Garowe (PP News Desk) — Puntland Finance Minister Hassan Shire has compared tax evasion by teachers to supporting terrorism. “In our view any teacher who refuses to pay tax is a terrorist, like a member of Al-shabaab. Failure to pay tax affects salaries of troops. If you object to paying tax and close schools, we will hold you accountable” said Shire.
Abdiaziz Farah Hersi, a senior teacher in Garowe, described the Finance Minister’s statement as “an outburst”.
“Teachers work in difficult conditions. After 1990 they began to teach in shacks. A teacher’s salary is $200, they cannot make ends meet with this salary given expenses such as rent, food and additional expenses. Despite those challenges we are committed to providing quality education. It is absurd to liken us to Al-shabaab. I urge Shire to apologise to teachers” said Abdiaziz.
Most teachers in some Puntland regions are from Northern Somalia. “Shire implied that any person who pays tax will never become a member of Al-shabaab. He has turned himself into a lawmaker overnight” said a member of Garowe City Council, who asked for anonymity.
© Puntland Post, 2021