KABUL (Pajhwok): Pajhwok’s findings show that 12 types of items to combat the coronavirus have been purchased at a rate that is 3.9 million afghanis higher than the market price in northern Sar-i-Pul province.
The contract has been signed by two people, whose names and designations have not been mentioned. The list of equipment does not have names and signatures of representative of the Procurement Committee, Finance and Administration Department and the governor’s house.
The agreement worth 8.865 million afghanis was inked between the governor’s house and a logistics firm named Akif Bekzad on June 3, 2020.
Pajhwok compared rates of the 29 types of goods and services with market prices. Five types of items were purchased below the market rate while the rates of 12 types were not clear. But 12 types of items were bought at rates that were up to 12 times higher than the market price.
Pajhwok got the high and low prices of these 12 items from the market and worked out the average rates.
A copy of the document shows former Sar-i-Pul governor Abdul Qadir Ashna appointed a delegation with representatives from health, information and culture departments, municipality and the governor’s house to hand over the items to the relevant quarters.
Noor Ahmad Ishaqzai, director of public health, said his department was no involved in the purchase of the items, as the contract had been awarded by the provincial procurement committee, which also bought the items.
“About 20 million afghanis have been provided to Sar-i-Pul to combat the coronavirus, Out of this fund, 17.6 million afghanis have been spent. The rest of the amount is available, but the contract has definitely been financed,” he added.
Qurban Murad Murad, who has been the governor of Sar-i-Pul for two weeks, said: “The contract was not signed in my time. The officials who inked the contract must answer queries regarding it.” He refused to comment further on the issue.
Despite hectic efforts, Pajhwok could not contact Akif Bekzad for comments on the issue, with former governor Abdul Qadir Ashna refusing to answer queries from this news agency.
“This Investigative Report was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Pajhwok and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.”