I have written favorably of Farmajo in the past (see here: http://www.raxanreeb.com/2017/02/somalia-presidential-elections-2017-time-for-bold-leadership-by-ahmed-bashir/) but his pick for the premier job has made me question my support for him. His pick for Khaire says a lot about what is to come in the next four years and I firmly believe his tenure will be another missed opportunity and a black spot on Somalia’s tumultuous struggle to pick itself up from the bootstraps. Needless to say that will be a big disappoint to President’s core supporters of which I was one.
The questions a lot of people are asking is what has made the President to name someone who has been tainted by allegation of dishonesty and corruption. There are so many highly educated and experienced Somalis who are not tainted by corruption that are out there so how come Khaire was the best candidate for this role. Does this pick mean the President could not find an honest person with the education and experience required for this job?
The pressure he has succumbed to must have been impossible to confront. I think the president has given in to pressure too early. If he had a lapse of judgment later in his term, we could have excused him for other commendable achievements during his term.
Furthermore, what assurances can the president give to the people that the Prime Minister elect will not break the rules, abuse power, sign away our natural resources, will not violate Somalia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, or betray the nation in any other way? After all, if this guy was a cheat as an ordinary citizen so why should we believe him now that he is in a position of authority that he will act within the confines of the rule of law?
Most people that I have talked to believe the pressure came from certain western nations in collaboration with some local heavy weights of which the former president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was notable among them.
But what does the President’s choice for the Premier say about Farmajo himself? I think this shows his weakness under pressure, lack of thoughtful deliberation, and perhaps some other hidden agendas that will become apparent years from now when it is too late to do anything about the damages done during his administration, and most unfortunately a total disregard for the wishes of those of us who have supported his successful bid to the presidency.
Anyway, the President named his choice for the Prime Minister, but now it is up to the Parliament to approve or reject the Prime Minister. It is important that the Parliament the seriousness of the task at hand and they should not be blindsided by the popularity and high favorable rating of the President.
The Parliament should not rush into confirming Mr. Khayre before they uncover everything about him. They owe it to the Somali people to bring to light his past business dealings, properties, assets, investments, bank accounts, etc.
His ties with Soma Oil and Gas and the ownership structure of this company and any contractual rights that they have been awarded to them by the former administration must be revealed and, if after being questioned thoroughly by the parliament it becomes clear that Khaire is guided by greed and personal interest then he should be rejected.
The parliament must grill him and ask him tough questions and if he dodges or fails to answer these questions satisfactorily he should not be allowed to become the next Premier.
Soma Oil and Gas was co-founded by some heartless predatory individuals who could care less about Somalia. The UK, the UN, the international crisis group, the Norwegian government had all investigated allegations of corruption and dirty deals against this company and Mr. Khaire himself but president Farmajo seems to be ambivalent to all of these.
We have given too many chances to too many unqualified candidates and cannot afford to keep on squandering opportunities. At this juncture Somalia needs a selfless nationalist leader whose only interest is to make Somalia united, stable and prosperous and, there must be found amongst us some who can speak the truth without fear of retribution and others who will not be afraid to shed light on corrupted leaders.
May GOD Help Somalia,