August 15, 2012 ·22 Comments
HARGEISA — Members of Somaliland’s parliament have accused the minister of mining, energy and water resources of unfairness in water projects in drought stricken regions.
14 MPs this week held a news conference in Hargeisa to voice against what they said was tribal favoritism and nepotism by minister Hussein Abdi Duaale.
They claimed the juiciest water projects granted by donors such as the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait went to districts and towns dominated by the minister’s tribe.
“The UAE funded the drilling of 6 wells in Togdher, the minister ordered all to be drilled in the east, where his kinsmen inhabit,” they said.
They stated the minister has been quietly charting the nation’s water system and sources development.
“The Kingdom of Kuwait sponsored the drilling of 16 wells, 9 of this went to the minister’s kinsmen while he decided to divide the remainder,” they said in a press statement.
They also accused him of misappropriating water systems granted by UNICEF to Somaliland communities. The lawmakers urged President Ahmed Silanyo to strike and sack the minister in order to restore public confidence.
The minister today (Wednesday) reacted swiftly to the mounting criticism and rebutted point-by-point the accusations. In a speech titled ‘national interest is worthy over self interest’, the minister denied the allegations leveled against him.
He said certain public figures with self interest were spoiling the communities and misleading the country. The minister listed all granted water projects and their distribution in various regions.
Mr. Duale explained how a deal between his ministry and a private firm, Al Nafura, went sour after the company failed to abide by the terms and conditions of the agreement.
The deal involved the installing of water pipes to 250 homes as part of an experiment but the minister claims, Al Nafura doubled that number. He said the ministry ordered them to halt the activities. The situation later snowballed into violent conformations, in which the manager of Al Nafura tried to run over the manager of Burao’s water agency with a bulldozer and dismantle the pipelines.
He stressed that after the deal collapsed the firm enlisted “a small number” of MPs who are “same tribe as the manager of Al Nafura” to insult the ministry. He said it was a shame that people were putting self interest before national interest.
“From the press statement by the MPs, it is clear the minister has never instigated violence among the two communities. It is clear it has more to do with the manager of Al Nafura,” he said in the statement.
This is not the first time members of President Silanyo’s cabinet and administration has been accused of favoritism and nepotism. It was just months ago when the minister of aviation awarded construction project to a non-construction company affiliated with the President’s family.
The current government is dominated by the President’s clan and there is an increasing anger about this imbalance in power sharing.
August 15, 2012Follow @somalilandpress
By Hassan Ali