Former supply minister Khaled Hanafy, in a televised interview on Sunday, denied that he stayed in a private hotel that was paid for using cabinet expenses.
Hanafy resigned from his position on 25 August following an investigation by parliament’s Fact-Finding Committee into allegations of wheat supply fraud. He was accused of corruption and was included in charges of wasting up to EGP 500m in public funds and stealing financial subsidies from wheat farmers.
The committee submitted its 575-page long report to parliament in late August, which urged Hanafy to announce his resignation in a press conference a day later.
During the TV interview, Hanafy said he refused the opportunity to send a request to cabinet to pay for the hotel room or a private apartment, but rather preferred to stay in the hotel on his own expenses for more than one year.
On the wheat corruption scandal, he said that the corruption is embedded in the system itself, and not the individuals.
“I already sent an official memorandum to the cabinet in 2014 regarding corruption in the wheat supply,” he said.
According to Hanafy, the absence of accountability mechanisms in wheat prices control is the main cause of corruption, noting that there should be a unified price for wheat. Corruption is often deeply embedded in the issues that surround price control.
He also highlighted that during his tenure Egypt’s imports of wheat decreased and instead were based on local market production, citing a report from the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS).
Moreover, Hanafy responded to investigation authorities who convicted him by saying: “you undertook an important measure, but we do not have to enter conflict.”
The Supply Ministry currently holds the highest record of corruption related charges for 2016, according to a monthly report compiled by the NGO Partners for Transparency (PFT).