» Come back in a week”, “come back in a month“,” the person in charge is not there”, “the committee must meet“…. So many answers that citizens receive when they go to a public administration to file an application for authorization to start their project and that push some to abandon their project and their dream.
While we believed that things had changed, as well as mentalities, the Moroccan administration often comes to remind us that nothing has changed. The various experiences of Moroccans within the administration are there to testify to this.
With few exceptions, civil servants who want to help change things but find their hands tied, others care about the importance and vitality of a document for the citizen. Complication is the word that reigns within the administration. And even when we wanted reform public administration ” and ” digitize » services, we realized that this is only an ambitious and distant dream which will perhaps benefit our grandchildren, if mentalities change one day.
The story of a young Moroccan, who has been around the web in recent days, has brought back to the table the heaviness and persistence of the chronic bureaucracy from which our country suffers and the complications encountered within the administration. .
This is Othmane Barakat, a young Moroccan student who left Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane to start his own business in the same city, before being confronted with bureaucracy. He even attempted to commit suicide live on Facebook. Today, Othmane is safe and sound and has even shared his story on social media. The municipality of Ifrane also delivered its version of the facts.
Coming from a modest family, Othmane Barakat launched his own start-up, a restaurant he opened in Ifrane. Having met with great success, Othmane decided to launch a second restaurant in the same city. To store the food products he uses in his two restaurants, he decided to rent a deposit in Azrou, due to lack of availability in Ifrane, according to him.
And that’s where this young Moroccan’s nightmare began. Othmane Barakat says he filed a request with the local authorities of Azrou to have the necessary authorizations and thus be able to store the food products in the warehouse he rented and then transport them from Azrou to Ifrane (15 min drive ).
A month later, Othmane has still not received a response from the local authorities despite the sealed receipt of his request, he says. He therefore went again to the commune of Azrou to ask for explanations.
He was first told that with ” the digitalization of the administration“, the request must be made via the website ” Rokhas.ma“. Unhappy, Othmane explained to them that he is engaged in the rent of a store at 4,500 DH/month and that he could not wait another month. He still made the request on the digital platform, but without any response.
A week later, Othmane went again to the commune where it was clearly explained to him that ” to obtain the necessary authorizations, a committee made up of local authorities, all the other parties concerned must come together to visit the premises and issue the necessary authorizations “. And for this committee to meet, “ it takes at least 6 or 7 requests similar to his for him to move at once, since the committee cannot move just for a single request“, says Othmane.
By dint of going back and forth to the municipality for his authorizations, Othmane says that he was told verbally, and without any writing, that he could ” start his business and that the authorities were going to visit him“. And that’s what he does.
And this is where Othmane made the mistake of opening and starting his food storage and transport activity without any authorization duly issued by the competent authorities, things he does not deny.
His depot in Azrou was therefore the subject, a few weeks later, of a raid by the local authorities, police, ONSSA services, who seized everything that was in his depot for “absence of necessary authorizations”. He was also stopped by a roadblock between Azrou and Ifrane, in possession of foodstuffs and meat which he was transporting without authorization.
After a failed live suicide attempt, Othmane denounced on social networks “ abuse to which he was subjected by the local authorities of Azrou. The latter also delivered their version of the facts.
On the evening of Thursday, June 16, the province of Ifrane denied in a clarification, the accusations peddled by Othmane Barakat, in a video, against the local authorities following the closure of a premises he operated.
The authorities thus explained that the video, shared by Othmane, “Containing statements full of untruths, through which an individual accuses the local authorities of the province of Ifrane of the closure of a premises he operated, of abuse and favouritism, among other unfounded allegations and untruths” .
“Given that the facts related to this case are currently the subject of legal proceedings, it is important to limit ourselves, at this time, to the following explanations, with the aim of enlightening public opinion in this regard and denying the untruths conveyed by the individual in the said video”, said the same source.
Be that as it may, Othmane Barakat affirms that he wanted to do things according to the rules of the art by approaching the competent authorities and asking for the necessary authorizations. But the slowness of the procedures and the many complications at the level of the public administration made him lose patience and even hope. At the end of his patience, he made the wrong mistake, the rest we know!
To be continued….