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‘Kunar municipality not properly spending 2pc revenue on youth’

‘Kunar municipality not properly spending 2pc revenue on youth’

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31 Jan 2019 - 10:14
‘Kunar municipality not properly spending 2pc revenue on youth’
author avatar
31 Jan 2019 - 10:14

ASADABAD (Pajhwok): Local officials, youth representatives and culturists are complaining the municipality of eastern Kunar province is not properly utilizing the two percent of its revenue the Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) has allocated for youth’s development.

A letter from the IDLG sent to the Kunar governor’s house on July 4, 2016 and signed by the former governor, Wahidullah Kalimzai, has been referred to the provincial municipality.

The letter, which was sent to 33 municipalities of the country, orders the organs to allocate two percent of their annual revenue for youth’s empowerment in areas of sports and cultural affairs and spend it in coordination with the youth department.

Kunar mayor Eng. Mohammad Rahim said they collected nearly 24 million afghanis in revenue in 1396 solar year and nearly 27 million afghanis in 1397 solar year.

The two percent of the revenue in 1396 solar year amounted to around 700,000 afghanis and in 1397 to around 800,000 afghanis.

Rahim told Pajhwok Afghan News he had allocated the two percent revenue of the two years for youth affairs and his department using the money implemented some specific programs.

For example, he said, the municipality created volleyball teams in four districts of Asadabad, the provincial capital and created a cricket team, women’s teams for public awareness in the four districts as well as launched a reading competition among youth.

Rahim said he also held a youth conference about urban culture, arranged competitions between schools and opened an English language course in two girls schools.

The International Youth Day was celebrated and a library was also opened for the youngsters in the municipality, the mayor said.

Kunar Olympic Committee head Ahadullah Safi said he had visited the municipality and discussed the IDLG letter with its officials.

“I told the municipality officials that we would make joint sports teams with the help of the two percent revenue, but they told me they themselves would spend the revenue,” he said.

Safi said no sports people had been introduced to them so far and there was no information about which team and sportsmen had been assisted.

“The municipality does not share information with us about where and how it spent the spend two percent revenue,” Safi said.

Sayar said the municipality did not inform the youth department about expenses on its activities for the youth.

About celebrating the youth day by the municipality, he said the municipality celebrated the day at a ceremony in which about 100 youth took part and they were only served lunch.

Sayar said he had repeatedly contacted the municipality officials and had asked them to make joint programs for the youth empowerment using the two percent revenue, but the officials refused to help.

He claimed the municipality had done no service to the youth using the two percent revenue over the past two years.

The municipality only provided yellow jackets for 50 volunteers in four urban districts and did nothing else, he added.

Kunar education

He also rejected any reading competition had been launched in schools or seminaries by the municipality and said he had not been consulted about any such event.

However, Hamdard acknowledged a three-month English language course was launched in two girls’ schools in coordination with them.

But the education department paid salaries to the teachers hired for the course besides monitoring the program, he added.

A competition was launched by the education department between two central schools and the municipality only provided some gifts to the winners, he added.

Spogmai, principal of Chaghan High School in Asadabad city, said the municipality launched a course in her school and provided text books to students and salary to a teacher.

Former Kunar cricket board head, Sibghatullah Hamid, said he went to the municipality for assistance after the two percent of revenue was allocated for youth.

“I told them if they have the plan to create a cricket team, I will help them, but they did not show any interest,” he said.

Hamid added there were 15 registered cricket teams in Kunar in 1396 solar year, but none belonged to or created by the municipality.

“The municipality in late 1397 solar year asked me for creation of a cricket team, but then my term in office had ended”, he said.

Shirullah Afghan, current cricket board head for Kunar, confirmed the municipality had asked them for assistance in creating a cricket team and they introduced players for the team.

The municipality provided uniform and other necessary tools to the players but the team could not complete documentation and could not be registered with the board, he added. He said the team would not be allowed to play matches until it received license.

Mohammad Shoaib Gharwal, head of the Youths Coordination Civil Society in Kunar, said the municipality only celebrated the youth day using the two percent revenue.

He said they suggested good programs for youths to the municipality, but the department only chose to celebrate the youth day.

Gharwal added only few works had been done by the municipality so far and the rest of the budget lost to corruption.

He urged the municipality to purchase computers for the Youth Affairs Department and hire a teacher to teach them computer.

Hela, a resident and student in Asadabad City, told Pajhwok that she did not know where the municipality actually spent its revenues and had never heard something done by the department so far.

Zabihullah Sahib Haq, the youth council chief for two districts, told Pajhwok that nothing had been done for the youths from the municipality’s certain budget.

He said the municipality arranged some ‘symbolic’ works, but they did not benefit the youth.

Municipality’s consultation board member Ostad Toraj acknowledged the department did little for the youths and said the municipality could do more because the two per cent budget was enough.

Sohila Babar, women’s affairs director, told Pajhwok that when she discussed the issue with the mayor and urged his cooperation, the mayor told her the money belonged to them and they would spend it as per their wish.

She was unaware about the women community’s creation in the city by the municipality side and said if the municipality had such a program, they (women) should be informed.

On the other hand, Governor Abdul Sattar Mirzakwal was also not happy with the municipality’s affairs and said the mayor was a good person, but not a good manager.

He told Pajhwok the amount allocated for the youths by the Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) should be spent in a right way.

The governor added the budget should be spent in coordination with the Olympic, cricket board, youth affairs department, the education department and others which worked for the youth.

Mirzakwal said the money should only be spent on the development of youth and culture affairs and warned the municipality against misappropriating the fund.

Abdul Baqi Pupol, general director of provincial municipalities in the ILDG, said based on their agreement with municipalities they allocated the two per cent budget to support and empower the youth.

He said the budget was meant for spending on playgrounds, buying playing equipment, uniforms and promoting sports and culture activities.

Eng Mohammad Rahim, Kunar Mayor, said they would spend the money based on their procedure in area of youth empowerment and their support programs.

He said they had no separate bank account for the certain budget, but it was credited along with other incomes.


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