Somali Group Writes IMF Managing Director, Exposes Corruption
Dear Kristalina Georgieva,
As a group of Somali individuals who works to expose and fight corruption, we have witnessed firsthand the detrimental effects of state looting by unscrupulous politicians and officials. We just want to inform the IMF that our former President Mahamed Abdullahi (Farmaajo) did a rapid improvement in the country for the last five years. The Somali economy appears set for a robust recovery in part due to active government interventions. President Mahamed Abdullahi Farmaajo with the help of his Minister of Finance Abdirahaman Duale Beileh they have addressed the country’s long-term needs—including building toward sustainable and inclusive growth.
The recent news coming out shows-Somalia's outgoing Minister of Finance Abdirahman Duale Beileh is summoned by the office of the attorney general, particularly the Financial and Economic Crimes Unit on Monday, June 27, according to a letter dated June 25. Clearly this is to sabotage Somalia’s economic program supported by an Extended Credit Facility (ECF) and we want IMF to closely monitor this situation.
The new elected President Hassan Sheikh has flouted all kinds of norms in (2017) starting with his decision not to divest from his business interests while in office. That set the stage for an administration marked by self-interest, profiteering at the highest levels and more than 1000s of conflicts of interest. An example ( Maryland lawyer was charged in an 11-count indictment for his alleged role in a scheme to fraudulently obtain control of more than $12.5 million that was held by financial institutions on behalf of the President Hassan Sheikh's government, to improperly take part of those funds for fees and expenses, and to launder a portion of those funds to accounts for the benefit of his co-conspirators) There are likely hundreds, perhaps even thousands more conflicts that we have no way of knowing about. Four years and more than 1000s of conflicts of interest later, there is absolutely no doubt that President Hassan Sheikh tried at every turn to use the presidency to benefit his bottom line.
This hinders development in some of the poorest countries in the world by depriving governments of revenues desperately needed to combat poverty.
State capture and corruption has had a clear impact on the people of this country. The consequences of the looting have been dire and have undoubtedly contributed to deepening inequality, poverty and unemployment and extends beyond a financial loss. The capacity of the state has been severely eroded; and Human rights, such as health care, social security, the public transport system and basic education, to name only a few, have been compromised by the actions of corrupt individuals and powerful corporations.
The struggle against corruption and the rebuilding of our institutions, cannot only be left to people in power. The people of Somalia should also play their part in holding those in power to account. Somalia's struggle for social justice and human rights will not be realised if those who loot with impunity in the public and private sector remain unaccountable.
To the political elites who write ruminating columns and use the loud hailers of social media to fuel the fires of hate, violence and division for political machinations we say: no single political organisation can claim ownership of “speaking for the people”. That voice belongs to each and every one of us – the people of Somalia. The Somali general public are peeling back the layers of secrecy and exposing the extent of the rot in our systems of governance, is vital for the future of this country. This work is contributing to the growing knowledge of what needs to change in order for the country to move forward and for our democracy to be strengthened. There are many people that remain in key positions of power who have been implicated in serious corruption and malfeasance.
We have elected leaders and bestowed on them the responsibility to govern, to enable us to achieve a better life for all – not themselves. We, as people of Somalia, have a right to know in whose interests’ decisions – supposedly in "our” name – were and continue to be made.
The culture of secrecy and impunity must come to an end if our democracy is to thrive. Transparency and accountability are non-negotiable, as too are the requirements for transformative actions to address the injustices that remain embedded in our social, economic and political systems.
We, the undersigned, support/endorse this open letter to raise our voices in solidarity against corruption and impunity, and to say now is the time for us to be heard. We want IMF to be more transparent to listen to Somali people. The realities of the current moment cannot be met with silence and complacency.
The People of Somalia