July 10, 2019
They are known in Garowe for the misnomer of “FREE PARLIAMENT” (Baarlamaanka Xorta ah). They are mostly retirees, minding only their retirement existence and an old man’s love for evening chat and city gossips. Every evening they gather around a long rectangular table in one of the city hotels to kill the boring passage of their time before they retire to bed at 10 o’clock. They take their break from their most unproductive conversations at Ishaa (evening) prayer, to return to continue the boring sessions at table.
During the entire existence of this informal group in Garowe, they had never produced even a few pages of minutes on a serious topic they had discussed and deliberated. They seem to be devoid of any ideas useful for the society they live in. Yet, they want uncritical old men, idlers and pseudo- professionals to hang on and loiter with them every evening. They are afraid of taking cue from formal standards of the civilised societies to establish professional associations or social clubs, and thus taking up some important societal issues seriously.
Observers of this chatting group said that most these old men are employee-consultants of various private and public organisations, construction industry, and they are not at liberty to join organized civil society entities. The question is, why do they then allow to call themselves a “Free PARLIAMENT”? Obviously, they want to live and operate in the darkness without bringing in and out any ideas to benefit the society.
This is the Baarlamaanka Xorta ah (FREE PARLIAMENT) you hear about in Garowe City.