KIND OF GOVERNMENT WE DON'T WANT
10 May. 2002
many things have been said about the kind of government we
don't want in recent years by different people in different
places, particularly Fadhi ku dirir venues at home and abroad,
but the consensus was that leaders who use their clan as a
shield can no longer be tolerated in a reborn Somalia. Only
a small number of hardcore clan worshippers objected the idea
for their own selfish interests. This is a clear testament
that the overwhelming majority of the people are tired of
clan worshipping and the gun culture.
Leaders past and present charmed the people as soon as they
came to power whether through the ballot box or the bullet.
Initially, their approach was fresh and gave tremendous pleasure
to the masses when they sworn on the Holy Quran that they
would do everything in their power to put the interest of
the ordinary men and women top on their agendas. Our songwriters
and poets hastily produced songs and gabays (poems) praising
them to the sky. These highly emotionally charged songs included:
LEEXO, DAYAX LA MOOD (in the 1960s) HAY, WELIGAA HAY, ABBIHII
UMMADDA, MACALINKII UMMADDA, MACALINKII KACAANKA, MAR KALE
IYO TODDOBA SANO, KA NAXOW NAFTA WAA (in the 1970s/1990s).
Anyone who objected to join the chorus at staff meetings
or at "Orientation Centres" was automatically branded as "Kacaan-diid"
and agent of imperialist governments.
as soon as these leaders came to power and consolidated their
positions with the help of a host of security agencies, such
as the dreaded National Security Service (NSS) that spent
a massive amount of money to "weed out" those considered to
be anti-revolution, they started oppressing the same people
who welcomed them with green branches. Thus, people were routinely
and noiselessly picked up at the crack of dawn to avoid any
potential fracas from neighbours and relatives. But as soon
as they are thrown into the notorious Godka, the NSS
interrogators used all kinds of Nazi Gestapo tactics until
the victims "confess" a catalogue of anti-revolutionary crimes
they did not commit or could not possibly commit. Local journalists
called it "The 3 O' Clock Knock." THAT WAS THE BAD OLD
AND THE END PRODUCT?
is a Somali proverb that says: "Kut ka Guur ee Qanje u
Guur" which is roughly the equivalent of the English proverb
that says: "Jumping from the frying pan into the fire."
oppressed and impoverished population breathed a sigh of relief
when rag-tag militia youths in Mogadishu and other cities
dislodged the military despot unceremoniously. They welcomed
the new cadres of leaders with singing and dancing in the
streets of a partially destroyed cities by soldiers loyal
to General Barre, who used all kinds of weaponry, including
the deadly Katyusha multiple rocket launchers, popularly
known as BM, mortars and Mig bombers.
Soon many of us were ashamed and regretted of welcoming a
bunch of looters, killers, rapists, arsonists and sadists.
country has been in ruins since 1990, and the people are disillusioned
and divided along clan lines than ever before.
the Arta group presented itself at the political landscape
with a pledge to deliver the goods. As always there was another
sigh of relief when Abdiqassim Salaad Hassan swore on the
Holy Quran. That pledge is still under the microscope. For
one thing, the TNG failed to honour their pledge at Arta,
including restoring peace and stability in a country that
the international media prefers to call "A Bandit Country"
and unjustly accuses it of being a "Haven for Osama bin Laden."
Far from restoring a semblance of peace and reconstruction,
they allowed shady characters to flood the country with billions
of counterfeit currency, adding more sufferings to the already
suffering and war-weary population. These nouvea-riche
businessmen (merchants of death would have been a better description)
are smiling all the way to their foreign banks. The road barricades
are still intact in many parts of the capital and the main
airport and seaport are still closed. A colleague of mine
who visited Somalia recently, said he counted a total of 17
makeshift roadblocks between Mogadishu and Afgoi alone. The
TNG quickly blamed the warlords with the help of the men in
Addis Ababa for obstructing all peace initiatives and goodwill
this murky situation the Somalis are now faced with the question
of: "What kind of government do we really want after going
through hell and high water for more than four decades?" In
the same breath we highlight the kind of government we don't
want any more. Many of us say we want a representative government,
a broad-based government, accountable government that does
not hide behind the shield of clanism, a government of the
people for the people and an independent judiciary system
that's empowered to take the government of the day to a court
for deliberately infringing the constitution. To sum it up,
we want a government of technocrats free from the virus of
nepotism, corruption and clannism. In other words the right
man for the right job. I know it is a tall order, but I believe
that it is the only way out of the mess. No more power struggle
and no more settling of scores at the barrel of the gun, period.
I said before and I am saying again that those who manufacture
the gun do not sell or use against their own people. Paradoxically,
99 per cent of their gun-shy population had not even seen
the spent shell of a bullet during their life times, let alone
the real stuff. This is due to the strict gun laws in their
countries. Where as in Somalia even market women and boys
as young as 14 carry guns. The later to prove their manhood
and the former to protect the day's proceeds from marauding
gang of robbers! I do not blame them for protecting their
own properties in the face of anarchy and lawlessness? Nobody
M.M. Afrah © 2002