Corruption crackdown looms in Somalia

Somalia consistently scores poorly in the Corruption Perceptions Index, a yearly study published by Berlin-based watchdog Transparency International, underscoring the country’s ongoing battle with corruption. Somalia held the regrettable spot at the bottom of the index for 13 years, straight, from 2007 to 2020.

It briefly trailed Syria and Sudan in this dubious distinction in 2021. However, Somalia was once again identified as the most corrupt nation in the world in the 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), with a pitiful score of just 12 out of 100.

In a bid to abate this menace , President Mohamud dissolved the Judicial Service Commission and the Anti-Corruption Commission by executive order in October of last year. He instructed parliament to name new committees, claiming the selection process was against the provisions of the provisional constitution.

He abolished both the Federal Boundaries Commission and the National Independent Elections Commission in November, acting in the same manner. The government recently intensified its anti-corruption efforts by starting to  inspect government offices

The goal is to promote an environment of openness and accountability among government employees.  The absence of strong institutions, widespread corruption within the police and security forces, a lack of regulation, market competition, difficulties with land administration and  with revenue collection are just a few of the long standing problems that contribute to instability and economic stagnation, according to governance experts .

The vile is a threat to the financial support the fragile country receives from international community and state of debt forgiveness  . A crackdown on corruption in the civil service has been ongoing for the last the six months . The exercise has been  partially successful with  litany  of corruption cases been brought to light and a number of civil servants axed and brought before law .

Abdullahi Mohamed Ali, the Director General of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, was taken into custody by Somali police forces on 9th june this year   on suspicion of corruption and misuse  of government property.

Although specific trial dates have not yet been made public, the office of the Attorney General confirmed that Ali would be brought before the court to answer for these allegations.

The Ministry of Internal affairs cleared  the air concerning fate of leadership in Somalia’s  Immigration Agency docket  crackdown on corruption looms in the country. ‘NO CHANGES MADE in the leadership of Somalia Immigration Agency’ the ministry asserted in press release on 21st of June this year .

According the International Crisis Group, much of the official corruption occurs at the port of Mogadishu and the International Airport. The Bertelsmann Foundation also mentions the lack of transparency in the revenues collected at the international port and airport.

Director General Abdiqadir Imi Ali is was said to be on leave although words on the streets had it that director was laid off due to corruption allegations .

Subsequently, the Attorney General  announcing the successful arrest of four revenue officers on 22nd of june  from the Ministry of Finance in Mogadishu.

The officials are accused of corruption and issuing fake tax collection letters .

State media also announced two officials from ministry of Information and one villa Somalia are  in hot water as the attorney general’s office submitted a case against the three today  accusing them of corruption .

Somalia’s Auditor General Ahmed Isse Gutale announced   up to $21 million missing from government coffers, pointing to widespread embezzlement of public funds in the last five years.

The findings of a forensic audit found that the money had been withdrawn from government accounts between March 8, 2018, and April 19.

The Director of the ministry of finance of the Government of Somalia, Muhiyidin Hassan Jurus, has addressed the corruption allegations and government-issued arrest warrant against him for the first time in a public statement.

Speaking to VOA, Muhiyidin refuted claims that he is a fugitive from the federal government, while reports indicate that he has left the capital and returned to his hometown of Gulane in Lower Shabelle.

Muhiyidin categorically denied any involvement in the corruption allegations and stated that his office has been subject to multiple raids. He further stated that the arrest warrant was issued without any involvement from the court or other judicial bodies, while senior officials from the Ministry of Finance have been taken into custody.

The allegations of corruption and the subsequent government-issued arrest warrant have caused a stir in Somalia’s political landscape. Muhiyidin’s statement marks the first public response from the accused, and the situation is likely to evolve as more details emerge.

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