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Ex-spokesman alleges top MCIT officials of corruption

Deputy Minister says allegations baseless

Abdul Zuhoor Qayomi-KABUL: Former spokesman of the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT), Nasrat Rahemi, on Monday alleged the ministry’s high-ranking officials of corruption.

Rahemi claimed that he has resigned 20 days ago from his post due to “widespread corruption” in the ministry.

In a press conference here he said that some officials at the ministry were bribed by the private telecommunication companies to prevent the state-run Salam Network from competition.

Though, he did not disclose names of those allegedly involved in corruption and restricted growth of the state-run cellular company, but said that his resignation has not been accepted by the minister.

He said that millions of Afghani had been received by the officials from illegal sources—corruption.

“The government has invested $65 million to launch the Salam Network. However, the company did not improve. Its SIM cards are not available in the market. Its services remained poor,” said Rahemi.

He said the MCIT officials want to invest $100 million further to improve services of the state-run mobile network carrier. The ex-spokesman said that the money would be wasted if the ministry was not freed from corruption.

Rahemi further alleged that fine imposed on the private telecommunication companies for violating the rules was remitted. He went on to say that $2.5 billion will be wasted if the government failed to take notice of the issue.

The deputy minister of telecommunication, Baryalai Hassam, in a telephonic interview with Afghanistan Times rejected the allegations.

Terming the allegations baseless, he said the spokesman was fired from his post, therefore, he wanted to make a comeback with such allegations that he could not prove.

The deputy minister said that Rahemi was fired from his post because he was not fit for the job. “His performance was zero. He shall have come with such allegations when he was spokesman,” he said, adding that Rahemi has been terminated and there was no chance for his comeback as spokesman.

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