No mercy for corrupt officials, says new Ghor governor
FIROZKOH (Pajhwok): The new governor for western Ghor province on Monday confirmed corruption prevailed in the provincial administration, but warned those involved would be taken to task.
In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, Ghulam Naser Khazea said he was assessing all government departments to identify problems and decide about them.
Appointed in December, 2015, the governor said officials misusing public assets and government resources would be introduced to the attorneys.
“We confirm corruption in government departments in Ghor, if any official is found abusing power and accepting bribes would definitely face the law,” Naser said.
His predecessor Seema Joyinda had introduced deputy governor Mohammad Amin Tokhi, finance department director Mohammad Paiman, revenue director Mohammad Yousuf Daniar and procurement head Taj Mohammad to the attorney’s office over their alleged involvement in corruption in five construction projects at the police headquarters in November, 2015.
The attorney’s office banned the accused from travelling out of Ghor until their cases were fully investigated.
A week earlier, the attorney’s office referred their cases along with six other graft-tainted officials to a local court.
However, Mohammad Amin Tokhi, had rejected the allegation against him as baseless. He had said he had previously asked for a delegation from the central government to assess the issue.
The new governor about infrastructure development projects said that most areas of the province had been deprived of development projects that would have helped people improve their economic condition.
Khazea said roads’ construction was an important part of development, which would remain his top priority.
He said the road from Herat province to Ghor and from Kabul to Ghor should be constructed as soon as possible so that people could easily commute and transport their goods.
The governor said he planned to complete the Poza Lech power dam project, which was already in the plan of the Ministry of Energy and Water.
“I have recently visited the Poza Lech dam which was covered by heavy snow, but engineers are still working on it, so I assure you this project will be implemented after some more time,” he said.
The Poza Lech dam is located on Harirod River on the outskirts of Firozkoh, the capital of the province.
The dam producing 4.5 megawatts of electricity is being constructed by the government at a cost of $15 million and is expected to complete in five years.
Local officials say the project would electrify Firozkoh city and would also resolve irrigation problem if the government improves the dam’s capacity.
About the presence of militants in Ghor, the governor said rebels were active in most parts of the province and needed a major operation to be eliminated.
“Militants have a subversive plan and they are the enemies of our country, some of them favour peace and they would join the peace process in future, but those holding illegal courts would be taken to justice,” he said.
Local officials say around 3,500 militants have been operating in Ghor.
Khazea also expressed concern over the presence of illegal armed groups in Ghor.
He said the local administration would try to encourage illegal gunmen to surrender their weapons to the government and join the peace process.
He said illegal armed men would be forced into surrendering their weapons if they did not do so voluntary.
According to local officials, around 4,500 illegal armed men in 103 groups are active in Ghor.
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