The Afghan Senate’s Complaints Commission on Thursday referred Mohammad Humayun Qayoumi to the Attorney General's Office following reports that Qayoumi had received a $255,000 salary from a private institute in the US in 2017.
Qayoumi is the acting minister of finance and top adviser to President Ashraf Ghani.
Earlier this week, TOLOnews obtained documents showing that Qayoumi received the $255,000 salary from a private organization called the “Institute for State Effectiveness” in 2017. The organization was founded by President Ashraf Ghani in 2013, documents indicate.
Zalmay Zabuli, the head of the Senate’s Complaints Commission, described Qayoumi’s financial behavior as an act of national treason and said that it is linked to the lack of transparency in the Ministry of Finance.
Presidential candidate Rahmatullah Nabil claimed that he has evidence that the Afghan Ministry of Finance had given contracts to the Institute for State Effectiveness, without transparency.
“It’s an act of national treason. It is an act of oppression against the Afghan people. They bring people from abroad and they are looting our poor people and then they put their names down as democrats,” said Nabil.
“These are the realities: there are documents and this is an act of national treason that today we refer the acting Minister of Finance to the Attorney General. He has to respond to the attorney general so that the nation is also informed about it,” said Zabuli, the complaints commission’s head.
But Qayoumi, in a twitter post, said that fighting corruption was one of the key agendas of president Ashraf Ghani’s government.
“Eradicating corruption is one of the fundamental priorities of the government of President Ashraf Ghani. I have been fully committed to making responsible and accountable institutions during this period in the government,” Qayoumi tweeted.
“The Ministry of Finance should respond to all these (allegations) as soon as possible,” said Sayed Ekram Afzali, head of Integrity Watch Afghanistan.
But the Ministry of Finance says that it has never signed a contract with the US-based Institute for State Effectiveness.
“(The Institute) has no project or contract funded by the Afghan government,” said Shamroz Khan Masjidi, a spokesman for the Ministry of Finance.
Qayoumi was appointed as acting Minister of Finance a year ago.
In the past, Qayoumi has faced severe criticism for his failure to attend meetings of the Council of Ministers, as well as for his trips abroad, and his absence from the Ministry of Finance.
Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah on Tuesday called for an investigation to be launched to assess a $255,000 salary received by Qayoumi.