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  ..[ ].. > > ( ) ( Department of General military subjec

Bribery Buys Iraq Jobs

( ) ( Department of General military subjec


04-10-09, 11:12 AM

  : 1

Bribery Buys Iraq Jobs


Bribery Buys Iraq Jobs

By Afif Sarhan, IOL Correspondent
     Bribery paid for jobs range
from US $300 to $2000 depending on the job, its location and the salary.
BAGHDAD After three fruitless years of looking for a job, Ahmed was advised by his cousin to pay a visit to a "job dealer" who would easily land him a government job. "After many useless tries, I realized that the best way to get a decent job was to pay for it," he told IslamOnline.net.
"So, I sold our marriage rings and raised the necessary money to become a government employee."

Ahmed, a 32-year-old father of four, paid the "job dealer" US $300 to get a government job. "I checked with at least two relatives who went through the same path and last week I had the chance to meet with the man responsible for this deal. He took the money and is suppose to call me any time to tell me when I should start my new job," he said in a matter-of-fact tone.
"There arent tests for government jobs in Iraq and they are all decided by someone.
"Some employees use bribery to get jobs and I was lucky enough to have managed to fix mine."
Bribery has become the new way to get a job in government offices, especially at Baghdad municipality.
Money paid for jobs range from US $300 to $2000 depending on the job, its location and the salary.
In many cases, people do not only have to bribe their way into the job, but are also forced to give half of the first salary to the job dealers.
"I take some money for myself but also use most of it to pay some colleagues to help me in getting the placement," one Baghdad job dealer told IOL, on condition of anonymity.
"There are thousands of Iraqis desperately looking for a job and there is no official new hiring so it has to happen unofficially," he argued.
"I know that if someone finds out I might lose my job and even go to jail but I prefer to take the risk and help myself and someone else who needs to feed his family but cannot get a job because of the government bureaucracy."
Hamdan, who asked to use his first name only for fear of reprisal, also paid to get a job.
"Although I believe that bribery is something wrong and is even mentioned in the Qur'an, I didnt have a choice," he told IOL.
"When you arrive home and see your family in need of food and clothes you realize that giving someone who is able to fix all that is a blessing."
Hamdan said he paid the job dealer US $500 as a bribe and half of his first two salaries, totaling US $800.
"In the first days, some people used to look at me in a strange way as if they knew what happened but now life in the office is normal."
Hamdan has been in his new job for nearly eight months now and does not regret what he did.
"I can afford a stable life to my family and dont have to worry about being forced out of my home for not affording the rent."
Mahmoud al-Mishahda, a senior official at Baghdad Municipality, one of the places where the dealers are offering jobs, said they are unaware of such outlawed dealings.
"I cant make myself blind and assume that bribery isnt present in Iraq," he told IOL.
"But it is wrong and specially in this case as people are taking advantage of the suffering of many others and forcing the government to spend money on employees who are not needed," added al-Mishahda.
"Investigations are already under way and those responsible should be punished."
But not all those who are ready to use bribery to get a job end up with one.
Some job dealers, mostly in the southern governorates, turn out to be swindlers who only feed on unemployed people looking for a job.
They take the money and promise people with decent jobs and then vanish in thin air.
Dahab al-Zuhairiya, a 29-year-old resident of Najaf, is one such victim.
"My husband died during sectarian violence in 2006 and since than I have been trying to find a job and the only think I was able to find was temporary housekeeping," she told IOL.
She paid US $550 for a job and even signed supposedly official papers from the local governorate.
"Through a friend I met someone called Khalid al-Ghrair, who presented himself as a local government employee. He promised me the job but said he would have to pay some officials to get me the job," she recalled.
After days of silence on the part of the dealer, she decided to pay him a visit at his supposed office only to discover there was no one with the dealer name and no jobs.
"I was just more one victim in Najaf," she fumed, pushing aside her tears.





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