Al Massae newspaper reported that its executive editor Rachid Nini has been arrested. According to the newspaper, Mr. Nini is being investigated for articles al-Massae has been publishing the lead prosecutor at the appeals court in Casablanca, Abdellah Belghiti, in an official statement, deemed harshly critical of governmental institutions. The latter pronounced a host of charges against Nini chief of which is “being a threat to national security.
Some see Nini’s arrest as political retaliation. Al Massae journalists and Nini through his editorials have been exposing the corrosive and highly unethical economic practices of the government and especially the Fassi-Fehri clan, relative to the privatization of public administrations and national institutions. Al Massae contends that the Moroccan economy is virtually owned by foreign entities and denounced the government’s actions as a threat to national security and the wellbeing of the Moroccan citizen.
I don’t belong to Nini’s facebook fan club, but I find such arguments to have merit; In May, 2009, the Office National de l’Ectricité (ONE) – whose CEO is Ali Fassi-Fehri – signed a 30-year power purchase agreement with Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC (TAQA) to add two units of 350 Mw each to the Jorf Lasfar complex which is managed by the Jorf Lasfar Energy Company (JLEC), the first independent power producer in Morocco. JLEC currently provides more than 50 percent of the country’s electricity production. Water and electricity management for the city of Casablanca is handled by the French company Lydec; the contract for the construction of economy housing was given to Taameer, a Dubai company; the contract for urban management in Casablanca was given to a Spanish company and public transportation in many Moroccan cities has been given to ALSA, also a Spanish company. The list goes on and on.
A. T. B. © 2011