Corruption in Kabul Municipality

KABUL: (MEP) – Why are the majority of roads in Kabul city of poor quality? Why do contractors ask for more budgets?

According to a report by the Independent Media Consortium Productions (IMCP), several of the construction companies contracted for road building by the Municipality have failed to adhere to the terms of the contract, wadsam reported.

The report further accuses the companies (Turkish-owned Copy International and three Afghan firms: Hewadwal, Latifi and Quyash Niazi) of inflating road-construction costs and demanding millions of Afghanis more than the actual cost of the road from the Municipality.

The findings reveal that Quyash Niazi spent USD 4.43 mn on paving a 70mn wide road in the west of Kabul but collected USD 7.2mn from the Municipality. Similarly, Copy International spent USD 16mn on the road from the airport to Intercontinental Hotel, but charged the Municipality USD 18mn. As per the documents submitted by Hewadwal, the firm had spent USD 5.1mn on the Qala Zaman Khan project in the 16th district but had received USD 10.5mn from the Municipality. Furthermore, receipts and invoices show that the cost of repair work for the 60 metre-Ahmad Shah Mena road in the 12th district through Bagrami executed by Latifi was USd 11mn but Kabul municipality paid USD 12.95mn.

The current mayor, Mohammad Yunus Nawandish, is accused of acting against the government’s decision of boycotting the defaulting companies and awarding them with new projects.

The report claims that Quyash Niazi had failed to completed projects assigned to them. The former Municipality administrative team had requested the Department of Government Cases to prosecute the firm failing to execute the project satisfactorily.

“As the Quyash Niazi Company has left the work of a public utility project unilaterally and without consultation with the Kabul Municipality so the company should be prosecuted. Also stringent action must be taken to ensure the work is not postponed and public money is not wasted,” states the letter from the Municipality to the Department (No. 81. dated 02 May 2009).

However, the new mayor Mohammad Yonus Nawandish went ahead with awarding the companies new projects and pumping more funds into old contracts.

Meanwhile, some parliamentarian members have accused the Municipal of colluding with the companies and breaching the law.

“There is not just one instance of wrongdoing by mayor Nawandish. There are many. Quyash Niazi owes money to Kabul municipality. A committee assigned by the palace to probe the company has found evidence that it has taken a large amount of money from Kabul Municipality,” says Farhad Sidqi, a member of the parliamentary commission of transport, communications and municipalities’ affairs.

The Municipality was blamed for embezzlement of 48mn AFN last year. The money was embezzled from Kabul Municipality to transport “garbage and debris” from the airport road. The mayor, Nawandish, was accused of paying “more than 48 million Afs to Copy International for illegally transporting garbage and destroyed parts of road between airport and Intercontinental Hotel in 2011.” (8 am report on 25 December 2012).

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