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Corruptive Deal of the Akhmeta Municipal Administration with Fake Investor


Information Center of Kakheti 

Akhmeta municipal administration assigned 6.5 hectares of agricultural land in the Akhasheni village under 20-years-long lease agreement to the investor with following conditions – to invest 10 000 GEL in the arrangement of nut-plantation and to employ 10 persons in it. In reality, the head of the property management department at the municipal administration and chairwoman of the commission for acknowledgement the property rights over the land Mzia Bekauri owns the land and grows grain there. 

Based on the August 12, 2015 order # 67 of the Akhmeta municipal governor Beka Baidauri the agricultural land in Akhasheni village was registered as a municipal property in the Civil Registration Agency (CRA) (cadastre code – Afterwards, the governor petitioned to the municipal council and requested permission to lease out the land.

At the November 2, 2015 session the council members almost unanimously voted for the resolution. It is interesting that during the same session the council members discussed the issue of other properties too; detailed information about other properties is published on the website of the municipal administration; but, it does not provide information about the agricultural land in Akhasheni village – it does not provide information about the leaser and the lease-terms.

Network of Information Centers inquired why the information about this particular land was kept in secret. As it was found out, the land was assigned to unprecedentedly long term – 20 years to Ilia Shetekauri, resident of Vezhenti village in Tianeti municipality.

In order to camouflage the corruptive interest, the officials of the Akhmeta municipal administration called “investor” to Ilia Shetekauri and recorded some formal investment conditions in the agreement. Namely, the lease agreement states that he shall invest at least 10 000 GEL in the land to arrange nuts plantation during the first two years and create at least 3 permanent and 10 seasonal working places in the plantation.

It is noteworthy that investment potential of Ilia Shetekauri was very doubtful from the very beginning – according to the data from the CRA he does not own property and is not involved in any entrepreneurial activities. On March 29, 2016 Ilia Shetekauri told ICK that he cannot cultivate the land and implement other obligations under the contract because he does not have money. But in near future, he planned to take a loan in the bank to purchase nut-trees.

Although Ilia Shetekauri still does not use the leased land and has not created working places, Akhmeta municipal administration has not ceased contract with him yet.

The Network of Information Centers found out that in reality Mzia Bekauri, the head of the property management department at the Akhmeta district administration uses the land, who is also chairwoman of the commission for acknowledgement of property rights over land in the municipal administration. Last year she harvested corn in the land and this year she has sawed grain there. 

Supposedly, this corruptive motive of the municipal administration stood behind the following procedures:
-to lease out the land without public auction;
-to lease out the land for 20 years while in other cases the maximum term for lease agreements does not exceed 5 years;
-to select the land in accordance to the space and quality of soil in it, that can be easily observed from the photo too;
-to fix lower lease rent – 190 GEL per 1 hectare;
-to sign the lease-agreement in unusual haste.

It is noteworthy that Mzia Bekauri was the person who reported about the land-to-be-leased out during the council session in 2015. A member of the municipal board, who preferred to stay anonymous, told ICK that Mzia Bekauri actively lobbied positive decision about the land and requested the board members to vote for it. 

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