Hailing recent measures by the new government, a number of Wolesi Jirga members on Saturday asked President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai not to appoint graft-tainted former officials and ministers as members of the new Cabinet.
The lower house members stressed Ahmadzai should announce soon the new Cabinet, which should be comprised of individuals who had not been involved in any form of corruption for the sake of good governance.
MP Syed Hussain Nasiri said the government’s recent decisions against corruption were important and all Afghans should support efforts at eliminating the menace.
“Corrupt people cannot help fight corruption. Individuals who are not involved in corruption should be chosen as members of the new Council of Ministers,” Nasiri said.
His colleague, Behishti Fakori held similar views. He urged Ahmadzai to uphold merit while naming his Cabinet members.
The Presidential palace had said new ministers would be introduced on the basis of their qualification within a month. Former ministers are currently serving in acting capacity.
Another lawmaker Shekiba Hashimi said the new government should investigate the Kabul Bank scandal and bring those involved to justice.
President Ahmadzai, during his first days in office, issued a decree directing the authorities concerned to immediately reopen the Kabul bank case and restitute its assets. Two individuals since then had been arrested and a manhunt for the remaining defaulters is underway.
Once the country’s largest private lender, the bank plunged into deep financial crisis in 2009, when it lost $835 million in fraudulent property deals, massive off-book loans and credit to fake corporations, prompting the government to take over the bank’s affairs.
Obaidullah Ramin, who represents northern Baghlan province, said the new government should first determine the fundamental policies of the state for approval by the parliament before introducing ministers for a vote of confidence.
He said currently there were 25 ministries and the number should be cut short to 14 or 15 ministries because most performed similar activities or responsibilities.
Another lawmaker Abdul Wadud Paiman called non-governmental organizations (NGOs) a major source of corruption.
He said 4,000 NGOs operated in the country and most of them were involved in corruption and looting people’s money through different ways. “Corruption can not be eliminated until NGOs exist,” he said.