Tolo News – President Ashraf Ghani fails to tackle corruption, investigation shows

President Ashraf Ghani promised to root out corruption in public office; however, Afghanistan is still among most corrupt countries in the world

Tamim Hamid

Kabul – Kabul Province – Afghanistan, 08 September 2018. During his 2014 presidential campaign, President Ashraf Ghani vowed to overcome corruption during his term in office and said he would ensure the country’s ranking on the corruption index improved.

An investigation by TOLO news however shows that Afghanistan has not improved.

In one of his election campaign speeches in the run up to 2014 polls, Ghani said: “Wait, in two years instead of being accused of being the worst country in corruption, we will rise at least 100 points (on the global index).”

In some cases, he made even more ambitious promises on fighting corruption.

“Corruption is widespread. We hope that we reduce it by 50 percent within the next five years. It cannot be reduced 100 percent. Anyone who says this to you, he lies,” Ghani said in a TV debate during his election campaign.

At the time Afghanistan was ranked 172nd in the world in terms of corruption. In 2015 it rose to 166th position, in 2016 it dropped to 169 and last year it was at a dismal 177 on Transparency International’s Corruption Perspective Index.

And this out of 180 countries.

Fingers have been pointed at the National Unity Government by analysts and MPs with some saying not enough has been done to stamp out the problem.

“Efforts against corruption have not been done in the way that the people of Afghanistan expected. Today, too, corruption is widespread in government offices and different organisations,” said Fatima Aziz, an MP.

Meanwhile, the results of a survey carried out by Integrity Watch every two years, shows that the volume of minor corruption incidents totaled a whopping $2.9 billion in 2016 while this figure was $2 billion in 2014 and a lot less in 2010 and 2012.

“The National Unity Government was afraid of establishing the independent anti-corruption commission which could make efforts non-political and independent. Unfortunately, it used its resources to prevent the embellishment of such a commission,” said Naser Temori, a researcher at Integrity Watch Afghanistan.

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