Public officials’ undeclared links with business in Zestaponi Municipality
Transparency International Georgia continues to study asset declarations submitted by public officials. This time, the report concerns the officials of Zestaponi Municipality who, in 2017-2018, submitted incomplete declarations, failed to indicate their own and/or their family members’ involvement in commercial activities and who participate in activities incompatible with their office.
Within the framework of the research, we examined up to 30 asset declarations. Four of these declarations were incomplete and, in two cases, activities incompatible with office were identified, which should become subject of inquiry on the part of the Civil Service Bureau.
Kakhaber Makhatadze – Mayor of Zestaponi Municipality
In the declaration submitted in January 2018, Kakhaber Makhatadze failed to indicate that he owns 34 percent of shares of Imereti 777, LLC. He also failed to mention that his wife, Nato Shavlakadze, owns shares in the following companies:
- MATO, LLC – owner of 50 percent of shares;
- Mtsvane Kontskhi, LLC – owner of 10 percent of shares;
- Tbilisis Taksi, LLC- owner of 50 percent of shares.
It should be noted that, according to the declaration, Kakhaber Makhatadze owns 65 percent of shares of Imereti 2011, LLC. In 2012-2015, this company signed nine contracts through simplified procurement procedure, two of these with the total value of GEL 3,446 were signed with Zestaponi Municipality.
Kakhaber Makhatadze donated GEL 50,000 to the Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia in 2016 and another GEL 40,000 on 1 August 2017.
Maia Khvedelidze – Head of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth Affairs Service at Zestaponi Mayor’s Office
In the declaration submitted in September 2017, Maia Khvedelidze failed to indicate that her husband, Bakhva Suknidze, is a director and owner of 50 percent of shares of Royal Comfort, LLC, founded in July 2017.
Koba Gocheleishvili – Chairman of the Zestaponi Municipality Council Commission on Education, Culture, Sports, Tourism Development and Youth Affairs
Tariel Khuskivadze – Chairman of the Zestaponi Municipality Council Commission on Legal Issues
In the declaration submitted in January 2018, Tariel Khuskivadze owns 34 percent of shares of Kat, LLC and is its director. This is a violation of the Law on Conflict of Interest and Corruption in Public Institutions which prohibits a public official from heading an entrepreneurial institution.
Davit Meskhishvili – since November 2017, Acting Head of Infrastructure, Public Services and Amenities Service at Zestaponi Mayor’s Office
The declaration that Davit Meskhishvili submitted in January 2018 shows that his father, Nodar Meskhishvili, owns 30 percent of shares of Zestaponproekti, LLC and is its director.
It is noteworthy that, in 2015-2017, Zestaponproekti, LLC won 20 tenders announced by Zestaponi Municipality Mayor’s Office, their market value amounting to approximately GEL 87,000.
Checking asset declarations of public officials is one of the most important tools of combating corruption. Correspondingly, Transparency International Georgia calls on the Civil Service Bureau to start monitoring asset declarations of the persons mentioned in the study based on the presented information.
The publication was prepared with the financial support of the Norwegian Ministry of Foriegn Affairs