Egypt minister quits amid wheat scandal

iStock
iStock

Cairo - Egypt's minister of supplies Khaled Hanafy announced his resignation on Thursday after reportedly being found politically responsible for wheat deals that cost the country tens of millions of dollars.

In a televised announcement, Hanafy said much of the criticism against him was personal, in reference to reports he had been living in a posh Cairo hotel since his appointment in 2014.

"I announce, with all integrity and contentedness, that I am leaving my post," he said.

"Experience shows that being a minister is no easy task but a burden... and much of what has been said is of a personal nature."

Egyptian media reported that a committee investigating the wheat deal allegations found that Hanafy bore political responsibility.

Suppliers were found to have sold cheaper imported wheat as locally produced in order to obtain state subsidies and inflate the annual harvest, costing the government about $55m.

The probe comes as the government seeks to cut public spending in Egypt, the world's largest importer of wheat.

Hanafy has also been accused of spending public funds on his hotel accommodation, with one member of parliament estimating the cost at $800 000.

Hanafy had denied the state covered his expenses, telling a newspaper he had paid for the hotel from his own pocket.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who pledged tough economic reforms to cut public spending, has also vowed to crack down on corruption.

Read Fin24's top stories trending on Twitter:

ZAR/USD
16.81
(+0.09)
ZAR/GBP
21.33
(-0.19)
ZAR/EUR
19.01
(+0.67)
ZAR/AUD
11.73
(-0.15)
ZAR/JPY
0.15
(+0.64)
Gold
1683.93
(-1.60)
Silver
17.39
(-1.29)
Platinum
816.00
(-2.44)
Brent Crude
39.83
(+0.50)
Palladium
1944.00
(+1.29)
All Share
54722.38
(+2.85)
Top 40
50199.80
(+2.79)
Financial 15
11467.53
(+4.66)
Industrial 25
74264.52
(+2.52)
Resource 10
49969.31
(+2.29)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
I'm not really directly affected
19% - 195 votes
I am taking a hit, but should be able to recover in the next year
26% - 268 votes
My finances have been devastated
29% - 294 votes
It's still too early to know what the full effect will be
26% - 260 votes
Vote