Cairo: Egypt is prosecuting hundreds of municipal employees suspected of involvement in massive-scale building violations across the country, Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli has disclosed.
In recent months, authorities have mounted a nationwide campaign to stop decades-long informal housing, and have set September 30 as the deadline for landlords of illegally constructed buildings to reach a financial settlement or face demolition.
“There are hundreds of employees, who have been referred to prosecution. We are not being tough to the ordinary citizen and leaving others. We have started with the sharks, who initiated this phenomenon,” Madbouli, an ex-housing minister, said in media remarks.
President Abdul Fattah last month warned that the army units could be sent to villages to stop encroachments on farmland and unlicensed urbanisation. Egypt has lost around 90,000 acres of its most fertile agricultural land since 2011 when unrest prevailed following a popular uprising, according to Madbouli.
The prime minister said that those paying the full fine for their building violations in one go will get a 25 per cent cut in an incentive for a settlement.
“The government is trying to put an end to mistakes that have been practised for long decades,” he added.
Since he took office in 2014, Al Sissi has launched an ambitious development programme to end slum areas in the country of over 100 million people and relocate dwellers of those areas to well-equipped new communities.