By Mohamud Uluso
Two recent events
have terribly shattered the hope and trust of many people in the
future of the Transitional
of Somalia (TFG).
First was the
signing of the two-year contract of $55 million on November 25,
2005 in Nairobi, Kenya, between the TFG and a United
States-based company called Top Cat Marine Security Inc. The
suspicious contract allows the company to deal with rising cases
of pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia that have, in the
recent past, caused alarm across the world.
Apart from the
pledge to investigate the root cause of the upsurge of piracy
activities after the formation of the TFG in Nairobi in October
2004, the contract constitutes a major travesty and wrongdoing.
There is no
indication that the Government followed minimum legal standards,
rules and regulations required for awarding such a contract.
As a matter of fact,
the overall security plan for Somalia, including the protection
of the coast, should be presented to and endorsed by the United
Nations Security Council because Somalia has been under UN arms
embargo since 1993.
consensus is that the contract is not valid and should not be
Records from the US
Bankruptcy Court of District of New Jersey indicates that Mr
Peter J Casini, the head of the firm, has been associated with
six failed businesses ventures between 1992 to July 2001.
For those interested,
the reference court case is Mr Peter J Casini debtor/plaintiff V
Timothy Graustein, defendant.
What is more
worrying is the fact that there are no details about the
contents of the contract since the TFG of Somalia is yet to
embrace the constitutional obligations of transparency and
accountability in its operations.
How will the TFG pay
for the contract when it's pleading for foreign aid to help it
function? The Treasury is completely empty and there is no
possibility of collecting revenue in the foreseeable future.
refused to allow the TFG to manage donated funds for lack of
trust. In nutshell, the creditworthiness of TFG is currently
zero. A payment from donor assistance is a long shot.
In addition, many
countries, including the United States of America, do not
recognise the TFG and it cannot enter an enforceable contract on
behalf of the Somali people with an American company.
The second event is
related to the request by the TFG to friendly neighbouring
governments to collect custom duties on all goods exported to
Somalia. This absurd request demonstrates the failure of TFG
leadership to concentrate on gaining popular support and
legitimacy so as to collect tax and other revenues within the
The payment of taxes
established by Parliamentary Acts is a national duty of citizens
when the government is serving the interest and protection of
the general public in the framework of the rule of law. No
foreign government can collect custom duty on behalf of the
The crux of the
matter is that the President should foster dialogue and
reconciliation to build trust and unity among Somali people
after many years of civil strife.
Unity cannot be
achieved through propaganda or meetings with foreign delegations,
intolerance to criticism or culture of rewarding sycophancy.
This is the TFG's main challenge.
• The writer is a
former Governor of the Central Bank of Somalia