Life in Gjilan

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When he took up his new post, the current mayor of Gjilan, Qemajl Mustafa, promised the residents of the municipality that he would do what was necessary to remove the smell coming from the pipe systems that empty into the River Mirusha.

However, two and a half years after his election, this promise has not been fulfilled. Mustafa, appearing on “Life in the Muncipality,” said that “the major project” has now begun.

In some parts of town, residents continue to have problems with the strong smell that comes from the sewage that goes into the Mirusha river.

During the electoral campaign, Mustafa had promised to solve this problem. On “Life in the Municipality,” he acknowledged that he had not yet fully implemented the project to clean the sewage. However, according to him, the implementation of the project is on its way.

“I didn’t say that the bad smell would be removed quickly. But, I’ve said that we will start a major project, and we have started this in some areas, and in those places where the project has been completed, there is no more a bad smell,” Mustafa said.

Apart from the stink from the sewage system in Gjlian, tenders “smell funny as well,” Mustafa’s opponents said. During the debate, a number of tenders were mentioned which were given to people close to the mayor or to officials of the municipality.

According to Arben Mehmeti from LDK, the construction of public parking spaces that the municipality of Gjilan has granted have been taken up by the husband of the assistant of the mayor, a charge Mustafa denied. According to Mustafa these parking places have been given to veterans associations, which later gave them to subcontractors.

The mayor was also asked about a tender won by the uncle of Ridvan Asllani, to whom Mustafa had indicated he was indebted in his income declarations.

In response, Mustafa said that the tender- valued at around 1.8 million euros- had nothing to do with the debt.  
“In my income declaration I did not want to lie to the public. I have mentioned every cent that I owe. The tender is not mine, they have given it through legal procedures that have been applied,” Mustafa said.

A tender of 400,000 euros was also contested. This tender was given to Mustafe Shala, who is one of the mayor’s business partners. Mustafa didn’t deny his partnership with Shala, but said the tender wasn’t related to this partnership.

“Mustafa and I are shareholders. That business has nothing to do with the institutions of Kosovo. I am telling you responsibly that the mayor of the municipality of Gjilan hasn’t had a conflict of interest,” the mayor said during the debate.

The municipality of Gjilan has paid Shala 50,000 euross for hotel services at the Hotel Kristal, which is a property owned by the businessmen.

Opponents also contested a tender won by the company ABC, where the wife of the municipality’s legal officer, Vehbi Geci, works.

The administrators of the municipality of Gjilan, meanwhile, said they are proud of their accomplishments. During Mustafa’s mandate, observers have found that a new and more efficient administration has been put in place, parks have been well maintained, collective housing units have been painted, and the construction of the city library has started.

A number of capital projects have also been launched, including 180 kilometers of road, 100 kilometers of public lighting, as well as construction plans for Gjilan.