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Issue 536/ 5th - 11th May 2012
Somaliland: Mixing Democracy With Dictatorship
By Ali Dhinbiil
What we have in Somaliland is a government, who mixes democracy with semi dictatorship, and on the other hand, we got a tribal people whose knowledge of democracy is bare minimum, and who permanently are pre-occupied with tribalism. Although democracy is still in its infancy in Somaliland, nevertheless, a great opportunity has been lost for the last seven years of Riyaale rule. His ill suited and unsophisticated tribal mindset damaged democracy in Somaliland. These earliest leadership was only interested staying in power through seat allocations to different tribal folks. These people knew nothing about democracy or nation building, except being parasites.
So, what have changed since then? Is this new government any different? Firstly, we should acknowledge the enormous challenge faced by the new government, namely building democracy from bottom up, repairing the country’s chaotic infrastructure, and dealing with internal and external dissent. When Kulmiye party came to power, this country was in total mess, corruption, nepotism and tribal agenda was rife within the system. Suffice to say, the overall situation in the country’s economic and infrastructure were in life support machine.
For UDUB democracy was simply ‘’use once to be elected and misuse forever’’, and then wash off their hands from any responsibilities. Up to now no one was put on trial for those terrible years of corruption and mismanagement by Riyaale government and his cronies. I sometimes ask people how come Riyaale and his corrupt colleagues never brought to books. The best answer I got from a friend was, because the government wants to unite people and not create anymore rift based on what has happened in the past.
That’s why most people are very grateful to the present government, and what they done for them within just two years of their five years term. And although they’re not perfect yet and will never be, nevertheless, we should appreciate and give them the credit they deserve.
What happened to Abdiqadir was national scandal. Have we forgotten our heroes so soon who sacrificed all their lives for the freedom we enjoy today? What’s wrong for a politician to talk about the direction the country is heading. Abdiqadir’s main objectives were none other than; past to be corrected and future should be perfected. Was that too much for the government?
Kulmiye and its leadership should realize sooner that democracy is an ongoing process, and it doesn’t end by simply holding elections. Human rights, freedom speech, transparent government, fair judicial system and many other things are the bed rock of democracy. We know democracy and nation building isn’t easy, and that democracy takes years to perfect through trial and error, just like Western world did struggle to perfect their own. In fact long after we gone, it will still be perfected. This government isn’t perfect yet and will never be, but as a citizen we need to appreciate when they do well and criticise when they do wrong as well.
Now we have another prominent NDB party leader and the founder of University of Hargeysa Fawzia Yusuf H Adam who’s arrested and then released. Simply by demanding an explanation of why her party didn’t qualified as a national party despite having substantial followers. At the moment the government behaves like dictatorship by not allowing its citizens to have a peaceful demonstration. One wonders whether the president who supposed to be the guardian of democracy is really in charge of the country.
One important thing people want to see done is reforming the judiciary system. People are detained without trial; others wait months, if not years to appear before a court. What on earth is going on here? Are we in democracy or in dictatorship? The president and his party should know that no democracy flourishes without justice. Somaliland government is absolutely in periphery when it comes to human rights and rule of law.
government tell us who on earth have the authority to arrest anyone and
on what basis? Does the government have the authority to arrest people
because they criticise the system. I don’t think I’m alone on this, but
surely the system is rotten.
The other thing you need Mr President is qualified economic advisors. Mr President with all your respect being an economist yourself, you should know the world is ever getting more complicated, be it economic, environmental and other challenges we face as a third world country, with little resources to go around. We must have all kind of advisors and PR farms to move the country forward. And most importantly, we must have transparent system of government and rule of law in order to succeed.
By and large most government employee are donkeys, they lack creativity and experience to do their job. You cannot build a nation by having a table and chair and sitting on it. Every government employee no matter what his ranks is, should Have the qualification and experiences needed to run his department. One of the biggest problems we have in our country at the moment is recruiting a qualified people in government departments. This is a total disaster for the economy and the moral of the society. What’s the purpose of getting a qualification if no one gets a job according to his/her merit? The government should create western style jobcentre in the country, in order to avoid corruptions in the job market. I will also recommend every department to use e-government, in order for them to become transparent and accountable of whatever they’re doing in behind doors. In a country where computers and internet is cheaply available, every major department should implement their own e-government. This will improve efficiency, transparency, and better communication with their customers.
The most alarming facing Somaliland at the moment is what economic model they should follow. Shall they take part the current disastrous capitalist system, or should they follow their own Islamic system, which even taken the west by surprise for its resilience during economic depression. This is because, the only way any society can flourishing is the absence of interest or Usury. What the government of Somaliland should realize is this, if capitalist system based on usury doesn’t work for the most sophisticated nations on earth, how on earth are you going to make work for you. Mr President if you’re listening my early warning siren, please don’t involve International Monetary Fund or other corrupt World Banks to our country, it will be an absolutely suicide to do so. The best economic formula for any country should be to earn what you need to spend, and spend what you own. By the way, what’s usury? Usury is the practice of charging excessive, unreasonably high, and often illegal interest rates on loans. This simple explanation should be enough to anyone the seriousness of dancing with the devils. And when this multiplies in the system, it ultimately ruins the livelihood of the people. Anyone can see what’s happening around the world, and it’s very evident that Allah is fighting with those who’re using usury or charging usury.
Finally, if the president doesn’t take control of his party and the overall the situation of the country in more pro-active way, it will not only damage his reputation which’s already dented by recent scandals, but also will destroy the unity of the nation.
BY Ali Dhinbiil