Somalia has been without an effective government institutions for the last two and half decades. The international community has invested heavily in security, good governance and humanitarian aid to support the peace process and recovery of the country. Though there has been progress in the political landscape there are still concerns in the security sector as well as good governance practices. The situation in Somalia is further exacerbated by credible reports of wide spread corruption, mismanagement and embezzlement of public funds.
A current report by the United Nations Security Council’s Monitoring Group on Somalia has made a staggering account that Sheikh Sharif and his government misappropriated funds and mismanaged revenue from key government institutions such as Mogadishu port, airport and the office of immigration and neutralization that deals with the issuing of the Somali passport. Shockingly, the report states that a senior member of Al-Shabab and a known-pirate leader have received diplomatic passports with the full knowledge of senior TFG officials. This comprehensive report has also mentioned a wide spread corruption, mismanagement and theft of resources from the speaker of the parliament Sharif Hassan, The prime Minister Abdiweli Ali Gaas, Former Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo and Puntland President Farole.
The report has confirmed widely-held popular beliefs of prevalent corruption in the Somali government and the public has welcomed the report. However, what has been a surprise is to see the name of the famous former Prime Minister Abdullahi Farmajo in the report. The report indicated that he misappropriated $3.5 million out of 10 million US dollars received from the UAE.
Furthermore, an anonymous source says that PM Farmaajo was aware of the widespread corruption of the Mogadishu port, airport, immigration and the costly excessive travelling of senior TFG officials including his office. There is a growing camp of sceptics of his diplomatic skills in how he dealt with the UN and international donor countries. Compounding the accusation of the missing US$ 3.5 million during his short rule is the widely-held belief that he had received $2 million from the president Sh. Sharif to resign from office. The latter has not been confirmed.
In conclusion, the public was aware of and suspicious of the President’s and the Speaker of the parliament’s money laundering and misappropriation of government resources. Nevertheless, to find Farmajo in this report was a shock but not a surprise considering the political climate of corruption, mismanagement of funds and plain theft of resources. The public deserves the truth and it received some measure of it in the report, however, more investigation needs to be done to create a culture of good governance and trust in authority.