Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, October 23rd, 2017

MoI, MoFA Still Rife with Corruption: Ghani

MoI, MoFA Still Rife  with Corruption: Ghani

KABUL - President Ashraf Ghani on Monday said a lot of work had been done to eradicate corruption from Afghanistan, but still some government institutions were rife with the menace.
The president named the Ministry of Interior (MoI) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) where corruption still persisted more than other departments.
He accused some government departments of creating hurdles to the anti-corruption mission of the government and said the MoI was a hub of corruption while appointments at MoFA were made on ethnic lines.
The president said activities of some foreign organisations and the UN should be observed and assurances should be obtained regarding appointments at the Ministry of Education and transparent transfer of salaries to teachers.
Ghani, who co-hosted co-cost a high level ‘anti-corruption conference’ at the Presidential Palace with EU Ambassador to Afghanistan Franz-Michael Mellbin, termed corruption a hereditary problem in Afghanistan and stressed continued fight against it.
Major reforms were introduced to the customs, national procurement, land administration, drug trafficking, judicial system, banking, municipalities and the security sector, but still more work was needed to be done, the president said.
He called the establishment of ant-corruption tribunal a major achievement and said reforms brought by the tribunal in the past two years had never happened in the past 40 years.
The presidents said he presided over 99 meetings and assessed 900 contracts about procurement and saved millions of dollars this way.
He said the country’s revenue surged by 35 percent in 2016 over 2015 and since late March some 100 metric tonnes of drugs had been seized.
He dubbed the MoI as the heart of corruption and said steps would be taken soon to eradicate corruption from the ministry.
The president said: “Police have been fighting against terrorists, but after this they would perform their basic duty which is law enforcement.”
Ghani stressed independence of judiciary and said the government should not interfere in the judiciary’s affairs.
He asked members of parliament not to interfere in judiciary affairs. The president said individuals who wanted to contest parliamentary elections should swear they would not interfere in the affairs of the judiciary.
Ghani also stressed on transparency in procurement and mines contracts and said he planned to create a system that electronically performed procurement process.
“We want the ministry of mines not to sign a bad contract, because such contracts create problems, if I heard about corruption in some contracts I would cancel them,” he said.
The president said the Ministry of Education (MoE) needed attention and the ministry should reveal how many schools were available and how many students studies in them across the country.
Transparency in payment of salaries to teachers and MoE employment process should be also ensured, he said.
The president said employment in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) on ethnic grounds was unacceptable and he would control it.
“I visited an embassy where four of its employees could not speak English, it is unacceptable, it should be regularly observed and employment process in MoFA be done through the Administrative Reforms and Civil Services Office in future,” Ghani said.
He said the performance of the United Nations and other foreign organizations would be also evaluated.
“I should be assured whether foreign organizations are committed to anti-corruption policies of the UN or not,” he said.
Ghani called on donor countries to fight corruption in Afghanistan jointly with the Afghan government.
He told donors: “It is my message to you that whenever you do something against corruption, you have to keep in mind what is possible and what is not.”
“We suggest creation of a joint framework, coordinate your efforts with SIGAR and other international organizations’ reports,” he added.
Ghani criticized a number of anti-corruption foundations in Afghanistan and said such foundations had paved the ground for corruption instead.
Franz Michael Melbin, EU ambassador to Afghanistan, who co-charemd the meeting with President Ghani, appreciated the Afghan government’s efforts at eradicating corruption.
He said President Ghani and the Afghan government had showed commitments in fighting corruption and taking serious steps last year.
He said creation of Anti-Corruption Justice Center (ACJC) was an example of the government’s efforts last year. (Pajhwok)