Kandid Kvitsiani, ex-MP for Mestia, implicated in multiple cases of property rights violations
New facts have surfaced concerning the infringement of local residents’ property rights in Mestia. Nearly 40 residents have complained that their properties rights have been infringed and their land illegally trespassed upon during the expansion of the local airport and construction of a water supply and filtration plant.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a loan on the basis of a competition in order to improve urban services. On May 3 and June 15, 2011 the United Water Supply Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Ministry of Regional Development, announced a tender on their website for the construction of a water supply and filtration plant in Mestia. Both tenders were not announced publically on the Procurement Agency website.
Enguri 2006 Ltd and Dagi Ltd won the first tender and the second tender was won by Enguri 2006 Ltd and New Energy Ltd. Both tenders have a total value of 17, 396 607 GEL. Enguri 2006 Ltd is 50 per cent owned by Kandid Kvitsiani, formerly a UNM MP for Mestia.
Construction to expand Mestia’s local water supply and filtration plant began in May 2012. At this time representatives of United Water Supply Company met with 27 residential property owners and promised that they would be offered 3.6GEL compensation per square meter, to buy their land. Local residents did not agree on these conditions but as property owners say, as a result of pressure from local government and construction responsible company, they felt forced to agree to the terms.
Expansion of Mestia’s local airport started in May of this year. Prior to the construction, Kandid Kvitsiani, met with 16 landowners whose properties would be affected and again promised that they would be paid 10 GEL compensation per square metre, to buy their land.
However, as occurred with the final contracts offered to owners for construction of the water supply and filtration plant, the contract compensation was only 3.60 - 4 GEL per square meter. Several landowners refused to sign the contract.
Despite the refusal of these landowners to sign the final contract, the airport construction company initiated and is continuing with the construction works on all of these properties. These works are being carried out on 16 owners’ lands without some of their permission and represents an illegal trespass and violation of these owners’ property rights.
Transparency International Georgia calls on the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Prosecutor’s office and all relevant law enforcement and local government agencies to take urgent steps, in accordance with the rule of law, to guarantee the legal rights of these local residents and to properly investigate the facts of this case.
TI Georgia further calls upon the Ministry of Regional Development of Georgia and the State Prosecutor’s Office to carefully examine the tenders won by Enguri 2006 Ltd, Dagi Ltd and New Energy Ltd. We stand ready to assist the law enforcement agencies with all the material and information at our disposal.