The accompanying graph presents Kuwait’s position on the Corruption Perceptions Index since 2003 when it ranked 35 among the countries included in the index. But since then, its rank has witnessed a continuous decline. Its rank has seen five improvement movements, but it has soon fallen to deeper levels of corruption. The dotted line indicates the continuous decline in the direction of losing points from the beginning until 2019. In the last three years, its worst ranking level was in 2017 at 85; then it improved 7 centers in 2018 at rank 78 and that improvement did not last and returned to its highest level in 2019 at rank 85.
The foregoing means that corruption has become an epidemic over a long period of time and its treatment lies in a surgical confrontation and not in its denial and finding excuses for improvement or regression from one year to another. We were expecting from the Kuwait Ani Corruption Authority “Nazaha” to use the index to reaffirm the epidemic and to announce practical measures to confront it and not to attribute it to delay in the appropriate legislation or in public speeches about its exposed cases. Perhaps the cruelest thing mentioned by “Nazaha” is the failure of the Penal Code to criminalize bribery of public officials which means that up to this point, any public official who receives a bribe and violates the State’s rights against a personal return whether it is money, service, or a contract to a contractor against bribery will be acquitted until the existing penal code is amended. This represents an urgent invitation to new corruption cases. These justifications are evidence of the inability to cope with the epidemic as there is no legal deficiency in the world to confront bribery and the bribed public officer in particular because he/she sells his/her homeland. No one will sympathize with the bribed person to escape punishment unless he survives his rule by his influence which was stronger than that of the confrontation authorities. Any talk of financial or economic reform that is not built on integrity is doomed to fail, and it is nothing but a mirage. The epidemic has affected money, the position, and the service, all of which are the product of any reform and development project. Even “Nazaha” itself has not escaped from a lack of integrity. It has been stopped and dissolved for 4 years before it has been reestablished, and 3 years have already passed which are sufficient for its transition to practical confrontation and not the search for the completion of its departments, the information and the legislation.