President Ashraf Ghani hired a German advisor for the Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MoCI) and approved a $41,000 per month salary, according to the Afghan Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MoCI).
The German advisor was recommended to the president in an official letter by the former deputy minister of commerce and industries two years ago, but subsequently the former minister of commerce and industries said that Ghani himself picked the advisor.
In an interview with German media, the German advisor who is named Wolfgang Plasa Uber said that his wife is from Afghanistan and that he was hired to the post following a meeting his wife had with the Afghan president.
According to a former deputy minister, a notification was issued from the administrative office of the president, and in it Ghani directed the minister of finance to assist with the appointment of the German advisor.
This source said that Ghani approved a $41,150 per month salary for Uber, starting February 20, 2018, from the discretionary budget of the Ministry of Commerce and Industries, for research and business development services.
Ghani asked the Ministry of Finance (MoF) to add the German’s salary to the budget.
“On the recommendation of Kamila Sediqqi, the acting minister of commerce and industries--and later on during Mr. Humayoun Rasa’s tenure-- Dr. Plasa Uber was recommended as an advisor in the Ministry of Commerce and Industries,” said Sameer Rasa, spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce and Industries.
“My wife is an Afghan, she talked about me during a meeting that she had with the president and the president asked me to work with him,” said Plasa Uber.
Some Afghan citizens also lashed out at Ghani over the appointment.
“Every day we are begging to others for help, but Mr. Ghani hires an advisor and gives him a $41,000 [per month] salary,” said a resident in Kabul Afzal.
“When capitals flows from our country, it poses serious harm to our government,” said Mustafa, a resident of Kabul.
Mr. Plasa Uber served in the Ministry of Commerce and Industries as a consultant on the export and import affairs.