Egyptian governance, a failure par excellence

Abdel Latif el-Menawy

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What is certain is that Egypt’s current management of the state is a failure par excellence. I even expect that the Brotherhood’s style of governance will be used as a model to teach future generations how to avoid failure, how not to rule a country. This is neither an incrimination against it nor an underestimation of it. This is truly a description that fits the reality anyone with a vision can see. It fits a reality denied by those who sold themselves out to achieve small temporary aims at the expense of the country and its general interest. There have been plenty of men of the latter kind throughout all eras.

When the Brotherhood took over - whatever the means were - optimists thought it was a group rich with cadres whose rights have been violated for decades. Optimists thought that in addition to these “powerful” cadres, the Brotherhood would also make use of supportive powerful international relations in order to succeed in its first, and most important, governing experience.

Egypt as a state is getting poorer under the shadow of the Brotherhood whilst the latter is getting richer. This will not go unpunished

Abdel Latif el-Menawy

Among the optimists were people who thought that the Brotherhood would not remain captive to grudges of the past and that it would begin to cooperate with all political and social parties to unite them under the aim of setting the country on the path to progress.

The optimists hoped that the Brotherhood would be a unifying national coalition that would lead the country through the phase of rebuilding.

Previous expectations from the Brotherhood were those of optimists. These optimists were of two kinds. The first kind falls under the category of the “deceived.” They are those who did not know much about the Brotherhood’s history, intellect and truth as a group that only rejects others upon conditions. Those cannot be blamed for anything because it is not a must that all people know all details about the Brotherhood. The other type falls under the category of the “deceivers.” They are those who know the truth of the Brotherhood but, for personal aims and vendettas, ignored what they knew and contributed to putting us all in trouble and later apologized after they, and their aims, were harmed. The apology, however, came too late or, as it is said, it came “after the axe struck the head.”

The few who knew the Brotherhood’s truth and history fell in the category of pessimists. This pessimism was an expression of reality rather than of a political stance. Some of those pessimists kept silent and waited out of fear of being accused as being against the Brotherhood.Whilst those who announced their position were fiercely criticized and attacked by the Brotherhood’s followers.

The big reveal

It didn’t take long for the Brotherhood to reveal its truth. Those who supported the Brotherhood for personal aims realized the trick played on them so they retreated and apologized for supporting the Brotherhood although they were aware of its truth. But this came too late.

The truth is, the Brotherhood has failed all Egyptians except its followers. It quickly revealed the truth of its emptiness. We have heard plenty of promises but when the time came there was nothing but failure. Talks on the numerous cadres and experts were nothing more than fanfare. We only saw very few of them. This either means that these are all they’ve got or that the others refuse to participate because they realize there is mismanagement that will lead to a farce. As for the talks on billions, they were nothing more than lost billions. The Brotherhood’s cabinet is attempting to gain a few billions - less than five - which represents ten percent of Egypt’s reserves that were lost in two years. The Brotherhood also attempts to convince naive people of fake achievements and victories because the International Monetary Fund delegation accepted to visit Egypt or because one of the latter’s members positively indicated that negotiations may succeed. I do not think it is unlikely that the day of the Monetary Fund’s approval of the loan will be announced as a national occasion that the Brotherhood celebrates. The Brotherhood’s cabinet may even consider the day of the approval of the loan as an official holiday.

They deceive the naive and tell them approving the loan is a birth certificate and an act that displays trust in the Egyptian economy. They do not tell them that Egypt has removed the term “borrowing” from its glossary since the mid 90s. The Brotherhood runs the state as per its interests and regional alliances. This is why the man holding the post of the prime minister rushed to Qatar to break the ice surrounding relations. He also committed and took it upon himself to resolve the problems of their businessmen who have direct relations with the Brotherhood’s leaders and representatives at state institutions including the presidency. Our brother, the Egyptian prime minister announced from the Qatari capital his commitment to facilitate Qataris’ investments and businesses. This stance is not rejected if it is one adopted towards all countries, particularly towards those that have huge investments in Egypt. But on the other hand, we find that state institutions are exploiting their capabilities to obstruct and eventually kick out investors who come from other countries that lack warmth and friendliness on the level of their relations with theBrotherhood.

Investors facing problems in Egypt

It is enough to look and observe the problems that, for example, Emirati investments are facing? I think that plenty know the size of problems these investments and investors are facing in Egypt. They in fact do know that they are paying the price for the tense relations between the Brotherhood and the government of the Emirates. The tense relations are a result of the Brotherhood’s activity that opposes the government there and that attempts to harm the situation there. And so these investments became a hostage of this tension. And of course the Brotherhood’s permanent slogan is “Egypt shouldn't even matter,” as their former supreme guide once put it. And so the Brotherhood’s management of the state squanders billions, it attempts to develop relations with other countries according to its interests and not the state’s.

As for managing domestic affairs, the Brotherhood, through all its representatives, managed to divide the people. All their members contributed to this and so the Egyptians positioned themselves in different trenches preparing for battles that some warned may turn into a civil war.

Meanwhile, the Brotherhood is busy controlling everything in the country. It is busy enabling itself to restrain institutions and eliminating all those who have different stances. Most of those who currently deal with the Brotherhood are aware that their presence is a temporary one linked to the fact they are needed for now. They are aware that they will be gotten rid of once there is no need for them.

The current situation of the state in Egypt is strange. It is not only a case of failed management. Another important aspect is that Egypt as a state is getting poorer under the shadow of the Brotherhood whilst the latter is getting richer. This will not go unpunished. A day will come when the Brotherhood will be held accountable. But unfortunately, it does not seem that this will be soon.


Abdel Latif el-Menawy is an author, columnist and multimedia journalist who has covered conflicts around the world. He is the author of "Tahrir: the last 18 days of Mubarak," a book he wrote as an eyewitness to events during the 18 days before the stepping down of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Menawy’s most recent public position was head of Egypt’s News Center. He is a member of the National Union of Journalists in the United Kingdom, and the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate. He can be found on Twitter @ALMenawy

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