On Saturday the head of state H.E Musa Bihi Abdi made changes in his administration reshuffling some cabinet members and directors general. The president reshuffle comes one year after his ascend to power following a general election. The electorate were very irritated by the quality and caliber of members of his administration. The changes were well overdue since the members of the public were waiting in anticipation to see if the president will make worthwhile changes to his ailing government and bring in technocrats who can add value to his cabinet.
This was not the case according to the public opinion awash in social media circles and political pundits alike they claim the head of state had made the worst choices and had worsened the quality of the already lame government.
There are many reasons that explain the doom of the president reshuffle in the eyes of the public before even being implemented. First and foremost the public were expecting the president to build a government that can maneuver today ever increasing political challenges such as internal and foreign affairs following the wind of political changes blowing across the Horn of Africa region at the speed of lightning. The president was expected to name an administration that can cope with the speed of change happening across the region.
For instance, if we overlook the internal affairs docket which has a lot of shortcomings like the divided population following a divisive election. Somaliland today need a strong foreign affairs ministry that can initiate worthwhile diplomatic initiatives. There are a lot of complaints about the state of affairs at the ministry of foreign affairs which is at all-time low. Putting Somaliland agenda of self-determination at risk.
The former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Sa’ad Ali Shire was moved to the ministry of finance this leaves a very big question mark has the president solved the problem that the ministry was facing or has he exacerbated the situation further by appointing the former minister of education Mr.Yassin Faraton to take the foreign affairs docket. The new minister Mr.Faraton is a foreign affairs novice and will bring little or no substance to the foreign ministry. The question is has the president diagnosed the ailing foreign ministry or has he worsened the already serious situation of the sickly patient?
The president appointment of Mr.Faraton to the foreign ministry will continue the cycle of decay in the foreign ministry. It seems that the president had good intention to balance the quotient of power however his calculation of the political consequence of this decision is what that matters, hence the president needs to go back to the drawing board and come up with a strong team of technocrats. A cabinet of technocrats outweighs ministers appointed through clan connections.
Somaliland needs a strong ministry of internal and foreign affairs that is based on knowledge, skills and diplomacy that can sail in the waves of the political volatility of the Horn of Africa region.
On the other hand the president seems to have put the ministry of finance at the forefront of his changes. This is because he wants to catalyze economic development of the country to win public approval. The president has appointed Mr.Sa’ad Ali Shire to the finance ministry since the minister has learnt economics and once headed the planning ministry but the head of state also had to put the same priority to the ministry of foreign affairs which has a very huge significance to Somaliland future as an independent state.
The head of state also removed top echelons of the ministry of education and injected a new blood. The ministry is reeling in lack of clear policy to guide Somaliland education curriculum which has been neglected for a long time.
Last but not least the president reshuffle failed to include the political equilibrium of the local clans’ balance of power, since Somaliland is a democratic country that includes clan power into political power.