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Rampant Corruption in the Prime Minister's Office

By Ahmed Yusuf Ahmed

PM Ali Mohamed Gedi "There is no authority of any kind to audit the books of  this government"

George Bernard Shaw once said "Power does not corrupt men. Fools, however, if they get into a position of power, corrupt power".

 In this short article we are dealing with the worst of all fools; those who siphon, steal and loot public funds destined for the weak, the sick, the orphans, and those stricken with famine and dying of malnutrition - money and food aid that was donated to the government to help alleviate the hardships that befell on the Somali people.

Corruption and misappropriation of public funds is rampant and a major problem in the office of the Ethiopian hand picked Prime minister of Somalia, Ali Mohamed Gedi. Reliable sources close to the TFG state funds donated to TFG for nation building, infrastructure restoration and to help the poor and displaced are siphoned for personal gains without proper permission or paper trail. The sources point the finger directly at the prime minister and his close ally (Juriile) for misappropriating public funds donated to Somalia from international donors, forsaking public interest. The problem of corruption with Mr. Gedi is exacerbated by the lack of accountability and scrutiny within the TFG and in particular the Prime minister’s office. There is no authority of any kind in Somalia to audit the books of government institutions or officials. This systemic corruption and total absence of any regulatory framework and lack of effective and independent monitoring and auditing authorities have left a vacuum for a corrupt prime minister and his cronies to continue raiding the public treasury with total immunity from prosecution.

This allows Mr. Gedi and others to transfer large sums of scarce funds from international donors for rebuilding a functioning, united government in Somalia. The money is being diverted to several different overseas bank accounts. It is widely circulated that one of the main reasons that Meles Zenawi strongly supports Mr. Gedi is that he is being used to funnel money out of Somalia and into fictitious projects and corporations abroad. The tyrant and illusive prime minister of Ethiopia is said to be conspiring with Gedi in stealing and transferring millions of donated dollars to Ethiopia and other foreign countries. Meles Zenawi feels save so long as he can convince the U.S. that he is fighting their fight against Islamic terrorists in southern Somalia.

These corruptions and wasteful misuse of public funds is a social malaise that will permeate and cripple any chance of legitimacy and integrity for the TFG in the public eyes. Inimical as it is though, Gedi seems to have no fear of answering to any authority. After all, the moment he senses a danger within his own administration or even the president, he can always call on his close friend and partner in crime Meles Zenawi who would dutifully dispatch a strong military re-enforcement or his mouth piece and foreign minister Seyom Mesfin who would remind any "would be spoilers" who the real master really is.

The international community must not finance a corrupted and an unaccountable regime which is not interest in good governance and lack basic checks and balances; a corrupted administration that misappropriates donor aid as soon as it receives, to a mysterious black-hole accounts (and fictitious projects) that never gets filled.

Since its inception, the TFG has done nothing to justify the disbursements of large sums of funds. Members of the parliament and the cabinet of the prime minister are not regularly or fairly paid. No government institution or ministry is fully functioning. The government does not even have a website or an agenda after two and half years. Nothing has been accomplished. No public works, such building or repairing roads, or other infrastructure is being started. So where did the prime minister spend all these money that cannot be accounted for? Unfortunately, no one knows or will ever know as there is no paper trail of any sort other than what his close associates who are disillusioned with his agenda share with the public. Unfortunately, Somalia and Somalis are suffering at the expense of Gedi and that of his handler and crime partner, Meles Zenawi. This is what the TFG got when they relinquished authority and, entrusted national interest to agents of Somalia’s arch-enemy.

President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed "Has no vision beyond whatever the current problem is for that day"

Ironically, many have said Abdullahi Yusuf does not steal or loot public funds but his behavior is what creates people to steal in the first place, for example, it is common knowledge that Abdullahi might not take or siphon money but he will give away and authorize others to do just that to silence any criticism against his regime. Sources close to the TFG report that Abdullahi Yusuf has recently authorized the transfer of government owned parcels/buildings in Galkaio and other Puntland cities to supporters of his election campaign.

This behavior created the most corrupted administration the planet has ever seen.

