Endless wait for reform
For 17 years, Kabul municipality has not been able to amend rules laid down by the Taliban regime despite promising to do so.
Abdul Jalil Sultani, the head of publication department in Kabul municipality, says the current leadership of the municipality has finally sent its suggestions to the presidential office.
However, Engineer Mohammad Yunus Naw Andesh, former Kabul mayor, says that during his term a draft of a new law was submitted under the guidance of a group of experts, all volunteers, that the municipality put together.
"The draft law was a document of over seven chapters and 77 articles, written by the team of experts, and was sent to the Ministry of Justice." He believes the municipality of Kabul had performed its duty and the rest was up to the justice ministry, the cabinet and then parliament. Authorities in Ministry of Justice confirm receipt of the draft law.
Anisa Ahrar, head of trade and private affairs, says, "We received this draft in 2012 and (it) was processed and scrutinised along with the authorities of municipality and local organs."
According to her, the Ministry of Justice and law committee could not solve some problems in the draft. This was a concern over overlapping responsibilities that could be seen as interfering in the affairs of municipality and Ministry of Urban Development. As a result the draft law was not approved. "There were areas in drafts of Kabul municipality and ministry of urban development that could be seen as interfering in each others' affairs so the law was not approved," says Nasima Niazai, member of transport, communications, urban development, home, electricity and municipality affairs commission in Parliament. She also confirms that the draft municipality law was sent to the 15th session of the Afghan parliament and then to the palace after the completion of all phases where it was rejected.
"At that time there was the issue of "elected" municipalities so the president did not approve it," says Niazai.
Thereafter, according to her, no effort was made to draft a new law for Kabul municipality. "We frequently requested the Kabul municipality for a new draft but they did not do anything in this regard," she says.