MOGADISHU, Somalia 12 May, 2020 – Somali media fraternity: Somali Media Association (SOMA), Somali Independent Media Houses Association (SIMHA), Federation of Somali Journalists (FESOJ) and Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) express their dismay by the recurrent incidents where some Somali government officials have faked invoices carrying logos of certain independent media houses to scam funds from international organizations, who are involved in the fight against Covid-19 in Somalia.
Following a meeting in Mogadishu on Monday 11 May, representative organizations of local media stations – which represent more than 50 media houses across Somalia – have expressed their concern that their media stations were targeted with fraudulent invoices with the aim to divert funds allocated for Covid-19 media awareness messages while these media houses have voluntarily disseminated public service announcement messages without charge.
We are concerned that these fraudulent actions have now posed new threats- not only financially but also security wise- to the media houses and their journalists as their brand names and addresses were illegally used.
We call for the Somali Federal Government to immediately launch investigation into this new trend of threats and take appropriate actions against individuals involved.
We applaud the courageous role played by the Somali local media houses during this critical time of Covid-19 including the media and journalists’ role of raising awareness and dissemination of WHO-approved health awareness to change public attitudes and behaviors towards Covid-19 in Somalia.