Inaction on graft issue: Ghor residents take to streets
FEROZKOH (Pajhwok): Hundreds of people on Tuesday staged a protest, accusing the government of indifference toward brazen corruption in western Ghor province.
At least two hundred people took to the roads in the provincial capital, chanting full-throated slogans: “Stop corruption, convict the corrupt and there is no place for the corrupt in Ghor.”
The government was asked not to dupe the people who could no longer tolerate graft. Theprotestors warned if the government did not take urgent measures, residents themselves would decide what to do to combat the scourge.
Last week, ex-governor Sima Joyenda said Deputy Governor Mohammad Amin Tokhi, Finance Director Mohammad Paiman, Revenue Director Mohammad Yousuf Daniar and procurement head Taj Mohammad had been introduced to the attorney’s office for involvement in corruption on five construction projects.
She said the accused had illegally awarded contracts for the projects at the police headquarters to shadowy companies in return for 117 million afghanis and had embezzled a large amount of money.
The Ghor police headquarters said Amin Tokhi, Paiman, Daniar and Taj Mohammad had been banned from travelling abroad, pending investigations against them.
Civil society activist Mohammad Wazir Noorani, who also participated in the protest, said: “The government should not cheat the people and we can’t tolerate graft. The corrupt are supported by officials of the central government.”
He warned of a massive civil disobedience movementby Ghor residents if judicial organs remained silent on corruption.
A provincial council member, Hamidullah Muttahid, accused the government ofbeing lenient on the issue of corruption in Ghor.
“If the individuals referred to the attorney office are not punished, all villagers would converge on the city and oust graft-tainted public servants from their offices,” he vowed.
The public representative observed it was very shameful when the government refused acting against obvious corruption -- a menace it has pledged repeatedly to eradicate.
Mohammad Gul Amiri, a civil society activist, announced creatinga Facebook account, where all youth from Ghor province could reveal the names corrupt officials.
However, the attorney office head, Gul Ahmad Haidari, said their investigationsinto embezzlement on the projects was underway. Central government officials should respect decisions of the Ghor attorney as an impartial institute, he stressed.
Haidari denied corruption in judicial organs of the province and said all cases, particularly against the four officials accused of involvement in graft, were being pursued seriously, he concluded.
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