Somalia Remains a Heaven for Corruption amid PM Efforts to Secure Debt Relief

Politics | Somalia has again ranked the World’s most corrupt nation according to the recently published Corruption Perception Index of 2019 by Transparency International.

Over the past three years the country has ranked at 9-10 of 100, becoming the most perceived corrupt country in the World again in 2019. The poverty stricken country, ranged hollow by conflict for close to 30 years has been marred by public sector corruption since 2000 when Abdikasim Salad Hassan was elected as the country’s leader.

Professor Yahye Amir, a Somali University Professor believes that Somalia failed at every other international arena including football games, but holds to the title of being “the most corrupt nation” in the World –due to no actions taken to thwart it off and the country still lacking anti-corruption institutions.

From the time the current administration of President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo came to power, people believe that the misuse of public power for private benefit has increased. Corruption became so deeply ingrained in the government institutions that no effort to fight it could culminate in success and that anyone who takes a stance against the misdemeanor would face the consequences either by his dismissal or killing.

What made the situation even worse is the specter of media support for the government which veils its loopholes. However, biggest corruption scandals in Somalia’s governance history occurred during the tenure of the incumbent President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, reaching all the way up to the president’s office and the office of his PM.

These are the major scandals to which media have so far gained access:

  • The deliberate arrest of Qalbi Dhagax, a former Somali military commander and his transfer to Ethiopia where he was later tortured in the notorious Jeel-Ogaden.
  • The establishment of company co-owned by the Prime Minister and his Minister of Security that produces stones used to block main avenues of the capital city –a scheme from which the two have made a surprising profit.
  • The auctioning of Somalia’s petroleum in which effort the government stipulated on companies to pay millions of USD in advance prior to the 2021 elections.
  • Parliamentarians who frequently requested Turkish Visas and later sold it to people.
  • Allocating a budget of more than 300,000 USD to social media campaigner networks that usually tarnish opposition figures and serve as a mechanism to sway public opinion.
  • Vote rigging in South West Regional State elections and arresting one of its front-runners, Mokhtar Robow in an attack that left many civilians dead.
  • Spending Millions of USD in Galmudug’s regional elections to hijack it from its course and bring to office a president designated by the administration.
  • The handover of several ports in Somalia to Ethiopia in return for support in curbing the influence of regional states.

These scandals are only part of the corruption that leveled the country’s system of governance and yet, any politician in the ranks of the current administration that stands against its unfair efforts would be caught in a cross-fire that would finally lead to their dismissal.

Maryam Qasim, former Minister of Humanitarian and Disaster Management vehemently stood against a proposal by Former Intelligence Agency Director Abdullahi Sambaloshe to authorize the rendition of ONLF commander, Qalbi Dhagah. She was later forced to resign.

The current administration still continues funneling illicit bribes to expand its influence in several regional states in Somalia, while administration officials in all posts appear stealing all they could get their hands on as election nears. Some are currently constructing ostentatious mansions in Turkey while others have already built theirs in Europe.

This is why Somalia remains the most perceived corrupt country in the World and no one has yet argued against the CPI’s recent report that merely shows how corruption spiraled out of control since the current administration would never exist without its abundance.

In the past few years, the government of Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khayre has been campaigning for debt relief and arrears clearance; however, this recent report may cast away their dream.

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