As bribery to councillors dries the Burao local government coffers and land grabbing institutionalized
By: Yusuf M Hasan
Somalilandsun- “The Burao local council is running on borrowed time and provision of public services might cease anytime”
Says Feisal an employee of the municipality while informing that the mayor and his deputy have within this year alone borrowed over a billion Somaliland shillings (6500 sl shs=1USD) not to mention figures carried forward from last year.
According to the employee who requested anonymity for fear of repercussions revealed that this week alone Mayor Mohamed Yusuf Abdi “Murad” and his deputy collected an sl.shs 300 millions as a soft loan from the Central Bank Togdeer regional branch in Burao.
While no clear arrangements for repayment are in place this figure is in addition to other batches of 400 and 700m amount the bank has loaned Burao municipality within 2014.
“Despite daily collection of taxes from residents of Burao the second capital of Somaliland the municipality coffers are dry” says Feisal
The empty coffers are said t relate to a planned motion of no confidence with Mayor Murad and his deputy to be tabled during a full council meeting by some councilors who claim dubious activities at the mayor’s parlour.
“Mayor Murad is not only using daily fees collected by the council but the loans from the Central bank to bribe the councilors opposed to him thence kill their no confidence motion.
On the other hand, the prevailing massive acquisition of public land for personal use is so rampant that if unchecked it will be discerned that land grabbing is legal within Burao municipal council.
The manner in which Mayor Murad is managing his council if unchecked might lead to some discerning or surmise that he Murad and other mayors in the country have carte blanche authority to bring down their councils.
While this is just a tip of the iceberg on what is happening within the Somaliland local governments, one will not wondering about the usefulness of the Joint Program for Local Governance-JPLG funded by UNDP presumably to facilitate decentralizing of services through learned operatives both elected and professional.