In the run up to this year’s elections, Somalia’s government has warned its officials against stealing public money by taking advantage of the crucial transition period the country would have to go through.
The horn of Africa nation is set to have a new president by September that will mark the end of the four years mandate of the current central government.
“Every official has the responsibility to protect national assets, therefore whoever steals it will surely faces consequences.” said Mohamed Omar Arte, Somalia’s deputy prime minister.
Despite public complaints of corruption and unaccountable public services, Mr. Arte had also warned that the government would hold corrupt officials accountable.
“The corruption culture must come to an end.” He said at a press conference in Mogadishu on Tuesday.
Although, Somalia’s current government has shown a determination to fight corruption which it said represents a major threat to the country’s stability, no official has so far been charged or removed from public offices for stealing public funds.
On early this year, the government had proposed the establishment an anti-corruption body which would target transparency and accountability in a country which continues to top the world’s most corrupt index every year.
According to a recent report by the United Nations Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea, there have been alarming corruption cases by Somali officials exploiting the country’s weak financial system.
Lack of political will by leaders to fight corruption also plays a major role in the increasing corruption cases in Somalia, according to the group.
Financial analysts say the ‘rampant’ corruption cases in Somalia continue to choke the country’s post-war economic growth which threatens to tarnish the country’s image.