Abdullahi Yusuf misappropriates his part on both foes and friends to secure support and silence dissent and criticism. The secret of getting rich quick in Somalia today is to be a member of or a critic to Abdullahi Yusuf administration. He is a renegade former deserter who is in perpetual self-destruction. A good example of this is his recent support for the breaking up of Puntland into two different and autonomous regions; this in an effort to weaken the Islamic courts. Doesn’t he realize that the more Somalia is fragmented the harder it would be to bring it back together? Does he want to be a president of a united Somalia or is he only interested to be the president of the "Republic of Baidoa."

The problem with Abdullahi Yusuf is he has no vision beyond whatever the current problem is for that day. He takes the path of least resistance which is mostly the path of destruction, division and perpetual conflict. He does not care about a nation building, good governance, compromise, unity, peace and stability or anything else of good for that matter. His only aim in life is to be called "The President". If he gets that, he doesn’t care who else does what? He is delusional psychopath, depressed, stubborn, adamant dictator who does not have a plan beyond today - not for himself, not for the nation.

Abdullahi Yusuf thinks he is immortal with a new lease in life because of the liver (albeit young one) transplant in London years ago. Little does he know, his so called "Ethiopian" friends are laughing the laugh of a hyena knowing a victim is about to die. They are waiting for his death so their trained little dog (Ali M. Gedi) who happens to have learned a lot from Meles Zenawi would take full control of Somalia.

Interestingly enough, the only other entity that is more corrupted than the Somali government is the U.N., especially branches that operate from Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia. No wonder the United States insists on overhauling the whole U.N. People with insight to how the U.N. operates in Somalia acknowledge that every hundred dollars spent on humanitarian activities, another three hundred dollars goes to corrupted U.N. officials. This is one of the reasons why the U.N. does not hire qualified Somalis to do work in Somalia. Instead they hire Ethiopians, Kenyans and others who have no interest in insuring help gets to where it is needed the most.

What can be done to stop the stealing of public funds?

1- Recognize the existence of corruption in the current government: It is clear that the current administration is not admitting any wrong doings; there must be an independent legal entity and a capable parliament that can tackle the problem. There must be an entity that has the will and means to punish the illegal raids in the public treasury. Corrupted officials are not going to stop doing what they are doing until there is such a system that will make them fear the consequences of their acts.

2 - Every government official must go through a process of accounting for what personal properties, bank accounts, and businesses that he or she holds. They must not be able to increase their asset during their term in the public office. After their term has ended they must go through the same system of checks and balances to make sure they have not violated any laws. Anyone, who violates the law must be punished accordingly. The punishment must result two outcomes: first to deter any public official to try to steal from the public for fear of long prison terms or their hands being cut off. Second, the punishment must make sure they return the properties they have stolen.

3 - There must be an accounting or auditing office that comes under an independent court that is outside of the control and manipulation of government branches.

4 - There must be a limit to the term an official serves in an elected or appointed government office. A good term limit might be a maximum of 6 years.

5 - There must be well organized, well paid and well equipped institution that can stand for the collection and accounting of the taxes, the "zakaatul Maal" and all other collection of government fees such as the customs and banking.

Finally, we must have a democratic government that has been elected in fair and free elections where all power is derived from the people and those entrusted with it could be disposed of when public trust, confidence and support is lost

The government needs to set clear benchmarks for progress on democratization, human rights, and fiscal transparency. The TFG government should disclose all revenues received from donors and submit to independent audits all payments and receipts. The public must have access to all non-classified government documents.

We must also create different branches of governments (executive, legislative and judicial) and delegate all non federal authorities to state and local governments so that neither the federal nor the local governments would have all the power.

With the implementation of the above, hopefully we would minimize the staggering problems that face both the government and the people of Somalia. We must all realize that we cannot run a government for long with an iron fist, especially when that iron fist is from a foreign dictator who is a sworn enemy of our beloved nation of Somalia.

Ahmed Yusuf Ahmed
E-mail: [email protected]

The opinions contained in this article are solely those of the writer, and in no way, form or shape represent the editorial opinions of "Hiiraan Online"

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