The magnitude of fraud and the public fund’s misappropriation reported from the Somali regional administration is very worrisome as it’s already denting the good image of the nascent administration and continue to destroy trust and hope of the public towards the regional government.

Although, peace and stability of the region have relatively improved and freedom of speech is striking at a new record; interestingly, for the first time, the public of Jigjiga are openly criticising the government and the rampant corruptions in the regional institutions.

In fact, corruption is an extended malignant norm inherited from the previous administration, yet no one could talk about it as security and human right abuses superseded the good governance and systemic corruption at the time.

Conversely, today, in the cafeteria and in every public gathering, the people of Somali region have the gut to talk about the proliferating and systemic corruption affecting the regional developmental bureau offices such as Finance, PCDP, Water, Health, Education Agriculture, and Pastoralist and Livestock, among others. 

According to the locals in the region, Corruption has significantly increased and thereby affecting in all the public contracting, bidding, and procurement processes of the different regional bureaus and even influencing the appointment of some key government positions.

Recently, SR News exposes 15 million stolen from PCDP office, nevertheless, to date, the government has not taken appropriate measures against those involved in the grand scale looting of the public resources. 

Corruption in the public sector has and always will continue to be a thorn in the side of any administration unless the new regional government strongly put in place countermeasures to control the systemic corruption impeding the government institution and deter the service delivery that later could undermine the regional authority credibility.

We do understand the region is gradually recovering from the calamities of the last 10 years, however, as we write this piece, corruption is the single greatest threat to the new regional administration as its obstacle to good governance, economic recovery and social development of the region and thus lead to weak governance, which in turn can fuel organized criminal networks and promote tribal conflicts, escalates intra-regional conflicts, enhance trafficking of arms and drug smuggling, counterfeiting and the trade in endangered species.

As a result, corruption affects everyone and can lead to:

  1. Less prosperity: Corruption stifles economic growth, undermines the rule of law, and squanders talent and precious resources. Where corruption is rife, huminterian, developmental organization and investment companies are reluctant to invest or avoid doing business with the region as corruption also weakens safety and security structures such as the police services.
  2. Less respect for rights: Corruption undermines democracy, good governance, and human rights by weakening State institutions that are the basis for fair and equitable societies as it harms the democratic process and justice is challenged when criminals are able to bribe their way out of trouble. Indigenous peoples and women are particularly vulnerable to corruption. Given their geographic and social exclusion, and lack of access to legal protection available to other members of society, their economic, social and cultural rights are threatened by corruption.
  3. Less provision of services: Corruption diverts funds intended to provide essential services in the region such as health care, education, clean water, sanitation, roads, and housing. When officials are corrupt, this represents a major hindrance to a Government’s ability to meet the basic needs of its citizens.
  4. Less employment: When jobs are given not on merit but through nepotism, opportunities are denied. Often for the poor, women and minorities, corruption means even less access to jobs.

In view of the above, Preventing and combating corruption requires a comprehensive approach, but only in a climate of transparency, accountability and participation by all members of society  including the Governments, the private sector, the media, civil society organizations and the general public need to work together to curb this crime.

Thus, SR news as independent media in the region, we’ll scale up our reportage on corruption and continue to provide checks and balances on Government and private sector involvement in corrupt practices until the regional authority and the federal government give the necessary attention needed to curb the negative effects of corruption on socio-economic transformation, good governance, and basic service delivery of the region and the nation at large.  

We‘ll increase our coverage of awearness raising, shaping public opinions on the menace of corruption and the positive progress being made in the fight against corruption.