In Bangladesh general peoples’ disgust over corruption can’t be over emphasized. The collective anger, hatred and the plea for a relief is enormous. It is clear that, even in the short term, people are ready for any sort of sacrifice, like giving up their fundamental rights like freedom of speech, freedom of meeting, politics etc, if that helps routing out corruption from the society. In this context, it is not very surprising that this current government has enjoyed an overwhelming public support despite many drastic measures.
It is also not a meticulously hidden secret that General Moeen U Ahmed is the de facto ruler of the country although he maintains that he is merely the army chief under civilian leadership. Let me give some example why I say so. Example 1. Remember the camera front outburst of estranged Magistrate Rokonuddoula? He was saying that he visited General Moeen three times regarding the separation of judiciary issue and Gen Moeen rebuffed the demand to halt stripping administrative magistrates of judicial power. Why a leading administrative magistrate will go to army chief for such a purely non military issue and how the general will give decision in that regard? In Example 2, General Moeen has been repeatedly making statements about election date. In an ideal civil government, the army chief will only be there to help out the civil administration during election time. When or whether election will be held or not, that is purely the decision of the civil cabinet and the election commission.
So I don’t think that there will be too much argument in my statement that Gen Moeen is the prime leader of the government.
There is no doubt that this governments’ mandate is corruption. That means that the government leadership themselves are free of corruption allegations and they will not tolerate any sort of corruption be it nepotism, be it unconstitutional use of power.
However, recently the blogs came up with serious allegations of corruption against General Moeen U Ahmed. Some of the allegations are,
1. General Moeen breached existing rule by rehiring his brother as the MD of a bank which he is the chairman of.
2. General Moeen inappropriately (Does his income/asset allow the bank to grant 1 crore taka loan?) took nearly 1 crore taka loan from the same bank.
3. He paid off 66 lac taka in one year (Where did all these money come from?).
General Moeen however strongly denied all these allegations in an unprecedented media campaign both here in USA and in Bangladesh. General Moeen claimed that he only took 35 lac taka house building loan for building his DOHS home and also claimed that he had documents in support of that.
However the blogs immediately came up with impeccable evidence in support of the allegations they posted in their blogs. The evidence they came up with,
1. The audited prospectus of Trust Bank, (of which General Moeen is the Chairmen and General Moeen’s brother Iqbal U Ahmed is the managing Director) submitted to Bangladesh securities and exchange commission on May 17 2007, clearly states that General Moeen had an outstanding loan amount of Taka 99,69,215 at the end of 2005 and an outstanding loan amount of Taka 33,15,323 at the end of 2006. That means he paid off 66 lac taka between 2005 and 2006.
3. The bloggers also came up with Bangladesh Bank regulations that prohibits
a. Having family members in the board of directors of a bank.
b. The amount of loan General Moeen took from the bank he is the chairman of the board of directors and his brother is the managing director.
These are serious documents and all were in public domain and taken from the website of Bangladesh Bank, Trust Bank and Securities and Exchange Commission of Bangladesh. So mere statement that “I only took 35 lac taka loan. The story of 1 Crore taka loan is false and fabricated story to malign me” is not enough. People tend to believe in what General Moeen says. He really comes across as a very honest gentleman. But a clarification is urgently needed about the trust bank and SEC documents. Why trust bank financial statement and prospectus repeatedly showing that general Moeen took 1 crore taka loan? It is essential that clear statements from General Moeen, Trust Bank authorities and SEC, clarify the controversies regarding the discrepancies in the loan documents and the claims made by General Moeen about the amount of loan.
This post absolutely is not intended to taint, demean or vilify General Moeen U Ahmed. It is agreed that a big portion of the people in Bangladesh do love him, and appreciate his efforts/courage to get Bangladesh rid of corruption. But for the sake of a better future of this government as well as that of Bangladesh, General Moeen U Ahmed must clear the confusions created by his statement and bank documents. This is needed for the sake of Bangladesh.
The bloggers remain hellbent in following the doctrine they have preached all these days. Everyone is innocent until clearly proven guilty by a due process in a transparent and independent court of law.