MEC report exposes corruption in MoFA
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Independent Joint Anti-Corruption Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (MEC) in its report released on Wednesday claimed corruption and irregularities took place on a massive scale at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA).
The report said current and former government officials and members of parliament had been able to appoint their relatives to key diplomatic positions at the ministry.
It said ethnicity, favoritism and inter-personal rivalries raised questions over transparency in the procedure of hiring and firing employees in the ministry.
The MEC report said 48 individuals, who passed the test last summer, were supposed to join their posts in the MoFA, but they had been replaced by others on ethnic or political references. Last year as many as 1,300 people appeared in the test to get jobs in the MoFA and 48 of them were shortlisted.
MEC Executive Director Rashid Bahroz told reporters in Kabul government officials, powerful people and lawmakers had targeted the MoFA more than any other government department in appointing their relatives.
He said 12 MoFA employees had close relations with the current and previous lawmakers, four were sons and daughters of former ministers and seven others were relatives of government officials.
He said becoming an employee at the MoFA required a special procedure, but a majority of the current staff had not gone through the prescribed process.
A couple of months earlier, a detailed Pajhwok Afghan News investigation found most of the diplomats and senior officials at the MoFA were family members and relatives of government officials and lawmakers. It found that their appointments appeared to be based on nepotism and against rules and merit policy.
“Sons and other close relatives of government officials and members of parliament have been appointed to key posts in Afghanistan’s embassies abroad, where a number of embassy staff has sought political asylum,” the report said.
The MEC report also pointed to the safe use of diplomatic passports, saying a majority of the MoFA employees had been issued diplomatic passports for personal journey abroad.
Around 4,650 diplomatic passports were issued illegally to the employees, who had been benefitting from privileges in foreign countries even after the expiry of their office terms.
The MEC expressed deep concerns over the current irregularities and corruption in the MoFA and demanded introduction of a clear and transparent policy for recruitment of employees.
Pajhwok Afghan News reporter tried to contact a senior official at the MoFA for comment about the MEC report, but could not succeed
Earlier, Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabani, during his introduction to the lower house, had pledged to bring drastic reforms in the ministry and combat corruption.
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