| Crime Justice

Successes seen in fight against administrative corruption in Afghanistan

By Najibullah


Mohammed Alif Urfani, general director of the Anti-Corruption Criminal Justice Centre, works in Kabul last November 21. The anti-corruption court has tried and convicted a number of high ranking officials in the ministries of Defence and Interior in recent months. [Wakil Kohsar/AFP]

Mohammed Alif Urfani, general director of the Anti-Corruption Criminal Justice Centre, works in Kabul last November 21. The anti-corruption court has tried and convicted a number of high ranking officials in the ministries of Defence and Interior in recent months. [Wakil Kohsar/AFP]

KABUL -- The fight against corruption within Afghanistan's security institutions is yielding visible results, Afghan observers and citizens say.

Efforts against administrative corruption have stepped up of late, according to Manizha Bahar, a civil society activist in Kabul.

"In recent months, we have witnessed the apprehension and prosecution of a number of senior officials in the Defence and Interior ministries ... on corruption charges," she told Salaam Times.

"Such actions are promising because, up until now, Afghans thought that senior government officials, especially those in the security sector, would not be punished even if they committed acts of corruption," she said.

Crackdown on corruption

The Ministry of Defence has a clear policy regarding the fight against administrative corruption, betrayal, fraud and bribery, according to Gen. Dawlat Waziri, a spokesman for the ministry.

A commission exists within the Defence Ministry in which representatives from the legal, audit and intelligence directorates "identify individuals suspected of committing acts of corruption and report them to the attorney general", he told Salaam Times.

During the past year, the attorney general's Anti-Corruption Criminal Justice Centre, which is responsible for combating serious cases of administrative corruption, has prosecuted a number of generals and other officials from the Defence and Interior ministries.

"So far, a number of Defence Ministry officials who have been charged with corruption have been referred to the Attorney General's Office," Waziri said. "Either their cases are under investigation, or the courts have already issued their sentences, and they have already been imprisoned."

In the past six months, the Ministry of Interior has referred 60 individuals suspected of corruption, according to information provided to Salaam Times by the ministry's press office.

Those charged from both ministries ranged from high-ranking generals to soldiers.

Punishment meted out, money recovered

There are nearly 35 cases of Defence and Interior Ministry employees who are under investigation at the Anti-Corruption Criminal Justice Centre, according to Jamshid Rasuli, a spokesman for the Attorney General's Office.

He mentioned the case of Gen. Khalil Andarabi, former police chief of Maidan Wardak Province, as one of the more recent examples.

A primary court at the anti-corruption centre October 23 sentenced Andarabi and five of his colleagues to three years in prison for misuse of authority and embezzling more than 24 million AFN ($350,000) from their employees' salaries.

"The cases that are being investigated by the [anti-corruption centre] are related to generals and civilian officials all the way to the deputy [minister] levels, and the financial amounts of these cases are very large," Rasuli said.

In another case, a three-star general who used to work as a logistics deputy at the Ministry of Interior was publicly convicted and sentenced January 10.

Maj. Gen. Abdul Wase Raufi, head of the ministry's procurement commission, was convicted of awarding a fuel contract to a company in return for 10 million AFN ($150,000).

Pursuit of these cases has enabled authorities to return the embezzled funds to the treasury.

Through reviewing contracts and preventing corruption, the Afghan government has saved 6.1 billion AFN ($89 million), according to Waziri.

Motivating soldiers, increasing confidence

Fighting corrupt individuals in security institutions is essential and has bolstered the morale of soldiers on the battlefield, said Gen. (ret.) Atiqullah Amarkhil, a military analyst in Kabul who served in the Afghan National Army.

"The negative effects of corruption can be seen in the entire military system," he told Salaam Times.

Corruption can eliminate discipline, replace regulations with nepotism, increase casualties and lead to soldiers losing their positions and weapons, he said.

"Corrupt and treasonous individuals should be tried, regardless of their status," Amarkhil said. "Those involved in corruption should be punished, regardless of their affiliations, their ethnic background or their relationships with state officials."

"[Sending] corrupt security officials to the courts and replacing them with committed individuals as heads of security institutions will increase the morale of soldiers on the battlefield," Safiullah, a native of Kunar Province, told Salaam Times.

These efforts will allow the public to trust the state's seriousness in fighting corruption, he said.

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محمدوصیل حبیبی | 11-14-2017

Greetings and good wishes!
Corruption is a bad phenomenon which has prevented the beloved country from development; however, corruption in the insecure provinces is more than that of the central [government]'s offices. For example, Directorate of Education of Ghazni Province is a source of corruption where corruption is committed openly. I am approved through Ghazni Education Department as a teacher; however, they have asked me for money a number of times, but I have not given it, and so far, I didn't start my job.
My opinion is that, more work needs to be done against corruption in the provinces and efforts should be made to provide the educated youth with jobs.

محمدنبی | 11-13-2017

Raising soldiers' morale and increasing their self confidence is a wonderful act which will free the society from misery and from becoming a Taliban-like society.

احمدجاویداسکندری | 11-13-2017

In my opinion, all the personnel of the provincial security directorates, the logistics administration of the provincial financial departments, and the components of the armed forces should at least once every six months or one year appear before the military prosecutor. Moreover, the terms served for those hold positions in National Directorate of Security, Intelligence, Criminal Investigation, the honorable provincial governor, etc should also be subjected to a one year term limit. This way, corrupt individuals will be arrested. This is a precise strategy to eliminate corruption. In addition, officials who worked on their posts from 1380 [2001] to 1397 [2018] should be subject to legal proceedings to check their possessions, including apartments, shops, homes, or other properties to see what they were doing before the year of 1380 and how they acquired their wealth. If all Afghan presidents follow this procedure then all corrupt individuals will be arrested and the state treasury will be filled with money. Because, all the seized properties will be transferred to the state treasury. I am also a member of the military. During the 13 years of my service in the ranks of the armed forces, we tried this strategy and I can personally confirm that the result has been positive. Thanks for your attention. Best Regards, Commander Ahmad Jawid.