Thursday, November 2, 2017

Somaliland’s Wholesale Looting of the Public Properties

By: Kafue Mingda  (TELSUR)- Somaliland is a lab for atypical forms of corruption, from political corruption to ballot rigging.

A court in Paris sentenced the son of Equatorial Guinea’s president to the three years for his insane amassing of the national wealth of his oil-rich country and other ill-gotten gains.

This story reminded me of the impunity of Somaliland elites’ with British citizenship committing the heinous crimes of corruption in Somaliland by buying mansions in the U.K. Mohamoud Hashi admitted to having deposited a million dollars in a Dubai account to U.K. Customs.

The unlimited printing of Somaliland's currency and the outflow of millions of dollars has led to hyperinflation and the dollar to become a rare gem. Somaliland suffers shortage of hard currency and the shilling is worthless, losing its value by the hour.

The ruling Kulmiye party will print billions of Shillings as the ferocious presidential election looms in order to defeat democracy and influence hungry voters with financial incentives. The party introduced political corruption of unprecedented scale in the “ Food for Voting Cards” scheme - a systematic process in the slums in-pro-opposition Wadani quarters accross Somaliland where voting cards are exchanged for meals, wine, or sometimes cash, then destroyed.

“It’s a coup against democracy” said a senior foreign diplomat in Hargaysa. Photos of the collected cards dominate the social media.
Democracy in Somaliland has never being the same since forces of corruption came together to suck out the bone marrow of the poor masses, according to Dr. Gregory R. Copley. For instance, the capital Hargaysa’s water supply expansion is funded with US$153.5. Yet, 40 percent of the capital's dwellers lack water leading them to spend one-third of their daily household incomes on water. Somaliland’s claim of state viability, accountability, and transparency - not to mention effective democracy and the rule of law - is blurred.

A country has huge oil revenues then it abuses its distribution of the wealth, but Somaliland national budget is less than US$300 million yet corruption was institutionalized so that ministers drink the children’s milk and eat the money intended for diapers and napkins by overtaxing the poor masses.

To break up the varying amounts of the donors, I listed facts and figures:

The UAE grants totaling US$30 million to the capital's water system upgrading

The EU gave US$27.5 million to the same projects and before that, the EU also donated US$64

Germany’s granted US$23 and pledged US$15M

Somaliland Beverage Industries of Ahmed Osman Ghueleh’s business empire gave US$5

World Bank pledged US$6

The Somaliland Development Funds SDF, a kind of state charity organization received US$10.5 to combat water shortages in the capital alone, but this ended up in certain pockets.

These aggregate sum is US$153.5 million received from donor countries, but this is unaccounted for.

Who’s to blame? The ruling party Kulmiye, who despite constant inaugurating of nominal offices of anti-corruption. auction off public properties to tycoons and war profiteers.

Somaliland is a lab for atypical forms of corruption, from political corruption to ballot rigging.

The following is a list of this type of corruption as far as investigative journalists and whistleblowers are concerned:

The sale of Hargaysa state owned utilities

Berbera seaport town state electricity firm is sold leaving many poor households without light

Sale of Netfish, Berbera’s largest public freezer funded with World Bank money of US$25 for fishermen to keep their fishes until they get a market for their products

Anchorage of Berbera auctioned off

State police accommodations for families was sold, displacing families of law enforcement staff

The sale of the public offices like the Aviation Ministry compound

The Sale of the Women’s Club building

The sale of the Gandhi Public Library

The sale of Sir Issaac Reec School (or locally Riis) built by the British administration before independence

The sale of Hargaysa public maternity “Xanaanada”

The sale State bazaar enclosure of Suuqa October

Leasing mountains full of minerals - a national asset - to Arabian prince's to mine in return for nothing (Mountains of Simoda, Gacan Libax, and many others rich minerals could bail out generations to come, but now Somalilanders will only inherit environmental disaster. Rural folk drink toxic water and inhale poisonous gasses. Chinese firms loot rare gems and fly back to China with bagful of priceless gemstones)

Tycoons, in partnership with ministers in profit-sharing enterprises, scrap and export vehicles such as destroyed tanks during the civil war and other trucks

State vehicles can be given to anybody provided that they are yes-men to the First Family

Issuing driving licenses to untrained drivers

Berbera oil state storage became a public company with ministers of becoming stockholders, leaving private oil importers without any storage facilities

Berbera Seaport leased to DP world, Dubai firm, without the parliament’s approval and the money paid in advance neither disclosed nor added to the national budget

Berbera military airport built by ex-Soviet - the longest runway in the continent - is leased to the UAE military for an unstated amouny in the millions of dollars (The deposits were not disclosed to the parliament or the local media)

The sale of barracks of Sudanta, Birjeex and Traffic Police Headquarters

Sale of the slaughterhouse

The sale of the state real estate of the downtown Burco

The sale of the graveyards of national hero in Hargaysa, known as “Danjirka”

The auction of National Museum is recently

Mosques have narrowly escaped sale, but their parking already have gone

The ex-Ghandi libray and Sheikh Bashir High School are the warehouse of toxic foodstuffs, since the voters are poisoned with greedy tribalism. Yet no one has threatened to boycott the firms taking over the public buildings.

The opposition Wadani presidential candidate’s mansion was stormed by terror cells allegedly orchestrated by Muse Bihi Abdi and his supporters. Following a series of fiascoes, every poll taken has indicated that the opposition Wadani party leader will mostly likely to win the presidency.