6/16/2019
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We didn't pay Sh2m to Somali singer — Garissa officials


Friday June 14, 2019
By STEPHEN ASTARIKO


SMEAR CAMPAIGN: Garissa Governor Ali Korane joins leaders and residents for a traditional song by Abdirahman Abubakar, popularly known as Dalmar Yare, on Wednesday. Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

Officials say social media users trying to tarnish t names of county officials and county's reputation

The Garissa government has denied social media claims that it paid a Somali singer Sh2 million during the launch of the county revolving fund on Wednesday.

It said it did not hire the artist.

The claims are contained in a letter dated June 12 allegedly written and signed by county secretary Abdi Ali. It is addressed to the chief Finance officer.

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The letter reads, “Kindly process allowances for one Mr Abdirahman Abubakar (Dalmar Yare), a Somali celebrity who performed at the launch of the Garissa county revolving fund at the Almond Resort."

Efforts to get a comment from Abubakar were unsuccessful as his phone was switched off for most of the day.

Secretary Ali told the press in his office on Thursday that the letter was "fake" and meant to tarnish his name and that of the county.

He said they have reported the matter to the DCI and presented a list of pseudonyms they suspect could be behind the fake letter.

Ali said the county did not engage the Somali artist. “All these stories and reports on social media about me writing to the department asking them to pay the artist are neither here nor there,” he said.

“As a county, including the governor, we were not even aware of his presence. We were surprised when he showed up on stage to perform. I was made to understand that he was in town to do his private things and only decided to show up upon learning of the event.”

A senior official, who requested anonymity, said no officer can pay such a request.

“It is inconceivable and cannot be implemented. Government per diem rates are stipulated according to job groups. In the first place, the artist is not a public servant, and we cannot pay per diem,” the official said.

The county secretary said the same individuals were responsible for the "fake" letter that circulated last week purportedly sent by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission. It was allegedly addressed to the county secretary claiming he had been summoned by the EACC.

Governor Ali Korane has frequently accused social media users of trying to discredit his administration.



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