by Sarmaan Ramses, Ph.D
Monday, February 23, 2015
Roman emperors when they wanted to distract their citizens from their incompetence of not delivering the services the citizens needed, they gave them a sideshow. They built Coliseums and let gladiators have at each other and even have them fight wild animals for maximum show effect.
That’s in fact what we’re witnessing here from the incompetence of this President, Mr. Mohamoud. How many prime ministers came and went, I lost count. Uh, someone reminded me that my counts precede this administration. Precisely my point! No wonder he’s following similar patterns of failure. So this sideshow of the impermanence of prime ministers says a lot about the President than those unfortunate prime ministers who came and left with their tails between their legs.
Every time a new prime minister is to be appointed and as short term as that maybe, jockeying for that position becomes the biggest show in town and for the Somali Diaspora’s drunken consumption as well. Thus, speculation starts who is he going to appoint next, and far worse, once the prime minister is appointed, then the second spectacle starts of who’s going to be in the ministerial positions. Unending game, you might say for maximum diversion while the President’s vision is short in achievements at every turn.
These presidents interim or otherwise must be skillful as a snake charmers to hoodwink the whole Somali nation in getting us lost in this circus of constant ministerial changes while they keep their jobs despite their abject failure. Now, you must realize, the whole model and setup must be upside down. If a president fails and can’t deliver, he is the one who must go down not his appointed prime ministers.
To name a few of the blatant shortcomings of this Somali President, Mr. Mohamud. On his speech to the Parliament after being selected (not elected by a popular vote, mind you) he promised the following important milestones: 1) Peace, stability and the supremacy of the Law, 2) Revitalization of public services, 3) Peace and reconciliation, 4) Revitalization of the economy, 5) Somali People unity, and finally 6) The creation of better international relations.
Well on the first point, just imagine that his own government is itself still hunkered down in green zones, and overall security in the Capital city is still precarious. Furthermore, marauding squads of various labels that carry out political/clan assassinations still reign supreme everywhere and scare away developmental agencies, diplomats and any Diaspora repatriation efforts.
On the second and fourth points, there’s no revitalized public services or economy - let’s say even for Mogadishu - let alone for the whole country. Airport and seaport services always functioned before him even though this time privatized with whose authorization and public gain still not clear. On the third and fifth points, certainly there’s no peace in the country and government control is always limited to certain green zones and the rest of the country is still in the grip of armed gangs, Al Shabaab, and fiefdoms.
Lastly, on the sixth point, well certainly he has established good international relations by allowing the Ethiopian government to be the king makers, and Somalis of all stripes have to kiss their rings in any hope of having a semblance of political clout in the country. Nice achievements you have made here Mr. President. One would cry treason!
Furthermore, the creation of federal state governments are still half baked ideas and are consistently run by his lackeys at least the few that nominally exist. Also, elections were supposed to be held by the end of his term, and let alone elections to be held there are no official parties except his own unofficial party Dam Jadid. Which translates from the Arabic as New Blood, and this must be a cunning coinage as they must have a different blood system to call themselves New Blood while intrinsically and constantly involved in tribal feuds for sports and financially siphoning of public funds. For example, there’s the widely known scandal revealed by the former Central Bank’s governoron the improper dealings of the Somali government assets outside the country through the accounts of the President’s associates rather than the central bank. No hearsay here, facts are facts!
Those are valid reasons to unseat this President, instead of being lost in his gladiatorial spectacles. This Somali President, Mr. Mohamud, constitutionally has been selected from the Parliament and of course the Parliament has the constitutional authority to unseat him at any time he is an obvious failure.
Unfortunately though, the Parliamentarians are not blameless as well in playing the gladiatorial games that the President is orchestrating. But ultimately the real power rests with them as a constitutional parliamentary system as Somalia is governed today and they should held him accountable and not just being his chess pawns.
Finally, the Speaker of the parliament Mr. Jawari, is not either faring better in this incompetence test. As powerful a position that he holds for the nation, it seems that the Speaker and his parliamentarian cohorts are the least effective in confronting and stopping this sideshow of constant upheaval in the governance of the country and in moving to the next phase. The Speaker as someone who was part of writing the constitution, he must have abdicated or forgotten (pick your choice) his responsibilities in steering the country to a better place than this failed Presidency. Instead he patently let the President overrun his authority and that of the parliament and eventually his “Hail the Chief” incantations are waning the whole country’s prospects at every angle you look.
Case in point, has the Speaker brought the President in front of the parliament for questioning on his progress and lack thereof or his constant failure of running a functioning government that achieves his erstwhile grandiose proclamations rather than willy- nilly changing prime ministers every turn for diversion. Mr. Speaker, Jawari. Where is your accountability of the president? Yeah, I read the interim constitution, and all these stuff is not mentioned. Lastly, due to the person (not as the President) and his health issues, may he be in good health.
Sarmaan Ramses, Ph.D., MBA