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By H.M. Shabeel,
Ottawa (Canada)

Ali Khalif must have been biting his nails to the quick during the last two weeks; desperately wondering what the outcome of the non-confidence vote against his government would look like.

The discomfort far outweighed by the joy of visiting his family in Minnesota, thousands of miles away where the decision to dump him is being made by a bunch of rookie parliamentarians. A decision that is being made inside the former police academy under the shadow of the gun and technicals.

A few brave or patriotic or foolish souls voted against the no-confidence vote, but they have been outnumbered and outmaneuvered by the followers of the "gang of four" alternatively led by Abdiqassim and Abdalla Derow.

Would it be the last time we see Ali run his hand over the graying stubble that he was vainly cultivating into a beard? He made no comment, publicly, during and after the no-confidence vote, but that's to be expected. He decided to remain aloof, even a scheduled visit to Canada has been aborted without explanations. Abdiqassim, the man who nominated him to the job after Arta wouldn't discuss Ali Khalif's firing. Some people close to the center of power say that Ali ruffled feathers when he challenged his boss's refusal to punish the merchants who flooded the country with billions of fake currency that triggered hyperinflation.

Of course a relatively free press in the form of Xeroxed slim tabloid is slowly emerging in Mogadishu, but it's still a voice in the wilderness.

Anyway, to dump a Prime Minister whilst he is out of the country on an official mission defies the imagination. It is tantamount to a coup de etat not by members of the armed forces but by a first time parliamentarians who are not properly versed into what is called political science.

Historically there have been no job approval/disapproval ratings of a Prime Minister in Somalia. They just came and faded away, forgotten. This added more bitterness to the public who felt they were never consulted about their Prime Minister's job performances. Ali was going to tell us what was in his mind during his visit to Toronto, but alas that visit never took place and we are wondering why a man like Ali Khalif decided to remain indifferent about the debacle in Mogadishu.

Ironically, even some members of his cabinet enthusiastically welcomed the no-confidence vote, hoping to secure a portfolio in a new cabinet that would replace theirs!

I had no sympathy for man like Ali (after the Mareray Sugar Factory) and the current crop of petty politicians in Mogadishu, Hargeisa and Galkayo/Garowe. They all remind me of George Orwell's Animal Farm. They even adopted their own version of the speaksay in the book, such as "Only the dead people could be trusted." Everything was improbable. That explains why we had no real patriot who had the interest of the people at heart. On the other hand there was no shortage of politicians who gave us empty speeches as comfortable as fake medals.

Subsequent opinions were divided in Somalia and in the Diaspora as to whose expression of outrage was greatest: that of the outgoing Prime Minister, the mainstream Somalis or those few souls who voted against the no-confidence vote. You can safely bet on the mainstream Somalis in the old country who is at the end of their tethers. We in the Diaspora are merely remote controls running out of batteries.

I am afraid we shall have to watch Abdiqassim going through the motion of nominating a new Prime Minister and the bet is on. But for a starter, let's keep the gun and clan loyalties out of the Somali politics. Another question we must ask ourselves is; who had ordained that we should have a Hawiye President and a Darood Prime Minister? One example is: Adan Abdulle Osman/Abdirizaq Haji Hussein/Abdullahi Isse/Abdirashid Ali Shermarke in the 1960s. Then the military made big bang in October 1969 when Somalia became a police state and everybody was guilty of something followed by 11 years of bloodbath and lawlessness.

Now how about giving the job to a technocrat who would in turn form a cabinet entirely composed of technocrats and kiss the clan system goodbye once and for all?

"Not in our life time," says a politician of the old school. "Clan loyalty is drug addition after Qat", the old geezer added.

H.M. Shabeel
Ottawa (Canada)

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