Lieutenant General Hamdy Wahiba, the former head of the Arab Organisation for Industrialisation, said accusations made against him by Freedom and Justice Party leader Hassan El-Brince’s were “lies” and “illogical” and challenged him to produce evidence.
On Saturday El-Brince claimed that Wahiba was replaced because he tried to bribe President Mohamed Morsy, making him an illicit gain offer. The allegation was made on El-Brince’s official Facebook page.
According to the post, Wahiba presented Morsy with the AIO’s official budget and told him that ten percent of the organisation’s profits would go to him, five percent to the president himself as AIO head, three to the engineers and one percent to the workers.
When Morsy inquired about the practice Wahiba allegedly told him that was how the system was under former President Hosni Mubarak, which according to El-Brince angered Morsy and led to him removing Wahiba.
“If Hassan El-Brince has any evidence to back his accusations then I am prepared to confront him live on television,” Wahiba said in a phone interview with the OnTV programme Saturday Evening. “I am proud of everything I have achieved [at the organisation] and all that’s been published is lies and false accusations. No sum of money from the organisation ever went to the presidency during President Mubarak’s reign.”
Wahiba added that he will file a case with the public prosecutor against El-Brince for defamation and demanded that the presidency release details of his meeting with Morsy.
El-Brince’s Facebook page has since posted that it got the news from another page called “We are all against the third current,” which did not specify from where it got the information. El-Brince could not be reached for comment.
Wahiba was replaced after Morsy announced he was retiring several of the country’s top military generals on 12 August. One of the retired generals was Lieutenant General Abd El Aziz Seif El-Din, the former Commander of the Egyptian Air Defence Forces.
Seif El-Din was made head of the AIO alongside other generals who were given civilian positions and thus replaced Wahiba, who was himself a former Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces.
The Arab Organisation for Industrialisation is officially a military industrial body, although it is not directly under the military’s command and over 70 percent of its products are geared towards civilian markets.
It constitutes one of the three main pillars of the Egyptian military’s vast economic empire, alongside the Ministry of State for Military Production and the National Services Products Organisations, which analysts say collectively make up about 15 percent of Egypt’s economy.
Its leadership, as well as that of the ministry of military production, the NSPO, and the Suez Canal Authority has historically always been entrusted to retired military generals.
It does not fall under the jurisdiction of the Central Auditing Authority, nor is it subject to any form of oversight, parliamentary or otherwise.