One of the recent examples of the legislature’s malpractice is the decision of committee tasked by Wolesi Jirga to investigate allegations of corruption against its speaker.
As per the decision, Khudai Nazar Nasrat, the secretary of Wolesi Jirga, has been referred to the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) for questionable procurement, illegal appointments and terminations and corruption charges. The assigned committee has also proposed to Wolesi Jirga to suspend the secretary. However, Wolesi Jirga Speaker Abdul Raoud Ibrahimi, who is accused of spending 5.3 million AFN from the government budget on construction of his personal house, is sentenced to refund the money to government treasure.
If WJ speaker was not involved in corruption, why he should repay the 5.3 million AFN; however, if he has embezzled the money, then why he should be exempted from prosecution?
The issue of immunity of lawmakers is very clear in laws and Wolesi Jirga’s Rules of Procedure. That immunity on no account means the lawmakers are exempt from prosecution when they commit a crime and corruption. If the parliamentarians are even considered to be immune from prosecution in case of committing a flagrant crime, such laws never serve the people’s interests.
If the use of government budget for personal purposes constitutes corruption, and corruption is a crime, then the Wolesi Jirga speaker should first be stripped of his immunity, and then the allegations leveled against him should be investigated by legal and judicial institutions.
By exonerating its speaker, the Wolesi Jirga not only has acted biasedly, but also laid the foundation of a wrong practice, which may encourage other lawmakers to spend government budget on personal things, and if disclosed and found guilty, they will be trying to clear themselves of the blame using the speaker’s case as justification.