The Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA) survey shows that Afghanistan’s legal, judicial and educational institutions remain the "most corrupt" among government institutions.
Based on the survey, after insecurity, unemployment and corruption are among the major concerns of the Afghan people.
But, President Ashraf Ghani in his speech to a gathering in Kabul, marking International Anti-Corruption Day, highlighted the government’s anti-corruption campaign and expressed satisfaction with the performance of the Afghan legal and judicial institutions towards combating the trend.
“Who believes that our prosecutor and our judge do not (sway) on corruption? Thanks to the Chief Justice and the attorney general, and the whole legal and judicial system. You must not forget that thousands of cases have remained unresolved for many years, but today, by the Grace of Allah, the cases are processed on a quarterly basis in the Supreme Court of Afghanistan,” said Ghani.
“We are still facing major challenges and obstructions, but I can say with satisfaction that some judgments from within and outside the country, about the national unity government regarding the issue, is not based on justice,” said Mohammad Sawar Danish, Second Vice President.
According to IWA, a total of 8,000 face-to-face interviews were conducted with Afghan respondents in 34 provinces of the country, of which, 14% of the respondents said that the legal and judicial institutions are the most corrupt institutions in Afghanistan; 10% said the ministry of education is the most corrupt, while 9% said that the attorney general's office is the most corrupt institution in the country.
“Legal, judicial and educational institutions are named as the most corrupt institutions, but we should realize that we do not have another 17 years, we need to reform ourselves in the next two years, reform the government, reform the system, otherwise, we will face another tragedy,” said IWA chairman Sayed Ekram Afzali.
The survey also states that corruption exists on a large scale in Afghanistan’s election management bodies - the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC).
Meanwhile, chairman of the IECC Abdul Aziz Aryayee also confirmed the existence of corruption in these areas. Aryayee said the election law is discriminatory.
“Corruption will not be eradicated from Afghanistan unless we consider broad-based and real reforms in our society for undertaking reforms in the election commissions to determine that these commissions work properly,” he said.
In addition, Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said corruption is threatening Afghanistan’s national security and the issue could impact on international aid to Afghanistan.
“It is time to put frameworks into practice to ensure that anti-corruption laws and strategies bring about real change for Afghan citizens,” said Yamamoto.
“Recognizing that the efforts and commitment of the government are yet to impact the lives of many Afghans, the United Nations maintains that corruption must be addressed in Afghanistan as a substantial obstacle to long-term peace and prosperity,” UNAMA said in a press release.
US ambassador to Afghanistan John Bass said transparency is needed to deter, detect and disrupt corruption.
“Today is International Anti-Corruption Day. The United States and Afghanistan are jointly committed to shining a spotlight on those who would seek to benefit by stealing finances and resources from the people of Afghanistan,” Bass said.
“Financial transparency and merit-based hiring are key to deter, detect and disrupt corruption. The government of Afghanistan must continue its reforms to fight corruption to improve citizen trust in government. Asset registration by government officials is a critical part of transparency and accountability. The government of Afghanistan has made progress in registering assets, and in Geneva committed to completing the verification process,” he said.
“Corruption hinders economic growth, erodes trust in government, and impedes peace and security. All parts of government must fight corruption, the judiciary, the legislature and the executive branch,” tweeted Bass.
Based on the IWA, the overall amount of money used in corruption in Afghanistan in 2018 is estimated at $1.7 billion.