Unpaid for 7 months, Somalia’s civil servants, army face uncertain future

Somali workers sweep one of the main streets in Mogadishu. Photo courtesy ©Getty images
by John Thiongo, john@alleastafrica.com
NAIROBI – The ongoing pay glitches inside the federal government of Somalia are not only causing financial difficulties for the army and public servants that a minister says have not been paid for over seven months.
Irregular payments for Somali army and workers has long been a major concern that sparked rage and grumbling among government workers who had to bear brunt of the pay crisis, with the bulk of them had to stay almost a year without salaries.
“The finance ministry and other relevant authorities are aware of this dilemma.” said Khaled Omar, Somalia’s state minister for foreign affairs ministry on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Somali government had earlier announced it was working to transform the civil service by updating the civil service law and enabling government to effectively address the difficulties facing public service workers.
The development comes amid allegations that Somali leaders and officials are hoarding monies meant for public services for election campaigns.
Somalia’s presidential election is expected to take place late January.
Somali soldiers. U.N. photoSomali soldiers. U.N. photo
The minister’s remarks, one of rare public admissions of working conditions of Somali workers by senior Somali officials reflect challenges facing Somali public sector employees. Staging of work strikes in protest of lack of pay are usually out of question for workers in Somalia over fears of job losses.
In Somalia, the Civil service commission barely exists in the country where state workers often complain of abuses by their superiors; with many others often avoid expressing their discontents in public, leaving their fate at the mercy of their bosses.


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