Somalia government starts crackdown to recover looted property

The Federal Government of Somalia has embarked on a crackdown to recover all the government property looted since the country sank in to anarchy in 1991.

An 11- member team appointed by the Prime minister Hassan Ali Kheire has been tasked with the assignment that is likely to rub former powerful individuals in the current  past regimes the wrong way. As a cautionary measure, the government has also banned the sale of state land, transferring government vehicles and rent of government lands.

“The Committee has been established in accordance with the articles 99 and 100 of the constitution of the federal government and in accordance with the orders and recommendations of the President of the FGS”, reads a statement released by the office of the PM.

The team is expected to swing in to action immediately, is empowered to assume all the properties of the ministries, subordinate agencies and independent constitutional bodies.

In a press statement released from the office of the PM said that in accordance with article 99 and Article 100 of the Constitution of the federal government and also in accordance with the orders and recommendations the president of the FGS already gave out to save the national property owned by the Somali federal government before 1991.

The committee named by the prime minister includes eight ministers, the mayor of Mogadishu, the Auditor General and the Attorney general of the federal government of Somalia.

The team is expected to document all government lands and vehicles in private hands.

Leaders within the government ranks have been under the spotlight for misappropriating public resources.  The Ministry of Finance was sounded out for failure to account for more than $42M .

The government hopes that the successful recovery of the property in private hands would help the government deliver some of the essential services on the face of scarce resources.

But critics fear that the move could target government critics and opposition figures. In 1969, a similar operation was launched by the then military government which saw political opponents killed or jailed and their property confiscated under the guise of fighting graft.