Mogadishu (UM) – In a recent rant at another opening ceremony of something or other, Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire asked his audience to ask themselves difficult questions. These difficult questions included why is Somali so behind its neighbours? This is an important question he must have some answers for himself given that he is the Prime Minister.
To catch up with its neighbours in socio-economic development Somalia needs to allow its best people to rebuild its institutions. The Prime Minister promised this with civil service reform and merit based appointment of senior government staff. These positions were even advertised and people applied. But nearly half a year later, applicants have yet to hear anthing from the government. Mr. Prime Minister, when will these applicants here back from you or have you given in to clan pressure and politics?
This government promised justice to the Somali people. The Prime Minister himself promised he will lead this agenda but the security agencies are accused of murder by citizens who have been killed for as little as minor traffic incidents. This Ramadan security sector brutality escalated and many victims and their families have had no apology or acknowledcement from the government. Who will tackle security sector violence and when? Who do victims complain to Mr. Prime Minister?
The Prime Minister is obsessed with his image and appearing to be a reformer. Appearances and actions are different and the Somali people are not stupid enough to be spun by flashy pictures. What they expect is that the narrative of we are changing Somalia matches shoved down peoples throats matches their own reality. The government story is the economy is growing, security is improving yet roads are almost always closed. When will traders make money to pay their taxes?
Corruption, monoply and nepotism is also an area that raises many questions for this government and the Prime Minister should focus on how he will deal with these. The person tasked with finding the answers should not be wasting time on questioning the public.
The public have a role to play in Somalia’s development but it’s for the leaders to lead with solutions. Mr. Prime Minister, it is time to reflect and answer your own questions.