PAPHOS mayor Phedonas Phedonos urged the interior minister on Friday to abolish the age old institution of local community councillors and transfer their duties to the municipalities to avoid unjustified charges at the expense of the public and illegal actions.
In an announcement addressed to Interior minister Socrates Hasikos, Phedonos asked him not to appoint new local councillors – or mukhtars – within municipalities at the end of the term of the current incumbents, in a bid to eliminate “hearths of hatching illegal acts, lack of transparency and improper management”.
These ‘mukhtars’ act mainly as certifying officers.
“It is well known that some local councillors, who impose arbitrary charges to certify/or to issue certificates, have incomes; in the case of [that of] the Paphos municipality, more than €1,500 a month,” the announcement said. “This money is not declared and are not checked by anyone”.
He added that another mukhtar in the Paphos district was arrested and detained for an alleged case of false documents for the employment of foreign nationals. In another case, a mukhtar issued illegally and by abusing his power, a hawker’s license in an area of the Paphos municipality, he said. “I am sure these phenomena take place in other municipalities too,” he said.
Phedonos said that as the time is nearing for the appointment of the new mukhtars, he is making a public appeal to the minister to either transfer their duties to the municipalities and not appoint new ones, or for a change in the way they are selected. Their selections, he said, should be carried out with certain criteria and make it clear to them that all the services they provide should be given for free and anyone violating this, to be prosecuted.