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|Government Sponsored Crises In Hargeisa City Council|
By: Osman Adam, Toronto, Canada
Promoted by the minister of Interior with the tacit approval of his boss, President Rayale, the continuing crises among the members of the City Council of Hargeisa in addition to bringing the city business to complete halt, is tearing the community apart. But more importantly this is jeopardizing our effort of trying to Cox out political recognition from the world community.
This juncture in time when Somaliland is at cross roads, any critical examination on how the ruling regime runs the country might be interpreted as inappropriate and unpatriotic. But by the same token would it not be more so if we fail to scrutinize and expose the undemocratic ill practices and injustice that have become the hallmark of this government. If the corrupted culture of the regime is left unquestioned, they would not only capitalize on the absence of public concern, but they would also use this as justification to maintain the status quo as long as they remain unchallenged. It is, therefore incumbent upon all of us to raise our voice to protest the misdeeds of the regime and hold them accountable for the crimes they continue committing against the people. It all began with the unnatural arranged marriage between the two opposing systems of the governing entities in place - the central government based on traditional culture of feuds and perpetual hostilities among clans on one hand, and the municipal governments born out of legitimate democratic election on the other.
The campaign waged to oust the mayors of the municipalities across the country - some concluded others underway as I write, is part of a grand plan sponsored by the president and his henchman, the minister of interior Mr. Ismail Adan and of the whole regime for that matter. The purpose of their schema is to initially push aside those mayors who resist to take instructions from the minister of interior on how to run the day-today operations of their departments.
The new mayor and his council are then streamlined to obey and execute without questions any plans political or administrative that the Minister may wish to be carried out. Here the paradox is that publicly elected city councils are subjected to be manipulated and maneuvered by a handpicked individual who does not represent other than his interests and those of the president who had nominated him.
The regimes’ obsession with meddling in the affairs of the municipal councils in the country in general, and in that of the city of Hargeisa in particular, arises from the regimes’ plans to have major influence in determining the composition of the members of the parliament in the upcoming elections early next year. By biting members of, say sets of clans in the council against each other, the government anticipates to change the political dynamics of the council.
Similarly, through this process the regime hopes to empower certain groups whose support during the upcoming parliamentary elections, they naively believe, would be instrumental in keeping them in power. These kinds of manipulations and interference with the city council, the regime hopes, would enable them among other things to have unobstructed access to the financial resources under the control of the city.
While this would make it easy for the regime to prosper, it would also enable them to buy votes with this wealth during the election. In addition to that, this opportunity would allow them to exert their influence and impact on the function and responsibilities of the municipal governments. In this illicit exercise, it is the leaders of the councils, the mayors that are always targeted. This is happening because these mayors are either deemed as political hurdles in the upcoming parliamentary elections, or they are honest public servants who do not share the same moral values and political convictions of the regime. Another plausible reason the mayors removal may arise from their membership of certain clans that do not enjoy the full trust of the president and his confidants.
Contrary to what we would like to believe, it is evident from the actions of the ruling regime that in our beloved Somaliland governance based on the principles of democracy, justice and the rule of law as we know it, has been relegated to political jargon. It has been abused and miss-used simply to serve the personal interests of a regime whose main purpose while in office is solely to accumulate power and wealth.
The on going crises in the Hargeisa Municipality is being watched with great interest by foes and friends as well as those who sympathize with our cause. This may be the threshold where the credibility, not of the regime as such, but of the justification upon which any potential diplomatic recognition for Somaliland would be evaluated on. While this politically motivated drama is unfolding in their own backyard, the leadership of the country is simply watching the crises escalate to a dangerous level. Since when have municipal councilors the like of Jama Shabel have been transformed to act as prosecutors, lawyers and law enforcement officers qualified to determine what crimes have been committed and by who and on the top of that press charges against other members of the council in the chamber.
Where are the law enforcement agencies like the police, the CID and the regimes' secret police? Is it not the responsibilities of these agencies to investigate crimes and lay charges according to their findings, or is this law enforcement Somaliland style?
Now, you may be wondering what contribution if any, in support of the constitution of the country has the president offered to diffuse the crises. Well, non-that I know of. As a matter of fact the presidents inability to meet the most basic requirement of his job like helping to resolve this contentious issue is incredibly below standard, This coupled with his lack of vision and leadership would no doubt have profound impact not only on how this country proves itself worthy of the diplomatic recognition that would make us a respectable member of the family of nations; but also on how our enemies would be encouraged and empowered to challenge our rights to self determination. The recognition we have been seeking since we withdrew from the ill-fated union with Somalia is as much a right as it is a process, This process is multi-layered and requires multiple tasks to be undertaken before any positive result is realized. Such process includes though not limited to the process of good governance, the process of democratization. of law and order, of the development of sustainable social, educational and health programs and policies, of respect for human rights and dignity and of enabling citizens to develop their full potential.
My fellow Somalilanders, it is unfortunate that our desire to have a state of our own is seriously compromised and undermined by our deep entrenchment in pastoral clan politics and culture. The task of establishing a state or reclaiming a lost one as in our case among other things, requires principled leaders with strong conviction and beliefs on national issues. These are leaders who posses vision, integrity, character, trust and above all these are leaders who can rise above clan loyalty and clan intrigues. It needs firm commitment and dedication to fulfil our peoples long waited struggle for nationhood. But it also takes a public who value justice, the rule of law and good governance and rejects corrupted leaders with authoritarian tendencies. After all, the leaders of a country are only as good as the values and principles upheld by their own people.
Unless we recognize the contradictions inherent in the values and culture of our society and the nature of the principles upon which a modern state is built, we will always fail to realize the joy of living in freedom in a free and sovereign state. Apparently these qualities are in short supply in our society or perhaps obscured by the more urgent and practical reality of clan allegiance. Perhaps that is in our nature and God fore-bid, explains who we are in which case the chances to change our psyche are almost impossible. Does that not qualify us the most endangered human species? Please help Somaliland by speaking out.
Long live Somaliland