‘Many Nangarhar offices rife with systematic graft’
JALALABAD (Pajhwok): Provincial council members on Monday said some government departments were rife with systematic corruption in eastern Nangarhar province.
They said contracts were being awarded against heavy bribes, deals were cut on projects and understanding prevailed between departmental heads and officials on such practices.
Deputy provincial council (PC) head Dr. Nasir Kamawal told Pajhwok Afghan News their observation of government departments had reduced corruption to some extent, but problems remained.
He said the council members had started monitoring the affairs of most of the provincial departments and some entities had been found rife with widespread administrative corruption.
In his words: “Corruption and other anomalies are being practiced in some departments, but documents are produced clear by officials in connivance with their departmental heads.”
Kamawal said they had produced evidence about corruption in some departments to the governor’s house and the attorney’s office.
“We have scrapped some graft-tainted contracts, including one by the provincial police chief, the re-announcement and new agreement of which earned the government 65 million afghanis.”
The PC deputy chief said they had investigated about corruption at the Torkham weighbridge and several other departments and the findings would be shared with the authorities concerned and the media.
Meanwhile, PC secretary Ajmal Omar told Pajhwok Afghan News corruption incidents had declined in some departments due to their monitoring, but still more than 60 percent of departments remained rife with corruption.
Another member of the body, Israrullah Murad, explained the systematic corruption as bribes being taken in project contracts and deals among officials.
He urged the central government to pay attention to the menace of corruption in Nangarhar departments.
The governor’s spokesman, Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, acknowledged corruption took place in government departments, but not on a high scale.
“The governor’s house has formed a commission to monitor departments. We respect the views of the provincial council. If the council has evidence, it should share with us.”
Civil society activist and journalist Zabihullah Ghazi did not rule out corruption in the province and urged the government to seriously tackle it.
He praised the provincial council for its efforts to combat corruption in government offices and said: “The good example of their efforts is unearthing corruption at the Torkham scale. Now it is up to the government to either close the scale or find a solution.”
Former acting governor Maulvi Attaullah had cited his failure to root out administrative corruption one of the reasons behind his resignation.
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