Former deputy head of Vose district in Khatlon province in charge of construction issues has been jailed for shortcomings committed by him in allocation of land.  

Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service, known locally as Radio Ozodi, reported on February 14 that a court in Vose district has sentenced Alikhon Khudoyorzoda to 6½ years in prison.  The sentenced reported followed his conviction on the charge of abuse of office.  

Representatives of the Vose prosecutor’s office did not explain the circumstances of the criminal proceedings instituted against Khudoyorzoda.  An official source within the Vose prosecutor’s office just said the charge was related to shortcomings committed by the official in the distribution of land.

In a report released at a news conference in the administrative center of Vose district, chief prosecutor in Vose district Abdyulkhai Begahmadzoda said on February 12 that the guilt of the former deputy chairman of the district had been fully proven and confirmed in court.

Alikhon Khudoyorzoda had served as deputy chairman of Vose district since June 2017.  He had been in charge of construction issues and headed the commission for land issues.

Khudoyorzoda was detained in February last year.

Investigators of the Vose prosecutor’s office have reportedly investigated all episodes of his activities as deputy chairman of the district starting from 2017, when he was appointed to this position.  

Recalls, the head of the Khatlon Land Management Directorate, Dilovarsho Pirzoda, told reporters in Bokhtar, the capital of Khatlon province, in late January that inspections carried out in the province led to the cancelation of 593 decisions related to illegal allotment of lands made by heads of districts, jamoats and farming units.    

According to him, the inspections were carried out after president's criticism directed at local officials over numerous cases of land fraud and violations, which came during an address to a meeting of regional administrators in Danghara that took place in September last year.

It is to be noted that President Emomali Rahmon has repeatedly raised the issue of illegal allotment of lands in Khatlon province.

The State Committee on Land Management and Geodesy of Tajikistan in July last year endorsed a new procedure for issuing, replacing and canceling the land share certificate.  The document is reportedly aimed at regulating relationship related to land shares in farming units.  The new procedure provides favorable conditions to exercise the right to land use, establish farming units, determine the size of the land plot and land share, and overcome existing problems in this area.

In Tajikistan, laws ban the private sale of land.  Agricultural land can only be leased from the state.  People can also receive a plot of land -- free of charge -- from their local government to build a home.  Only people who don't have their own home are eligible for a land parcel in the district where they are registered as a permanent resident.  Applications for the parcels of land are made to the district governor and the governor either approves the request, sends it to local authorities in each area for a final decision, or rejects the request if the applicant is deemed ineligible.

The application must be accompanied by a lot of documentation, including a letter from the local authorities in the applicant's home village or town to verify the applicant's account of their personal circumstances and their genuine need for land.