Monday, 29 August 2016

Political analysts believe that the Government of Afghanistan has no will to counter corruption, and that the recently established special Anti-Corruption Justice Center (ACJC) is aimed at deceiving the nation, and it is just part of preparation for the upcoming Brussels Conference on Afghanistan

Although the National Unity Government (NUG) established and inaugurated the special Anti-Corruption Justice Center (ACJC), political analysts believe that the government has no will to counter corruption, and that the center is aimed at deceiving the nation, and is part of preparation for the upcoming Brussels Conference. A number of lawmakers state that if leaders of the government have really had the determination to battle against corruption, they would have began arresting the corruption officials at the Presidential Palace and Office of the Chief Executive Officer. The government has not yet taken any practical step in the fight against corruption, and the ACJC was only meant to throw dust in the people’s eyes, Wagma Safi, a female lawmaker, said. "Many commissions were formed similar to the ACJC to spearhead anti-corruption efforts, but none of them had any positive impact. The government has set up the new center to try to cheat the people, and I have no faith in it; however, if it manages to counter and prevent corruption by 50 percent, it would be a success," Safi told The Heart of Asia. Safi stated the government was good at starting things, but later on, the corrupt officials and strongmen from within the government swung into action to make the corruption cases impossible to investigate, of which the fuel contracts of the Ministry of Defense and the Kabul Bank scandal were good examples. If the government was really serious about the fight against corruption, the president and the CEO would begin the battle from their offices, and put tens of their personnel behind bars, she maintained, claiming that there was a “corrupt circle” in the current government like in the former one, which was controlling all cases of corruption. Recently, documents attributed to some ministries are being circulated on social media, indicating that corruption has become more evident and widespread than in the past in the ministries of Interior, Education, Urban Development Affairs, and some others. Ahmad Ahadi, a social media activist, has posted a document purportedly proving that appointments had been made on the basis of relations and favoritism at the Ministry of Interior, and that all procurement contracts have been awarded to the relatives of the minister without going through the due bidding process. Some sources told The Heart of Asia that one of the key bones of contention between the president and the CEO was the corruption cases in which individuals affiliated with the CEO have been involved. According to the sources, there were cases of corruption, outstanding payments, and embezzlement estimated at two billion dollars pending investigation at the Presidential Palace. Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA), a local anti-corruption watchdog, asserted the National Unity Government was not serious in the struggle against corruption, and all its actions were mostly symbolic. Stressing that the government has not yet taken any real, effective step to curb corruption, Sayed Akram Afzali, IWA Director, told The Heart of Asia, "The anti-corruption drive has been dimmed by the frictions between government leaders, who are not serious about the fight against corruption."
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The Heart of Asia