Somalia: It's an "F" for Farmaajo in Judicial Reform
It's a widely known trouble that the trouble with Somalia is, first and foremost, a troubled justice system. This basic fact proved troublesome for past and present Somali leaders as it's the primary reason for their inability to muster the true yearning and trust of the Somali people. Such trust for leaders could be said to be present when the people of Somalia start to make an initiative to tell on the enemy in their midst. It's trouble beacuse no leader will ever earn the trust of the Somalis as long as the leaders don't seize the opportunity to make concrete steps in reforming, overhauling the justice system beyond their usual rumblings and rhetoric. For such steps to begin to earn trust of the public for the leaders, justice must start with the process itself, which must be and should be seen to be open, participatory, inclusive and transparent every step of the way.
Sadly, Farmaajo's piecemeal, haphazard, and unilateral, ambush approach of making slow, superficial, cosmetic and lowly changes in the name of reforming the judiciary speaks volumes about his level of ambition and agenda for taking Somalia forward. It also makes it clear his utter lack of agenda and well thought out plan for Somalia all through his campaign years as to start thinking and learling on the job after his surprise election.
If anyone is still in denial (as we both were up till 27th May/9th August) that Farmaajo's election was a flukes and now a strange bedfellow of fraudsters, look at his hard-to-miss trend of lukewarm, lackadisical, pretentious moves purporting to be fighting corruption, making reforms in the civil service, judicairy, security, service delivery, improving relations with regional states and the internationals (which is now run through a mix of deceit and intimidation) and so on and so forth.
It's clear that Farmaajo's handlers, unbeknown to most, have deeply entrenched themselves as their own deepstate through parliamentary and judicial coup with the object of short term political survival, illusive second term politics, and nipping any pretence to accountability in the bud and altogether hurling the uncetainty that comes with checks and balances out the window.
That said, the process of firing some judjes, the qualifications and manner of selection of their replacements, all shrouded in secrecy, fall short of the aspirations of Somalis. It's disheartening to imagine Farmaajo took all that trouble to shortcircuit (break, you may say) the law only to pour cold water on and abort vital judicial reform.
His administration's claims to fighting corruption strikes as the most bizarre and laughable theatric fails ever. If at all they are ever serious about anti-corruption, let them look no further than the military and police (especially the military) where corruption, in it's life-size, is pretty much pervasive and resting on its Laurel, undisturbed. There is no need to mention the Office of the Pesident as corruption resides there full time (Farmaajo, as a person, is not corrupt, his handlers are to the core). Did you hear us, offices of the Auditor and Attorney General? Never mind, we are just kidding. Not all animals are equal, after all. So stick to your lane which is going madly after politically motivated (non)-cases and small fish. No need to wasting your time pretending to crosscheck on the characters in offices at the helm.
Mr. Auditor General, please spare the public the drama and sideshows and be be real. We are not idealists to want you to gummble with your job as the threat of summary dismissals hang over your head like the sword of Damocles. You know how your predecessor was booted out, mob-style, without the faintest care for procedure. Resign on grounds of principal? You can't be kidding us. This administration con't have hired a person who can quit on them. They do their home work pretty when it comes to selecting birds of a feather.
Last Thursday's cabinet resolution, vesting the authority to hire and fire the Auditor General on the council of ministers, was a kin to toasting to impunity and hammered the final nail in the coffin of accountability.Taking away the indepensence of the office of the Auditor General by forcing it to kowtow to the whims of the executive is rendering it toothless dog-- all bark and no bite.
Sorry, fellow Somalis, the hard truth about Farmaajo's adminstration, as it turns out, is pure fraud and its anti-corruption proclamations is nothing more than fake news.
But let's take heart, impunity is, by its very nature, temporary (if you are the type to lose hope fast look at what's happening in Ethiopia). It's a matter of time before true leaders emerge to respond to the call of duty for Somalis that will elevate justice to its rightful place. The ongoing constitional reform process might provide an earlier relief against all these authoratian legislations if Parliament fails to live upto its oversight role to reverse them if/if it resumes back from recess.
To the Prime Minister's credit, its generally believed that his office doesn't deal in dollars and no such rumors implicating OPM exist beyond generous payment of his fat bills by the Office of the Presidency to keep him looking the other way.
To give due when and where it's deserved, the composition of the recently established National Economic Council is a step in the right direction as far as quality and competence can go. There goes the difference in ambition between the Office of the Presidency and Office of the Prime Minister. The President's handlers (not the president himself) are trading in fraud and mystery. Changes in the judicairy was by wheeler dealers at the Office of the Presidency and the NEC was an Office of the Prime Minister affair. For any fight against anything evil such as corruption, coronycsm, patronage, and extremism to succeed it must start at the highest office, the Office Office of the President.
For that matter, Farmaajo gets an "F" in judicial reform and what else, please?
Our sincere appologies to Mr. President because we know he's a nice guy. But this is just to register our displeasure with him so he doesn't let us down again. We wish him well with his leadership of the country. For his failure is our loss and the loss of an entire people.
By: Samsam Y. Mire and Leyla Qasim