As he also produces a number of documentary proofs countering the over six month’s continuous alleged maladministration by Haatuf newspaper
By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – After all the Hullabaloos pertaining to the closure of Haatuf Newspaper , it is time to go back to the drawing board and identify where the errors steamed from as pertains to the papers without evidence allegations of malfeasance by high-ranking public servants.
The saga that imposed the Government’s action of proscribing the publication of Haatuf, a Somali language daily paper & its English sister, a weekly edition titled Somaliland Times dates back to almost one & a half years ago in what transpired between the proprietor of Haatuf Media Group one, Yusuf Abdi Gaboobe & the persona of Mineral Resources & Energy Minister that ultimately soured their relationship almost to irreparable reconciliation.
These revelations were aired by the Minister for Mineral Resources & Energy Hussein Abdi Duale on Wednesday when he addressed a lengthy press conference at his offices in Hargeisa whereby he chronologically narrated the genesis of the problem pitting him against Mr. Gaboobe in which the letter employed his control of media to unleash a series of unyielding simultaneous attacks by assassinating the character & conduct of the Minister as a fraudster, corrupt & unfit to hold public office which perception deceive the right thinking members of the society.
Mr. Duale averred that for six continuance months that the paper maliciously published articles portraying him as a swindler of national resources, he opted to keep mum not because the allegations were true but after the ban of the media house, Gaboobe took the duel to greater heights-one leaking his fabrications to international press with a view to come to his rescue notwithstanding the negative image portrayed to the Ministry in particular & the Government of Somaliland in general.
On account of the functions & responsibilities bestowed on his office, the Mineral Resources & Energy Minister abstained from responding to the contents appearing in the paper’s publication hence safeguarding the paramount interests of the nation before his.
Mr. Duale recollects that 18 months ago Gaboobe & a close relative paid him a courtesy call in his office where they sought the Minister powers to accord a concessional right for a foreign firm in which Gaboobe is a guarantor and/or local representative and/or broker is approved to explore petroleum in the country.
According to Eng Duale who elaborated in details the various procedures involved before such a right is granted to foreign firms as inquiries to their background, history in addition to technical knowhow & experience are studied prior to committing the Government to the initial agreement whilst maintaining that Government of Somaliland (GoSL) does not in any way engage with a third party or a guarantor befitting the caliber of Gaboobe or any other individual (foreign or local) to undertake such venture.
The Minister assured that the Ministry could not ascertain the authenticity of documents in possession of the media guru as to his best knowledge, belief & understanding the said firm engages in mineral exploration mostly gemstones & not petroleum as Gaboobe thought .
Duale proceeded to disclose that he reminded the banned media outlet owner on the moral as well as the constitutional obligation entrusted to his office –he play a take care role in safeguarding national resources on behalf of the people of Somaliland.
That said, Gaboobe was unsatisfied & still hoped the Minister will reverse his stand. Duale vividly remembers the media owner sending emissary after another including close Minister’s relatives & finally culminating to the Presidency Minister but still he stood by his decision.
When all avenues available were exhausted in futility Gaboobe swore to tarnish the personality of the Minister employing media which was within his disposal consequently & to a larger extent scandalously publishing falsehood & maliciously defamatory articles that deceivably bore a corrupt image of the Minister thence spreading quicker due to its wide readership.
And true to his words he maliciously revamped to portray the personality of Duale in a negative platform ultimately seen unfit to hold a public office notwithstanding the lack of backups.
The Minister revealed the true affairs of state contrasting the truth, half baked truth from falsehood, rumors, and innuendos as retaliatory efforts of an individual with the sole aim of revenging.
In delinking fantasy from reality, he itemized the type, nature & scope of firms that GoSL had entered contractual obligations that were binding & enforceability clear outlined;
“I & this regime that appointed me to head this crucial docket of Mineral Resources & Energy have a public responsibility to verify the information obtained in Articles & Memoranda of Association outlining the engagements of companies that want to be tendered exploration licenses locally because if we mess then we have mismanaged these resources thereby entirely loosing the public trust bestowed on us because the mandate emanates from the people & we are answerable to them” confessed Duale.
Mr. Duale affirms that since heading the docket the GoSL entered into 3 contractual obligations thereby giving rights to carry exploration rights after the cabinet deliberated on the state of their affairs in the presence of President Ahmed Silanyo & his deputy V-P Abdirahman Zeyli’i & rebutted allegations that licenses were approved at ministerial level.
The Minister unequivocally equipped;
“The proprietor of Haatuf has perfected the art of manipulating individuals through blackmail using media & if one does not tear his line then he kills the person’s ego. If according to my lifestyle I did not condone bribery & solicit favors when I understand what I want is a right and not a privilege during my youthful years, is it logical for I to indulge at these practices at my sunset age?”
The Mineral Resources Minister lamented the transgression by Haatuf against established ethics governing the media industry reasoning for a reporter to publish stories touching the character of a person then prior information must be derived from the horse mouth. He states that Haatuf did not accord him time to listen to his side of story.
In rebutting the paper’s version that the Minister was compromised in granting approval to 3 companies, Duale shed light on the taxation remitted to the treasury during his tenure in the Ministry.
He stated that his reign at the helm of the docket saw the Ministry channeling revenue totaling to $ 3.337 comparing the figure to the 8 years of the previous regime that deposited $ 185, 76400 at the treasury. He dared anyone doubting to counter check the figures at Finance Ministry & Central Bank.
He affirmed that he is not facing criminal charges abroad due to omissions arising from his conduct as a Minister and has not been sued by the petroleum firm that is to carry exploration work thence rebutting the paper’s purported story.
The Minister adduced documentary evidence in front of cameras outlining all contracts entered into by the Ministry on behalf of the Government of Somaliland while accompanied by his Director General before daring Mr. Gaboobe to substantiate his allegations by preparing his defense early enough to avoid embarrassment when his time to answer charges comes in his impending trial.
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