Helmand officials involved in graft, land-grab named
LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): The appellate attorney in southern Helmand province on Saturday named 25 government officials accused of administrative corruption and usurping public property.
Attorney Fazl Sultan Sapi told a gathering organised by civil society activists in Lashkargah, the provincial capital, to appreciate him that he would keep his pledge to combat corruption.
He said 150 acres of government land had been usurped in Helmand and the accused included the incumbent directors of irrigation and social affairs.
He said former mayor, labour and social affairs director, agriculture director and several other departmental heads were involved in corruption.
Sapi said several other officials in the education and public health departments had been identified as accused of corruption, but most of them did not appear before the attorney’s office. However, he said documents detailing allegations against these officials had been readied.
The attorney also said some district administrative and police chiefs involved in grabbing government land were refusing to appear before the attorney.
Sapi said he performed his duty in accordance with his responsibilities and had investigated all cases of prisoners and fired graft-tainted officials from his office.
The attorney vowed to restore people’s faith in area of fighting corruption and thanked the people and civil society activists for appreciating his job.
Helmand governor Hayatullah Hayat told the gathering that corrupt officials and land-grabbers would face justice and would be held accountable because it was one of governance principles.
The governor said people were fed with injustices and that was why they appreciated the attorney who was just performing his duty. He said individuals trying to escape would be arrested and punished.
Provincial council’s security committee head Bashir Ahmad Shakir said it was due to corruption in judicial organs that people were happy with decisions by Taliban courts.
He said corrupt officials should be brought to justice in order the gap between the masses and the government could be removed.
The irrigation and social affairs directors rejected the allegations against them as baseless and thoughtless, saying if an investigation was carried out, they would be proven innocent.
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