Republican Against Tbilisi Mayor
17 May, 2012
Republican Against Tbilisi Mayor

“It is yet another fact of racketeering businessmen”


Last week Tbilisi Mayor’s Office abrogated the agreement with a major landscaping company Green Service, accusing it of plundering money received from the city budget. Oddly enough, Green Service is exactly the company which the Republican Tina Khidasheli claims to have been lobbied all the way by no one else but Tbilisi Mayor himself.


Tina Khidasheli: In a stark attempt to dope the public, the Mayor’s Office terminated its agreement with the

Green Service. More to it, Ugulava demanded criminal investigation of company’s failure to uphold obligations assumed before the State and associated possible misappropriation of the tender funds. It turns out that not long ago Tbilisi Mayor “learnt” about the exaggerated purchase price that the Green Service said it paid per cypress sapling. As the new tradition has it (especially in the pre-election periods), the powers that be never fail to unravel “scandalous corruption schemes” when it is  needed. Not surprisingly, whoever gets arrested among the public officers during those much touted corruption battle sprees, later on pop up at new posts as if nothing really happened. So, I am absolutely convinced that this history will not be connected with unbiased investigation because, if done duly, it would surely lead to arresting or dethroning Tbilisi Mayor. I found out that this company has had no less than 146 contracts with the State! They were greening entire cities of Tbilisi and Batumi. In the past, large tenders used to be rolled miraculously into the hands of this company solely. Imagine it! Every time they were beating 78 competitors operating in the same field. No wonder, the Green Service boasted multi-million annual balances. Actually, it was supposed to win three more 1.8 million-worth tenders but it seems in the last minute somebody stopped the plan perhaps to avoid possible political backlash in the election run-up. However, initially, in every tender announced by the Mayor’s Office, where the Green Service was to submit a bid, all other competitors used to be disqualified for no legal reasons. I examined documentations of every such tender signed by the Mayor himself and noticed that they were identical to each other. In other words, every time the city Mayor would periodically announce a tender on the same work, the award would go to one and the same company. How come? If the Mayor was not content about the work of the company and was announcing tenders to find a better solution then on what grounds it used to choose the same old company?! In many cases, nothing is done following the tender awards simply because in reality the work stipulated in such tenders had been finished before the announcement of respective tenders. So, it is even worse than a kickback which means sharing or returning the money with somebody. In our cases, millions of Lari just evaporated from the budget. All the most expensive greening services starting from the Batumi Boulevard and ending with the Tbilisi airport highway were done by the Green Service. Let us recall that a few years ago eavesdropping devices were found in the offices of Purtskhvanadze and Kharshiladze during their public service as the Head and Deputy Head of Old Tbilisi District respectively. Following the scandal, Ugulava dismissed them. Though, it proved to be a temporary re-alignment because Gigi Ugulava did not want to exacerbate relations with Merabishvili due to ongoing confrontation among various governmental groups at the time. In a few days, Kharshiladze and Purtskhvanadze became 50% owners of the Green Service and immediately won a string of massive tenders.
Q: There are reports that production and free-of-charge distribution of “Tbilisuri Ambebi” magazine costs millions to the city Mayor…
A: So it is yet another fact of racketeering businessmen. How can you order an advertisement to a magazine which does not exist? Not a single existing magazine can boast such a huge number of advertisement orders. Based on the recent changes in the elections legislation, I will demand that the money paid to Tbilisuri Ambebi be reflected in the election budget of the Nationalist Movement. I am going to send this magazine to the Chamber of Control so that they “identify persons associated with that political party”.
Q: Finally, what will happen at the mass action planned by the Coalition for 27 May?
A: This action is going to herald the opening of the election campaign of ‘Georgian Dream’ political coalition. 27 May is the gathering day for all those who wish to see Georgia free of Saakashvili’s regime through forms and methods chosen by the Georgian Dream. The main thing is to reach elections peacefully and protect our votes.

 

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