GREATER AUTHORITY THAN PRESIDENT’S
11 July, 2013
GREATER AUTHORITY THAN PRESIDENT’S
Interview with Jaba Samushia, deputy chairman of Tbilisi City Council

Despite investigators’ certain doubts with regard to Gigi Ugulava, Mayor of the Capital, he still retains authority. Jaba Samushia, deputy chairman of Tbilisi City Council told us about the corruption schemes, according to which 600-million budget was governed and how millions were wasted in Tbilisi City Hall:
J.S. – Such corruption schemes were discovered in Tbilisi Mayor’s Office that in any civilizes country, people would at least force the Mayor
to resign. Despite this, Ugulava is using all his power to retain the chair and I would also add that the money spent was in a way used to this end. The laws adopted according to Ugulava’s desire, don’t give the City Council the right for Mayor’s impeachment. The only means to stop his powers is the court’s ruling. The city Mayor’s powers are greater than those of the President’s. Ugulava appointed and sacked officials. With only one signature, Ugulava can administer the 635-million budget of Tbilisi. He turned the City Council and its majorities into his own notaries – he would submit a document, the majority signed it and the sums were spent at Ugulava’s discretion.
Q. – In which corruption schemes do you see the Mayor’s interests?
A. – Ugulava initiated to turn the documents, confirming his financial violations, into the ‘classified’ ones. He issued the orders and, consequently, it seems funny to believe that Ugulava didn’t know certain things. Of course, he knew that more than 700 people were employed for cleaning of the city to no purpose. When I demanded from one of the Deputy Mayors to present the estimation of cleaning department expenses and told him that I had substantial doubt that it cost much less than 48 million, they didn’t give us documents. 5 million out of his sum was handed out to ‘National Movement’ propagandists.
Q. – There is much turmoil about misspending of the funds included in the fund of Tbilisi development.
A. – Existence of problems in the fund of Tbilisi development was also proved by the fact that Giorgi Sabanadze, chairman of the fund as well as documentation about their functioning disappeared after October elections. Besides, the information regarding financial activity of the fund was deleted in computers.
Ugulava submitted to the City Council an application to transfer GEL one million to the fund of Gudauri rehabilitation. I got interested who the head of the fund was and it turned out that the head wasn’t even appointed and the City Council was just giving out the money. Afterwards, one of the heads of construction works told me that the issue of Gudauri rehabilitation was decided in Zurab Adeishvili’s office. Nobody got interested why Tbilisi self-governance was giving 5 million for Gudauri rehabilitation.
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