A month has passed since President Ashraf Ghani listed 68 names from the Ministry of Finance and officers of the customs departments for alleged involvement in corruption, banning them from travel, and critics have said there has been no progress on investigating their alleged involvement in graft.
Sources within the Afghan Ministry of Finance said that they are still awaiting the order of the president, and those banned from traveling are continuing their jobs as usual.
Critics are saying that Ghani’s move against the Finance Ministry officials has a political agenda.
“Based on the law, individuals are not guilty unless there is evidence to prove it, this should be very clear---but the government’s actions were aimed to assess reports of wrongdoings or corruption,” said Sediq Sediqqi, a spokesman for President Ashraf Ghani.
Along with the travel ban list, in another official letter, President Ghani said his approval will be required for travel by all officials of the Finance Ministry up until grade five.
“This has been a political decision---later on, discussions were held between the Ministry of Finance and the president, but until now we all know that the issue has been in confusion,” said Zalmay Zabuli, a member of the senate.
“The Ministry of Finance told that us that the president has reversed this order and it was carried out by mistake by someone else, no one will be suspended or will be banned,” said Mamoon Ahmadzai, a member of parliament.
“The authority to impose a ban on someone is among the responsibilities of the Attorney General's Office,” said legal expert Arash Shairpour.
Anti-corruption monitoring institutions have been saying that the systematic corruption in the Ministry of Finance and customs has been posing damaging financial losses to the national revenues of the country.