A number of Afghan National Army generals, removed from their posts by the incumbent government, have been found to be living the high-life in Kabul mansions, which officials say cost far more than what their monthly salaries would have covered.
This comes after TOLOnews started investigating allegations of corruption at the Ministry of Defense (MoD) and found that these generals appear to be living way above their means.
According to the chairman of the High Office of Oversight and Anti-Corruption (HOOAC) Ghulam Husain Fakhri, the lack of authentic information on asset registrations among high ranking officials and military generals at the Ministry of Defense has paved the way for large-scale corruption within the security sector.
“The issue is that the intelligence, financial and administrative institutions as well as the people should cooperate with us, but they are not doing so and it hinders our bid to publicize assets declared by officials,” Fakhri told TOLOnews.
TOLOnews’ findings reveal that army generals are paid a monthly salary of between 40,000 and 60,000 Afs.
One former general, Sayed Waqif Shah Saeedi was fired a month ago but built a mansion in Kabul. Saeedi had been a personnel officer at the Ministry of Defense.
Another general who lives in a luxurious house at Qargha Lake in Kabul is Aziz Amarkhail. He was once the head of the office of former defense minister Abdul Rahim Wardak.
Gen. Saboor, a former intelligence officer for the Afghan Air Force is yet another mansion-owner, as is ex-army chief Gen. Qadam Shah Shaheem who has a big orchard in a suburb of Kabul city.
Shah Aqa Haidari, the former head of the procurement office of the defense ministry is another ex-army general with a mansion in Kabul, the TOLOnews probe found. He was removed from his job over corruption allegations.
Despite continued efforts, TOLOnews could not get comment from these former military personnel.
After assuming office in 2014, President Ashraf Ghani suspended the following officials from their jobs:
• Lieutenant Gen. Mohibullah, former deputy minister of defense
• Major Gen. Shah Aqa Haidari, a logistics officer for the Afghan National Army
• Major Gen. Abdullah Obaid, head of logistics, technical and financial department of the MoD
• Brigadier Gen. Abdul Rahman Ghori, head of procurement and sales at the MoD
• Brigadier Gen. Ehsanullah, head of financial, technical and maintenance department of the MoD
• Gen. Noor Khan Haidari, economic advisor to the MoD
The Ministry of Defense meanwhile said it does not have sufficient information about the assets of army generals.
“Based on the law, generals are paid between 40,000 and 60,000 Afs as their monthly salary. They also have food allowances and vehicle allowances but they do not get multi-storey houses. I am also a general, but I don’t have a building,” the MoD deputy spokesman Mohammad Radmanish said.
Reports also indicate that many generals in Afghan security agencies have bought houses abroad.
Corruption in Afghanistan is a widespread and growing problem and the country ranks 169 out of 176 in Transparency International 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index.