|Home | Contact us | Links | Archives|
Former Presidency Transport Chief Arrested For Confirming First Lady’s Corruption Allegations
Hargeysa, Somaliland, 3 May 2008 (SL Times) - Three police vehicles loaded with armed policemen swarmed on Thursday night into Imperial Hotel in Hargeysa and forcefully arrested Mr Abshir Hassan Hashi, the former head of transport at the Presidency and currently is serving as an executive committee member of Kulmiye party.
Mr Hashi was quickly ferried to Hargeysa central police station where he is being currently held to date (Saturday). No contact has been made with Mr Hashi since his arrest and according to close family-members access to see Mr Hashi has been denied to all by station police.
Unconfirmed reports coming out of the central police station indicate that Mr Hashi is suffering from head and body injuries after having been severely beaten by police while in custody and needs serious medical attention.
Eyewitnesses and Imperial Hotel staff who declined to be quoted said that ‘the police did not carry any arrest warrants when making the arrest and a scuffle broke out when Mr Hashi refused to go with the police. He was quickly mobbed and battened by 3-4 policemen and carried off ‘half dazed’ to a waiting police vehicle outside the Imperial Hotel’.
Until now, the police have not provided any explanation why Mr Abshir Hashi was arrested or why he is still being detained at Hargeysa’s central police station. SL Times was unsuccessful in its attempts to contact police officials at police headquarters in Hargeysa concerning the arrest of Mr Hashi. However, the chief of Somaliland police, Mr Saqadi Dubad has been quoted by Hadhwanaagnews.com who spoke to him over the telephone late Thursday night as saying that “Mr Hashi has been arrested for defamation crimes”. The police chief did not mention in this interview conducted by Hadhwanaagnews.com who Mr Hashi is said to have allegedly defamed.
Furthermore, Mr Dubad explained to Hadhwanaagnews.com that the reason behind Mr Hashi’s arrest was, “Mr Hashi has been wanted for some time in connection to charges relating to defamation crimes and that he absconded from us and has been living in neighbouring Ethiopian towns. Now that he is back in the country, we want to ask him few questions and this is why he was arrested on Thursday and why he is being held in police custody".
It is widely believed that the order for arresting Mr Hashi came out of the presidency, although, there is no clear-cut evidence to support this claim.
It was back in Jan 2007, while working in the presidential palace as head of the transport & vehicle department of the presidency that Mr Hashi held a press conference to back-up claims made by SL Times sister paper ‘Haatuf Daily’ which at the time featured extensive articles relating to alleged practices of corruption and nepotism by the president and his family; and in reaction to these articles, leading journalists from Haatuf Media Network were arrested by the government and were held in Mandhera prison for over 3 months.
Source: Somaliland Times
Mr Hashi’s 4 Jan 2007 press conference covered by SL Times:
On January 4, 2007, Abshir Hassan Hashi, former chief of Motor Transport Unit at the Somaliland presidency and ex-confidant of the first lady Huda Barkhad, talked to the press and said that all the corruption allegations published by Haatuf were true. He disclosed this at a press conference in Bar Haraf Restaurant in Hargeysa. All the Hargeysa based newspapers and TVs were present, except the state-owned ‘Maandeeq’ newspaper and Somaliland National TV.
Hashi said he resigned from his job on March 24, 2006 after what seemed to be a fallout with the first lady Huda Barkhad. Hashi, who had been working for the Rayale family long before Dahir Rayale became Somaliland’s vice-president said he was witness to a lot of corruption incidents during his days at the presidency. Mr Hashi revealed that he executed financial transactions involving purchase of vehicles and real estate. He also confirmed that the first lady illicitly acquired public funds for the purchase of plots in Borama and Hargeysa and that he concluded these real estate deals on behalf of the presidency. He showed reporters a lot of documents to substantiate his revelations.
“These are the files of the real-estate procurements. This one is for the plot at the Masalaha [near the Ambassador hotel]. It is registered in the name of her sister. We had purchased it from a woman called Shuun Limaan through 2 real estate brokers named Abdi Dheere and Abdi Laangadhe,” said Abshir Hashi confirming that the first lady bought a piece of land for her sister Sa’ado Barkhad from tax payers’ money.
Abshir Hashi also confirmed the sale of the Mark II Saloon by the first lady to the minister of Public Works. “Imagine a government entity selling government-owned car to another government department,” he said.
“Minister Saeed Sulub paid for the car from SRA ( Somaliland Road Authority) funds and I received the money [on behalf of the first lady,” Hashi explained.
Mr. Hashi also identified the first lady’s mother, Khadija Yusuf Tub-Haye as the person from whom the presidency had purchased the mini-bus bearing plate number GT 508. He disclosed that the amount paid for the mini-bus was actually $9,000 and not $7,500 as reported by Haatuf. He also estimated the market price of the mini-bus at the time was $4,000 or $5,00 less than the price quoted by Haatuf.
Hashi also confirmed that the first lady grabbed land belonging to Amoud University in order to expand her father’s old farm.
“The Barkhad's farm now consists of two parts: the original farm which has been located down the valley and a new extension that resulted from encroachment on the elevated land belonging to the Amoud University in Borama,” Abshir Hashi said. He also added that the Barkhad farm has been illicitly extended for 400 meters and not 300 meters as reported by Haatuf, and disclosed that the president’s Cairo home cost $250,000 (Two hundred fifty thousand dollars).
Abshir Hassan Hashi said that he would testify in a court of law about the corruption exposed by Haatuf if guaranteed a fair dispensation of justice.
“It’s regrettable that while Bill Clinton admitted his extra-marital relationship with Monica Lewinsky, president Rayale is unable to come forward to confess that he actually bought a house in Cairo,” Hashi said while commenting on the arrest of Haatuf Journalists, Yusuf Abdi Gabobe and Ali Abdi Dini.
“I don’t know [Yusuf] Abdi Gabobe personally and never met or had contact with him. But I have been amazed by Haatuf’s ability to expose some of the corruption happening at the presidency. Their story was so real that I thought that they might have stolen my documents. Of course they didn’t. I couldn’t keep silent after the journalists were arrested for telling the truth. It is just not fair,” he concluded.
Source: Haatuf Daily News (Somali lang.)