Thursday, February 25, 2021
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Sihame El Kaouakibi: ‘No personal enrichment is needed …

Sihame El Kaouakibi has been in the eye of the storm for some time now, following alleged malpractice in her Let’s Go Urban (LGU) project. She decided to explain the figures behind the hoopla.

“At no point has there been personal enrichment, and there has been no unlawful use of government resources,” said El Kaouakibi. “I want to start with that.”

“It took me time to sort everything out, to put the pieces together and to scribble upright because I was blown over by being in the center of the storm,” said El Kaouakibi. ‘That is the reality, but I promised to put the finishing touches, and I couldn’t do it alone. I needed experts, and they studied the Let’s go urban reports. ‘

‘I have Let’s go urban Founded ten years ago from idealism, this non-profit organization has built bridges between the most disadvantaged and most promising young people, from all layers of society, ‘El Kaouakibi explained. ‘But I have absolutely underestimated the growing pains, I have taken on a lot of hay. That is why I decided to be supported by experts. ‘

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She admitted that things have gone wrong. ‘We have come across unpleasant things and we are going to see who bears the responsibility. It’s just a shame that thousands of young people are the victims of something that is going on far above their heads. ‘

‘No personal enrichment and in accordance with the law’

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The expert report, commissioned by El Kaouakibi, was drawn up by Johan Vande Lanotte, who acts as a lawyer for Van Steenbrugge Advocaten, Sonny Luypaert, director Triple S-Consulting and chairman of ACFE, and Abdellatif El Boudaati, executive director Figurad Bedrijfsrevisoren. That report should clarify the spending of LGU, and El Kaouakibi says he is free.

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The report allegedly showed that there was no personal enrichment or unlawful diversion of government funds, and that the structure El Kaouakibi worked with is legal. “Points of attention are the sloppy financial management and the lack of transparency within LGU,” says a press release. “That is the collective responsibility of the Board of Directors, the employees, the accountants, and everyone individually.”

“There is no evidence to suggest that El Kaouakibi has done any personal enrichment,” Vande Lanotte said during the press conference. “Article link

The law on government contracts is respected here.”

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The organization did not fully keep up with the growth of LGU, which led to sloppy financial accounting,’ concluded Vande Lanotte.


El Kaouakibi also discussed the fuss that arose around her person as a result of the 50,000 euros that she was allowed to charge from Open VLD for her election campaign. “I entered politics because I wanted to change things for people who are not represented today,” said El Kaouakibi. ‘Article link

The way in which people are reached through classic campaigns is not the way I wanted to get started, and I agreed that with the party.’ That’s why El Kaouakibi hired someone freelance to become her campaign manager. “We have always stated everything as it should.”

‘My campaign was conducted separately, afterwards Open VLD itself asked Wanna catch (one of the companies of El Kaouakibi, ed.) to assist in the election campaign of a number of leaders. That was completely separate from my campaign, and I was not involved in it. I was too busy with my own campaign. ‘

“LGU is my life’s work, and it is not ready to stand on its own two feet,” said El Kaouakibi. ‘I am hopeful because many new people have applied to serve on a new Board of Directors, to build a new organization.’

‘I was knocked out, I was on the floor, but it’s no shame to fall. It is perfectly possible to back up, and I will, with conviction, ”concluded El Kaouakibi. “We keep fighting, hoping and dreaming.”

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