by Dahir Salad Hassan
Tuesday July 4, 2023
Waging a well-thought out and systematic war on
corruption is paradigm-shift that would lead
to efficient, effective and
result-oriented public sector management as well as institutional check and
balance. Somalia’s current government is on the right track to increase
political accountability and retrace and re-claim the democratic values which
we championed the African continent as being a young, unified, an independent
country in the sixties (60).
Our own history admits that democracy not only ensures
good and accountable government institutions with checks and balances, but also
empowers the citizens to participate and hold their government accountable. Our
forefathers fought for the liberation of the country from European colonial
rulers, therefore, it us, our generation that must stand up and liberate the
country from the extremist ideology and corruption.
Corruption is a dangerous epidemic that has a wide
range of destructive effects on our society. It sidetracks funds intended for
development, undermines the ability of governments to provide basic services,
breast-feeds inequalities and injustices, while discouraging the trust to
invest in the country's many resources such as oil, gas, blue-economy, large,
divergent livestock, Unfortunately, these are resources that would eventually
generate hard currency and will allow us to make better life decisions without
being overly stressed about the financial fallout for the country and allow us
to make better development decisions.
The significance of impairments and risks posed by
corruption to the stability and security of Somalia gets to the point where it
is the main factor that has weakened our government institutions for long time.
Enough is enough, corruption is the number one issue
that triggers destruction of our moral values, justice and it endangers the
stability of the system of governance and development. We need to look deeply
at the connections and linkages between corruption and other forms of terrorism
and organized crime, including money- laundering
The current Somali government has been paying
increased attention to corruption and how to control it. For one thing, we all
realize that corruption has very high costs for our society in particular since
we are emerging from conflict. Corruption keeps the country in a cycle of weak
governance, constant threat to fall back to conflict, and violence from armed
groups and criminal networks like Al-Shabab. When money and resources that are
available to the government are diverted by corrupt officials, instead of being
channeled for the benefit of citizens and social protection services, it ruins
all prospects of economic development. This, in turn, can create further
instability and violence. Therefore, corruption, governance, and conflict are
Somalia is facing multifaceted setbacks which include,
infestation of global terrorism in the country, as well as drought and famine
where thousands of people die every year. Following this, there’s the rainy
season, which comes with heavy floods which wreak havoc to communities. To
break this cycle crisis and disaster, we must fight corruption.
The private gain obtained by corrupt public officials,
who have been entrusted with guiding and implementing public policy and
service, is at the expense of both the common good and of those who don’t cheat
the system. In this sense, corruption is widely viewed as an immoral practice
and must be dealt with severe punishment and long jail terms.
“ Where and how did you obtain this” must get to the
ears of corrupt officials and every government institution must be assessed and
audited. Corruption creates a system where money and connection determine who
has access to public services and who receives favorable treatment. These
practices have particular consequences in countries, like ours, emerging from
conflict. Money collected through taxes and needed for development of public
services, like roads, utilities, education, health care for all, and
transportation, are diverted by greed and desire to survive and get ahead
Another public cost is that corruption is linked to
the development of organized crime, including the involvement of criminals in
money laundering and trafficking people and drugs.
Less known is the fact that Al-Shabab terrorist,
for-example, are involved in drug trafficking and extortion of business, but
also they are deeply involved in the illegal arms trafficking in the region.
Finally, corruption has links to conflict. Certainly,
thirty years of conflict takes its toll on
the government and people of Somalia, nevertheless, it’s rewarding that
president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud declared a war to be waged against corruption.
The success of this war will not only lead us to a rapid development and
progress in Somalia, but it will pave the way that international organizations,
such as INGO's and local NGO’s are also
held accountable, with rigorous auditing and assessment of the whereabouts of billions of dollars these
organizations received in the name of Somalia. With that, I am certain, the
cycle of corruption, conflict, crises and disasters will be weakened to the
margins of decline.
Corruption undermines the ability of the federal
government of Somali to achieve the set goals and priorities for stabilization,
good governance and development of the public services. It will also pave the
way in allowing the public to trust and have confidence in governing
parliament, very specifically the upper-house, should attain the task to adapt
laws that support the campaign against corruption. They should also hold the
heads of federal member states accountable in their institutions and make them
clean up corrupt individuals, powerful and competing groups, and networks of
elites who have a mutual stake in corruption in the federal member states. This
will exponentially increase the good will and the trust of the Somali people.
Dahir Salad Hassan