Populism at its best: Mogadishu Governor’s ludicrous idea sparked outrage and created a springboard for corruption. Yusuf Hussein Jimaale “Madale”, the current and former Mayor of Mogadishu and the Governor of the Banadir region, said Mogadishu fully supports the government in its efforts to liberate the country from the al-Shabaab militants. That wouldn’t be an issue. However, the Governor also suggested a ludicrous way of supporting the nation’s troops.
Mogadishu, SOMALIA. By Dalmar:
The Governor delivered his highly controversial remarks during a Sunday protest in Mogadishu. Apart from expressing support to the Somali National Army (SNA), which recently suffered setbacks in Galgaduud, the Governor added that Banadir administration employees would donate their September salaries to the army.
“I promise you that the salaries of the employees of Banadir Regional Administration (BRA) this month will be donated to the armed forces fighting against the Khawarij [a derogative term the Somali government officials often use when referring to al-Shabaab],” Governor Jimaale said.
A springboard for corruption
The Sunday protest in Mogadishu indeed supported the national army, which desperately needed a boost of morale in their fight against al-Shabaab. However, the Governor’s statement on donating salaries must have unpleasantly surprised Mogadishu residents. Mr Jimaale not only decided to donate his own salary, which would undoubtedly be a nice symbolic gesture, but also the wages of hundreds of municipality workers. Of course, this happened without their consent.
Such decisions create a breeding ground for corruption, as the employees will inevitably look for alternative sources of income in replacement for their September salary. Should some of them resort to corruption, it will eventually be the general public who will suffer and pay for the Governor’s populist gesture.
Seemingly assisting one national entity (the SNA) at the cost of another one (BRA employees) while showing off in front of the whole nation is an act of sheer populism. The Governor should retract his statement and make this contribution optional for the employees. That way, the workers could decide on their own whether to contribute to this admirable cause without the risk of creating a springboard for corruption.