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Land grab: Wolesi Jirga summons Kabul mayor

Land grab: Wolesi Jirga summons Kabul mayor

Jan 08, 2014 - 17:03

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): The Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon, accusing the Kabul mayor of involvement in land-grab incidents and administrative corruption, on Wednesday decided to summon the official.

A fortnight back, the lower house Telecommunication and Municipality Commission had tasked a six-member team with investigating public complaints about illegally constructed high-rise buildings, poor-quality roads and other projects.

Presenting his report to the assembly, the delegation head said they had sought documents of several projects, including multi-storey buildings, a road and bridges in different areas of the central capital.

But the municipality had them only the documents of some buildings in the Silo area, Musa Khan Nasrat informed lawmakers. A study of the documents shows that plots of land were sold to the government in the locality.

He alleged the sitting mayor (Younus Nawandesh), using fake documents, had given the land to some individuals. With the mayor’s approval, a piece of land in the area allocated for a children’s hospital has also been sold to some people. 

Nasrat quoted police as saying the Kabul Municipality had not approached them for assistance in preventing the construction of unlawful high-rise structures.

The municipality had also committed corruption in award of contracts for projects in the city, charged the legislator, who claimed: “I’ve documentary evidence in support of whatever I’m saying. We have filed a comprehensive report based on our conversation with people.”

He accused the mayor of refusing to cooperate with the delegation in investigating shady deals.

Another member of the team, Sahib Khan, also blasted Nawandesh for using bogus papers in plot sales. He insisted the mayor behaved in a dictatorial manner to thwart their effort to highlight irregularities in important projects.

His remarks prompted desk-thumping from several MPs including Qudratullah, who murmured quite a few words that journalists in the press galley could not hear.

But the commission chief, Qais Hassan, replied: “This is no place to flex your muscles in. Come out of the house if you want to throw your weight around…”

Mohammad Saleh Saljooqi, the deputy speaker who chaired the session, ruled after a heated debate that the mayor should be summoned to the assembly next week. His decision was endorsed by a majority of MPs.

Approached for comments, Kabul Municipality spokesman Abdul Qadir Arzo told Pajhwok Afghan News the allegations were far from true. He said the mayor was ready to answer questions from parliamentarians.

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