The Somalia national army (SNA) has not paid for the last four months. Not at all.
The Federal government through its ministry of defense justifies the omission by stating that ‘proper registration is underway’.
Opposition members and independent critics, alike, are of the opinion that the incumbent government, led by President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed ‘Farmajo’, and his Prime Minister, Hassan Ali Kheyre, has dismally fallen on its face failing on all its promises to upgrade and properly look after the army as it has failed to stamp out rampant corruption among its ranks.
Observers say a number of major factors contribute to the absence of proper management of army pay among which are:
- The absence of an infallible system to administer army pay on the part of the government;
- The non-existence of a head count that makes it difficult for paymasters to exactly figure out how many have to pay out to;
- The intentional cover-up of correct figures in order to keep salaries to ‘ghost numbers’ flowing in;
- the ever-increasing numbers drafted to the army for losing campaigns against Al Shabaab which, most times, do not reach up to topmost desks for approval;
- The reluctance of semi-literate or illiterate rank and file to open up accounts at Somalia banks which they neither trust nor have the time or the know how to comply with
- Army pay used for other purposes such as for sabotage against the Republic of Somaliland, political infighting against recalcitrant federal states (Southwest, Puntland, Jubaland, etc.), payouts to social media influencers and the ‘independent’ media to garner praise and help government cover up failures, etc.
Due to the absence of pay and the frequent lame excuses, as some term them, units of the SNA had threatened mutiny and mass desertions – a happenstance whose impact may bring the whole, international community-propped government structure down without a moment’s notice.
On the other hand, AMISOM troops who have formed the main backbone of the country’s security have already made their exit strategy known starting with substantial cuts to budgets expended on their operations.
And, critics point out, the two Diaspora-bred, young leaders, are vying with one another counting BPSs (boarding pass stubs) collected from their inordinately frequent fly-outs oblivious of what is happening at the local front.