Somaliland: PAC Scandal Probe Backfires, Draws More Blood

Somaliland House of Representatives’ (Lower Parliament House) Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman, MP Nassir Ali Shire, spoke to the media again, insisting that his report was correct.

The MP insisted that there was a clear collusion between ex-Minister Ali Mohamed Hassan ‘Ali Marreexaan” and Al Baraka Construction, especially in the ‘failed’ construction of Burao Central Penitentiary.

“The documents we have, the payments made, the testimonies of Ministry of Justice officials all implicate Al Baraka Construction and the Ex-Minister,” MP Nassir argued.

Following up on MP Nassir’s hitherto much-faulted faulted expose’, Ex-Minister Ali, Al Baraka Construction Co., and a number of other notables mentioned in the PAC report went to the House of representatives to point out the glaring errors in the report. For one, they pointed out that the report did nothing to illuminate salient points in the 2016 government budget discussed. The activities mentioned in the report were undertaken in 2017, and that budget was not under deliberation. Secondly, it was pointed out that companies named in the scandal probe had no connection with the activities they were associated with.

READ ALSO: Somaliland: Parliament’s PAC Blows Whistle On Government Corruption, Uncovers Embezzlement Trails

As a result of above, MP Abdulkadir, speaking on behalf of the House, apologized for the mistakes, and said, such colossal errors should not have been presented in parliament and on camera.

As PAC is not mandated to act in lieu of the Auditor General’s office, its role as a watchdog may be impaired by the heated scandal it had created which raise a number of questions among the public. People have started asking if there was, indeed, a personal vendetta in the making here since, to mention but one, the PAC Chairman is clearly – and unfairly – targeting Ex-Minister Ali Marreexaan and activities of the Public Works ministry he headed, so single-mindedly.

Another disturbing observation made of MP Nassir’s heated but channelled pursuit questions why the MP vehemently defends (see below) his older brother, Dr. Saad Ali Shire, Somaliland Foreign Minister, who was, himself, accused of few skeletons on the cupboard, and not lump him along with other members of the former government he is so critical of.

The more cynical among political analysts even surmise a radical situation which states that, definitely, there was a political motive behind MP Nassir’s targeted probe. They say, Ex-Minister Ali, who had been an ardent, very influential figure during the incumbent President’s campaign rallies in the Eastern regions, had been promised a ministerial place at the first major reshuffle to the current roster of ministers, which is expected to happen at any day now. The ongoing character-assassination is nothing short of a ploy to justify another jilted promise.

“The President, or his close aides, may be behind the finger-pointing to disqualify him for a ministerial consideration,” some argue.

Whatever the case is, the PAC probe is seen widely as neither fair nor useful to President Musa Bihi’s political juggling at this juncture of time.

What is inevitable, however, is a file suit or file suits that individuals and companies named in MP Nassir’s report open at the courts as plaintiffs to clear their names. MP Nassir must, then, come up with more than conjectured conclusions to steer clear of a possible divestiture of position.