July 8, 2019
Congratulations to President Said Abdullahi Deni for making first encouraging steps towards taking the ownership of PUNTLAND STATE multifaced problems, some of which are chronic and intractable. However, these are only first steps in overalling a stagnant socioeconomic and administrative/political malfeasance that had crippled the State so long since its foundation in 1998.
The President is right to start reforming the State’s Acheel’s Heels: Security and Finance Sectors. Flashing out aging and corrupt bureaucrats from Puntland finance sector is a much welcome effort by the President.
Appointment of good people in position of authorities is not enough, though. Transparent standards and legal instruments must accompany with these official appointments. To fight corruption and mal-administration in public affairs, autonomous agencies and departments such as the Auditor-General and Accountant-General must be empowered with independent powers, financial and legal means to discharge their responsibilities. If that doesn’t happen immediately, there is nothing much to celebrate for the President’s seemingly bold official appointments last night.
It is equally important to appoint bureaucrats on merit and qualifications through competitive interviews and exams, including their through vetting and background checks, while taking into account the necessary employees diversity at ministries and agencies. President Deni seems not bringing in new qualitative ideas and innovative system of personnel recruitment. He has immediately embarked upon doing business as usual.
It is also the right time for the President to make an appropriate Cabinet Reshuffle as six months is more than enough to evaluate the performance of individual ministers. There is no point in keeping on a non-performing Cabinet Member.
PUNTLAND STATE has been held back for much of its existence by two major crippling factors:
Epidemic corruption with impunity
Weak and equally corrupt House of Representatives.
Puntland House of Representatives were solely responsible for all that went wrong in Puntland, I can ascertain this with authority. They were the reason why we have “Madax-ka-Nool” government here. It is a sham Parliament in both its election (in fact, selection process) and legislative operations. Until this House and its leadership behavior change, a goodwill of the Executive and its compliance with laws and regulations of the land can’t be expected, not to talk about checks and balance of power.
To sign off, I must share my personal experience with you that the people of Puntland love their government as they equally admire competent, transparent and honest leaders. They will definitely fall in love with President Deni, only if he earns that public trust.
Puntlanders might have been a bit disappointed with the current setup of the Ministry of Energy, Water and Mineral Resources in the terms of lack of employees diversity. Based on the historical background of these agencies now coming under a ministry, the President couldn’t do it better otherwise without risking a political capital for the time being because of known sub-clan considerations and contradictions. These agencies are now also better off, being attached to a ministry for funding and more public transparency.
In tribal politics, no politician can assert his paramount leadership role, however, without first securing his last word command on his immediate sub-clan power-base.