Home » Somalia’s state media websites down amid a war on al-Shabaab ideology

Somalia’s state media websites down amid a war on al-Shabaab ideology

by Mohamed Jibril
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Mogadishu (Horn Life) — As dramatic and greediness for money engulfs Somali federal government key institutions, now the ministry of information has disabled its own state media websites over claims of unpaid subscription dues, sources within the ministry revealed.

The ministry of information of the federal government is among ministries with the higher budget allocation which receives over three million dollars in each fiscal year compared to health and education ministries. However, as some current and former employees corroborate greediness and lack of accountability impede any possible progress the ministry could have made.

For two consecutive months now, the websites of the Somali National News Agency (SONNA) and its affiliate state run Radio Mogadishu have been shut down due to claims of unpaid subscription fees despite the budgeted costs for this year already included over $60,000 allocated for these services.

“Nobody is paying these fees to the companies. When the money is withdrawn from the finance ministry, some known officials take it for their personal use. Nobody ever questions where the money goes,” said one current employee at the ministry who spoke to Horn Observer with anonymous.

Another employee at the ministry stated that the websites were locked by a London, UK-based company contracted to provide hosting and maintenance service to the ministry’s websites including SONNA and Radio Mogadishu.

“The deputy minister of information Abdirahman Yusuf Al-Adaala has been the mastermind behind the sabotage for the state media websites,” the employees we spoke to added. “The deputy minister is pushing to get funds from President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud for anti-Shabab propaganda and therefore he asked the hosting company to shut the websites in order to request for more funds. Simply it is a money-making racket.”

“How can we perform our work and bring successes if the top officials at the ministry are such corrupt individuals?” asked the anonymous employee.

The move comes barely three weeks after president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was lured into an event inside the ministry where he inaugurated a dubious new television station. In reality the SNTV2 was not new and has existed for more than eight years now. Perhaps the only new thing is the word ‘Daljir’ put after SNTV [an abbreviation for Somali National Television]. Daljir is the name of the political party established during 2016 election by the current minister of interior Ahmed Moalim Fiqi and the current state minister for presidency, Abshir Ahmed [known as Abshir Bukhari].

In a Facebook post, the state minister for presidency, Abshir Ahmed [Abshir Bukhari] claimed the “new” TV station will be used to counter al-Shabaab extremist ideology.

In its official announcement, Villa Somalia said SNTV Daljir will be the mouthpiece of the state propaganda against the al-Shabaab terrorist group. But according to the former SNTV director, there are many questions lingering over the so-called new TV station.

“Mr. President, the individuals you entrusted for the [responsibility] of state media are not working for the real cause they have been appointed,” Farah Dharar, the former Director of SNTV said on his Facebook page.

When contacted by this reporter, both the minister of information Daud Aweys Jama and his deputy declined to comment while the director general promised to call back.

All Right Reserved. Horn observer

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