that Mr. Mezouar explains himself to the nation about what happened on November 14th, 2013 and I also demand that the parliament investigates this scandal, and if Mr. Foreign Minister has any dignity, he should resign immediately. Any other excuses will be just another act put by whoever to derive this issue from its core and taking, yet again, Moroccans for fools!

It might take an act of God to convince some Western citizens that parts of their governments are corrupt, but at the same time, we cannot, under any circumstances, persuade a Moroccan that his government is not corrupt! This is the sad and the bitter truth.. Time for the government to put itself together and begins taking national issues more seriously, and most importantly comprehend that their kids are just like millions in Morocco and also, they should believe that the law is above their hot seat. Period.

Mourad Beni-ich
Mr.Mourad Beni-ich is a Political, Intelligence & Strategic Analyst based in Washington, DC.

[symple_box color=”blue” text_align=”left” width=”100%” float=”none”]Mr. Beni-ich holds a BA in Law, a BA in Political Sciences, a MA in Security and Intelligence Analyses, a MA in Global Terrorism and a PhD in International Politics. His studies were pursued in England and the U.S.

Mr. Beni-ich began his career as a lawyer working for the British Home Office (The Ministry of Interior) as well as The British Foreign Office. Mr.Beni-ich gave many lectures in the United States regarding the current affairs in the MENA region, both in universities and organizations. Mr. Beni-ich is currently based in Washington, DC where he lobbies for the Moroccan affairs and coordinates with many U.S. officials and Think-Tanks to promote Morocco’s interests, both in the United States and Morocco.