The two have claimed that they have been cleared of any wrongdoing  

LG: Concerns and questions have been raised in Nyisho gewog on the eligibility of  two people who plan to contest in the upcoming local government elections.

Some residents of the gewog have alleged that the former gup and current gup were involved in corruption and misuse of gewog funds and therefore cannot stand for elections.

While the two are yet to file their candidatures, the former gup sat for the Functional Literacy Test (FLT) last month while the present gup already holds an FLT certificate, according to election officials.

The candidates will require, audit, tax and court clearances, asset declaration, and several other documents. Candidates are not allowed to contest if any of the required documents are not provided.

The former Nyisho gup who served from 2003 to 2007 was suspended in 2007 following a complaint filed with the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). He was accused of having misused gewog funds. The case took four years and was settled in 2010.

According to the former gup, he decided to contest in the upcoming election as he was cleared off the charges. He said that he has documents issued from both the home ministry and the dzongkhag to prove he was not involved in any corruption or misuse of gewog funds.

“Had I been guilty I won’t be contesting,” he said. “Few people who were unhappy with me complained in 2007 and are doing the same this time.”

Meanwhile, the present Nyisho Gup, Tshering who worked as the gewog mangmi from 2003 to 2007 was appointed as officiating gup from 2007-2010 after the former gup was suspended. In 2010, he sat for the FLT and subsequently got elected as Nyisho gup in 2011.

ACC received an anonymous complaint in June last year alleging that the gup had misused the Gewog Development Grant (GDG) for 2012-2013 to construct a mini-guesthouse.

The ACC asked the Royal Audit Authority (RAA) to handle the case. RAA auditors from Tsirang visited the gewog in March this year and carried out the inspection, officials said.

While this newspaper could not acquire the final audit reports, Gup Tshering claimed that the case has been resolved and that the issue has been clarified to the dzongkhag committee as well.

He said the gewog had spent Nu 2 million in 2012-2013 to construct a one-storey two-room guesthouse using the GDG. The work was awarded to a community contractor to construct a guesthouse, kitchen and storeroom, and three public toilets.

Gup Tshering said the guesthouse was constructed following the need to have one in the gewog. The decision was made only after public consultation and with the people’s approval, he said.

The guesthouse is being used especially during the gewog’s annual rimdro and mani drungdrup to accomodate lamas, monks and elderly people, and also to house official guests visiting the gewog at other times. Toilets are required especially during the annual mani dungdrup, he said.

Gup Tshering said that while he is yet to avail the required clearances to file his nomination for the upcoming election, he was found not guilty of being involved in any corruption practices. He said those raising concerns do not want him to get elected.

He said he wants to contest to complete works that are underway in the gewog.

Dawa Gyelmo | Wangdue