NAIROBI, KENYA: Abdirazak Fartaag’s entry into the presidential race of Jubaland State in Somalia has long been coming.
The reason for the excitement is that there are only a few individuals in Somalia who are passionate about the fight against corruption.
Mr. Fartaag has been at the forefront in the fight against corruption for years. In a survey where Somali residents were asked to rate their leaders between 2015 and 2016, Fartaag and Yusur Abrar - a former Central Bank governor of the Federal Government of Somalia - stood out as the face of accountability in Somalia.
Fartag is regarded as a champion of accountability and transparency in a state where corruption is so rampant that it has become a way of life.
He has continuously issued detailed graft reports that the Government trashes but never challenges and which the international community cite as accurate.
While his actions have gained widespread media attention, they have not had an impact on the way Jubaland is governed. Cases of corruption normally get attention for a while and then the issue is quickly forgotten.
Nevertheless, Fartaag has challenged Somalians to openly oppose wrongdoing in government and continues to expose the lack of accountability.
It is apparent to the Somali people that the push for accountability has not been fully embraced by western representatives and consultants, who locals refer to as the ‘Nairobi mafia group’.
But some within the international community is now advocating for a war on corruption, which impedes development. Jubaland has a great opportunity to grow its democracy by electing Fartaag who can have the same effect John Magufuli had in Tanzania.