Ghor residents resent graft, anomalous appointments
FEROZKOH (Pajhwok): The provincial council head for western Ghor province says appointments to local departments take place on the basis of nepotism, alienating people from the government.
Fazel Haq Ehsan, in an exclusive interview, told Pajhwok Afghan News government departments did not perform their duties in line with the law and preferred relations in appointing new employees.
“People appointed based on relations do not have the capability of working properly,” he observed, arguing those with merit and qualifications, but without the right connections, could not be accommodated anywhere.
The process, he added, had distanced many residents from the government. The public representatives, however, did not name any specific government department where people were recruited in violation of merit.
The survey was conducted by the Provincial Strategic Planning Team, Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG), provincial council and civil society organisations. It stated graft was still growing fast in the province.
The provincial council head expressed concerns about the poor security situation, reconstruction, governance and rule of law in the province, saying the government had failed to enforce its writ in far-flung districts. He claimed illegal gunmen continued to enjoy unchallenged sway.
Local officials say until two years back there were more than 130 illegal armed groups, with more than 6,000 members. Now the figures have decreased to 4,500 people in 103 groups.
With more pressure from people, according to them, the number of illegal gunmen in the province has declined.
Asked why these illegal armed groups were not being disarmed, officials said: “These groups are powerful and their disarmament is related to a presidential decision.”
In general, Ehsan continued, local departments including the provincial council did not give satisfactory performances and there was lack of transparency there. “The administrative affairs are not being run ideally.”
Sahibdad Walizada, a graduate from the Education University in Herat, has been jobless for a year. He said he had applied many times for vacancies but could not find any job because he did not have the right connections.
Some 12th class graduates with connections, he charged, had been given good jobs. “Around 200 youth including 50 engineers from different universities are jobless. There are no job opportunities for them. Security is in bad shape, graft rampant and there is no one to ask questions.”
Abdul Qayyum Shadab, civil society network head in Ghor, insisted since the unity government had taken office the quality of governance and overall situation had deteriorated further.Administrative reforms in Ghor, he said, were only symbolic and all vacancies were still being filled on the basis of nepotism.
Shadab also blasted the provincial council, saying it had shown not concern about public-interest issues but only focused on personal affairs. “The government should take serious steps or people would be further alienated.”
Seema Joyenda, the newly-appointed female governor for Ghor, had said fighting graft, bringing reforms, ensuring security and reducing the gap between civil-military institutions and people were her top priorities.
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