By: Yusuf M Hasan
GAROWE (Somalilandsun) – “As from today henceforth am no longer a member of the Puntland council of ministers”
This resignation was announced during a press briefing in Garowe by the Puntland minister of Justice Ismail Mohamed Warsame while revealing that prolonged lack of salary payments to the prison service staff had precipitated the departure from the president Abdiweli Gas government.
The Somalia Federal Government administrative region of Puntland has since Abdiweli Gas ascension to office a year and half ago been unable to service its expenditure especially payment of the armed forces and civil servants.
Stating that he has for long been at loggerheads with President Gas over missing public funds an angry Justice said that the non-payment of the custodial corps (prison service) that falls under his docket was the Abdiweli load that broke his, Ismail, camel’s back thence the immediate resignation.
“How can I lead hungry and disgruntled officers while president Gas and his deputy are squabbling over % of stolen public funds and appointments of cahoots to public offices” said Minister Ismail Mohamed Warsame
Meanwhile garoweonline reports that the resignation of the justice minister comes in the run-up to a cabinet reshuffle expected soon that has spawned controversy between the President and his Vice President Abdihakin Abdullahi Haji Omar.
The imminent strike by prison service staffers is not unique in a Puntland civil service that has seen numerous such i.e. the one in mid-2014 when electricity shortage put pirate complex and one of the largest prison facilities in the horn of Africa on the verge of closure.
And while the Armed forces has seen numerous Defections and strikes over unpaid salaries since early 2014 the worst to happen under Gas leadership was On December 20 last year when Puntland courts staff went on strike on account of pays withheld by the government.
Puntland seems to have inherited these anomalies over NON- salary payments from its parent The Somalia Federal Government which despite injection of massive amounts in budget subsidies from international donors has for the past four months not paid its employees.