Kandahar cooperatives sell donated tractors
KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): Half of the tractors distributed among local agricultural cooperatives in six districts of southern Kandahar province have been sold, with the money ending up in private pockets, a public representative said on Thursday.
The provincial council head, Haji Syed Jan Khakrezwal, told Pajhwok Afghan News they had summoned officials of the agriculture department to brief the council members on the issue.
He said the cooperatives in Zheri, Panjwai, Maiwand, Dand, Arghandab and Spin Boldak districts had been distributed 77 tractors last year by the provincial agriculture department and aid-giving agencies for development of the agriculture sector.
He said half of the tractors, supposed to be used by farmers in time of need, had been sold.
Khakrezwal said they had formed a delegation to investigate the issue and refer those involved in the corruption to the judicial organs.
Pajhwok tried to seek comments from the provincial agriculture director, but it was told he had somewhere on a trip.
The provincial council chief said they were trying to investigate the issue in cooperation with the agriculture director.
A member of the council, Haji Nimatullah Sherdil, said the number of tractors sold was higher than known. He said there were no cooperatives in some districts and dozens of tractors had directly been given to farmers.
Residents also said a large number of tractors had been distributed to cooperatives, but the vehicles were sold and the money pocketed by members of the bodies.
A farmer in Zheri district, Allah Nazar, said 13 tractors were distributed to nine cooperatives in the town and four of them had disappeared.
The council chief also said they had launched efforts at improving the education system in the province.
Khakrezwal said they had sought information from the provincial education department regarding low quality of education, the closure of nearly 100 schools out of 400 and the appearance of less number of students in university entrance test in Kandahar.
He said funds were regularly received for schools which had long been closed and money amounting to tens of thousands of afghanis released for firewood to keep classrooms warm during winter had been lost to corruption.
He said the council had launched efforts at doing away with corruption in the education sector and asked the provincial education department to indentify and banish corrupt officials.
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