Ex-head of Roudaki district Rustam Akramzoda has resigned as member of the Majlisi Milli (Tajikistan’s upper chamber of parliament), the Majlisi Milli press center reported on April 16.  

He was elected a member of the Majlisi Milli on March 27 last year.  By president’s decree Akramzoda was relieved of his post of chairman of Roudaki district on November 24, 2020 in connection with transfer to other job.   

Akramzoda was he was relieved of his post five days after publication by Radio Ozodi of an article about land fraud in Roudaki district.  

His new appointment has not been reported.

Recall, Radio Liberty reported in November last year that an investigation carried out by it revealed that the high demand for land parcels in Roudaki district has led to corruption in the distribution of land in the district, despite measures announced by state to root out “illegal land sales” in the sought-after district.

Multiple sources in Roudaki district reportedly claim that former district head Rustam Akramzoda has fast-tracked several of his own relatives and acquaintances to obtain free land parcels.

The investigation also revealed that some those who got the land illegally have a personal connection to Akramzoda, who was appointed only two years ago to specifically fight illegal land deals, a longstanding problem in Roudaki district.

Akramzoda, however, denied any wrongdoing, according to Radio Ozodi.

But documents obtained by RFE/RL reportedly indicate that at least 10 people with a connection to Akramzoda have jumped to the front of the line to receive land parcels in recent months.  Others, meanwhile, wait for years before being offered land.

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.