The Central Bank leadership defended the recent dismissals from its leadership, saying they occurred because of a decision by the Supreme Council of the bank. The dismissals were called “unconstitutional” by critics.
Five officials of the bank, including the deputy governor, Wahid Nosher, have been removed from their posts in less than two weeks.
The acting governor of the bank, Ajmal Ahmadi, in a tweet on Monday said the first four officials were removed based on the decision of the Central Bank’s Supreme Council “in connection with seven corruption cases, three notifications, and two warnings.”
He said the case of the “former” deputy governor Wahid Nosher was sent to the Presidential Palace.
Based on Article Seven of Da Afghanistan Bank Law (Central Bank), the bank is led by a group known as the Supreme Council, which has seven members. This includes the governor – who also heads the Supreme Council-- the first deputy, and five other members (including a second deputy).
Article Seven of the law also says that all members of the Supreme Council shall be appointed by the president “with the consent of the parliament.”
Each member of the council can serve for a five-year term that is extendable, based on this law.
Article 12 of the law says that the governor, the first deputy governor, and any other member of the Supreme Council, shall be suspended or removed by the president.
“The authority to remove deputies of independent institutions does not belong to the manager of an organization. It is the authority of the president,” said Rohullah Sakhi, a lawyer.
But some of the dismissed officials of the bank once again called the act a “conspiracy” against them.
“The observer (at the bank) provided reports that were unprofessional and personal. Their reports were not based on legal principles,” said Abasin Mal, former head of the procurement office of the bank.
“The observers are not professional… and I think it is a conspiracy,” said Sayed Yunus Sadat, former head of finance office of the Central Bank.
Critics doubt the decision to remove the officials and look for ulterior motives.
“It shows a type of dictatorship in government offices,” said Zahir Tamim, an MP. “The issue could have been assessed through relevant legal institutions if the officials were involved in corruption.”
At the moment, Ajmal Ahmadi, Shad Mohammad Mehrabi, Catherin Faqiri, Abdul Wakil Montazer and Mohammad Naeem Azimi are members of the supreme council of the Central Bank.
“They are working in policy (making) and never have the executive authority to remove someone from their post or issue a warning or notification to anyone,” said Qadir Jailani, an analyst.
The Central Bank in a statement on Tuesday rejected remarks by former deputies of the bank as baseless.
Legal experts on Monday said that Ahmadi’s appointment as acting governor of the bank is in contravention of the law, as the Central Bank should be led by a full-fledged governor, not an acting chief.