Good governance linked to tackling graft
ZARANJ (Pajhwok): The residents of southwestern Nimroz province said corruption was the root of all problems and the good governance would be a mere dream without rooting out the menace.
They said corruption was rampant in local departments and government miserably failed to promote the vital education sector. The complained welfare projects could not be initiated to remove deprivations among people.
Talking to Pajhwok Afghan News, the locals demanded the government eliminate administrative corruption and introduce good governance.
Abdal, a member of civil society, complained authorities failed to improve the infrastructure of the province. The educated youth had been ignored and nepotism preferred over the merit criteria, he added.
“Every official is involved in corruption right from the top to the ordinary person. Corruption should be eliminated to ensure rapid growth in the society,” he remarked.
In Tokyo conference in July 2012, Afghanistan’s allies pledged $16 billion to the country and in return Afghanistan was supposed to fight graft, improve governance and promote human rights.
Shah Gul Zada, a member of women’s association, said some departments had more income because of trade with neighboring Iran and there was much more corruption in those departments.
She said security was better in the province but enough attention was needed to enhance law and order in other parts.
Farmers complained about lack of water in the province and said the government still did not complete the construction work on Kamal Khan Dam to resolve the water scarcity issue.
Gul Rahim, another local and farmer, said the most important work the government should have done till now was to complete the construction of Kamal Khan Dam in the province. He said if completed, the dam would even help neighboring provinces. “Due to lack of water we use water pumps to irrigate our land. We don’t get good harvest from that and on top of it we spend a lot of money on oil.”
The Kamal Khan Dam is located in Char Barak district .Work on its first part had been completed three years back by a Tajikistan company while construction work on the second part is underway.
The project is funded by the World Bank (WB) and would cost $100 million to complete. Upon completion, it would help irrigate 80,000 acres of land and generate 8 megawatt electricity.
Others complained about the presence of corruption in the judiciary organs.
A local, Rabbani, said he had a hereditary case in court against his three brothers, which was under hearing since last one year. But judiciary officials asked for money and said without it nothing could be done.
“When there is corruption to such a scale then how can you say there is good governance in this country,” he questioned.
Mohammad Seddiq Chekhansor, head of Nimorz provincial council, said lack of security and non implementation of laws were major reason for boom in corruption. “If the unity government could ensure rule of law then naturally corruption will disappear,” he observed.
However, Khushal Safa, head of attorney general, said government was hacking corrupt officials and that the government had arrested 11 officials on corruption charges during the last five years.
Deputy Governor Mohammad Qasim Khidri acknowledged existence of corruption in some departments but claimed it had been minimized in the province.
After he was sworn in, President Ashraf Ghani pledged reforms in all branches of government and said “I won’t tolerate corruption after this and will use all means to fight it.” He said that good governance was his administration’s top priority.
According to Nimroz officials, the province witnessed some achievements in the last few years and construction of Zaranj-Delaram highway, construction of silk route bridge in border with Iran, building of a hospital and ongoing work on the province’s airport were major examples.
Zaranj-Delaram Highway was built with financial assistance of India in 2004 and it had brought positive change in the lives of people.
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