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galbeedi

A journey to my tribal homeland.

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Galbeedi could you tell us more about the daily life (or your observations thereof), your interactions with ordinary folks/businesses/students, the status of women, quality of life, state of the infrastructure, where you see this "homeland" heading in the next few years etc. Thanks in advance.

 

So far its just been a politics overdose.

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galbeedi   

These are the students of the Kacaan.

 

There were more than five elections in most of the major government branches, like parliament, presidency and the city counselors. Of course it is democracy and change is taking place democratically. Having said that, the method they operate, and the government system is not different from the late Somalia of nineteen eighties. There are city counselors and a mayor, but they do not have schedule to follow or work with, no agenda to implement or , budget issues to deliberate. Cities and towns where where most of the people live, there is no system of government to follow. He may have been elected, but he works for the party in power, and he could be fired if does not follow. As long as these mayors play by the rule in the palace, they will not be touched. Here in Borama, the mayor printed a forgery invoice from India to steal money from the biggest cash cow of the city, the Slaughter House. Built by Kuwait, it processes every goat, cow and camel slaughtered in the city. it charges two, seven and ten from these animals. It makes about nine hundred dollars a month. They stole about $90,000 worth of money before the officials discovered. The Awdal attorney general accused and asked the removal of the Mayor while the trail takes place. The interior ministry in Hargeisa shut down the proceeding and the mayor kept his job.

 

The system is static and will not change another ten years. They are not meant to be changed. We have passed the era of seventies where you experiment different kind of systems. in the 21st century, you do not need to reinvent the wheel. There are universal ways that governments throughout the world work, especially on the municipal level operate and collect taxes. . Governments, other than the national security of their citizens, most of their works concentrate on two major things, " Registry and Regulation" ( Kama soo hadho labadaas). You record the birth, the death, the property, the citizen and his identity whether it is number ID's, their income and their residency. If you don't do none of these, what you are is a group of people who settled in a community and decided to police themselves and create some form of government to in order to get along and survive. THroughout the Somali territories , it has always been like that. You may go the city and register your house and have some ownership in order to keep others from claiming your house ( in lagugu qabsado), but there are no property assessment or value. If you live in $300, 000 house or if you live a $10,000 house you may pay the same amount. THe biggest revenue and tax base for every city around the world is "property tax", can you imagine every house in Hargeisa or Borama paying his dues?, that could be millions. The problem is, before you collect money, you must set up a system that safeguards the tax. When I visited the Mayor in Borama, there were not one single computer in the age of the information highway, yet the business community have computers everywhere.

 

There will never be a change even for another ten years.

 

First, the diaspora propagandists who support the party in power or others who campaign to discredit any logical idea are everywhere. When you tell them a problem that could be fixed or corrected, they will tell you the usual " dadku weli ma bisla". THe assume the people are not ready for change. The fact is, the people have never been challenged or shown new way of doing things. The people are smart and adaptable easily, especially on technology and other changes. They pay their bills with their phone. YOu put money in your phone, and like a credit card use everywhere you go. IT is not the people , it is the incompetent managers who do not have the creativity and the imagination to experiment new ideas. I remember, a friend of mine who visited Dahir Rayaale, he said when you point to him easy things that could be implemented, he used to say " waar hadaan intan ka adkanay oo nabadii sugnay" , or similar things. How long do people wave the flag and talk about the peace that Somaliland gained. It is more than twenty years, you can not hide behind the peace issue or compare Somaliland by the standard of the south Somalia.

 

Second, there are both and educated diaspora members who have joined the government in different capacities and losers who left their " mafrushes" in the diaspora who gained high positions through nepotism or by being the organizers of the party. The educated class of the diaspora are in the cabinet. The biggest issue within these group is they are not interested to implement or reorganize major departments that deal with fundamental issue of reform and rule of law. These jobs need meticulous and painstaking work to achieve. None of the them are interested to spend time and energy to implement these reforms. MOst if not all of these ministers from the diaspora are involved ministeries that may bring some foreign investment or donor aid. They do not want to be bean counters in an obscure ministry to deal with registration or other headaches. It has been over twenty years and so far there are no any mechanism to register people and their properly. Every five or ten years they must wait a foreign donor agency to release the money for voter registration or the election itself will be delayed. Are you telling me you can not find a group of highly organized Somalilanders specialized in data entry otr other sciences to do this job ?. As I noted before, there are doctors and other educated people of high caliber, but they are not in the government. Do yo remember during Kacaanka, government posts were dominated by people with questionable qualifications, well it is here. Last week or so in the news there was a doctor called Macow, who came to Hargeisa to cure people and make some money, the vice minister who were accused of cancelling the visa and overruled health minister Xagla toosiye, was a guy from Seattle Washington, who used to sell Khat in the city.

 

Third, these changes can't be implemented by one or two people. It must be participated by the people, government and media. A system, micro managed from a palace or dark room can't achieve that. Paranoid government officials who trust only their kin will never reach a change. One of the biggest failures of the Somali government in the early eighties were, the Somali elite and the bureaucracy hated the Kacaan way of doing things and abandoned before even the civil war started.

 

Musiq maasuq Soomaali waa meheredeediiye.

 

This is the biggest cancer in every corner of the Somali people. Whether they live in the diaspora or back home.

 

The " Boono", or a corrupt receipt.

 

The Boono or the receipt is an Italian thing that became famous in Somalia in nineteen eighties. The way it works is, a government minister or a top official from the ruling class will write for you an invoice to buy a commodity from the government controlled industries. It could be fuel, pasta, chemicals or merchandise produced in these factories. A boon for 4000 boxes of pasta will be written by the minister to be purchased in a whole sale price. . The holder of the Boono does not have a business nor the money to buy, so he transfers the Boono to a businessman who buys in a wholesale price, then he pays the Boono holder The difference between the market and the whole sale. In that scheme the Boono holder makes money without doing anything. The other type of Boono is the government will write direct Boono to be cashed in the nations bank.

 

The thirty five years old corruption and injustice.

 

When I came back to Hargeisa, I visited a uncle of mine who was the Accountant General of Somaliland. These titles will remand you the former Kacaan. How about the Minister of Planning ( qorshaynta qaranka). only in the socialist economies you will find these titles. Any way he was the chairman of Kulmiye party in Awdal. After Siilaanyo became president he was appointed as the Accountant General. In 1975, he was " Xisaabiyaha gobolka woqooyi Galbeed". In those days everything was centralised. T he ministry of finance decided the expenditure of the regional governments. One day a a member of the " Xisbiga", wanted money for one of his activities, and asked the accountant to release certain amount. Qalib, being the early serious Somali bureaucrats of his time refused to release unless the minister approves. When the news reached the governor of the North West by the name of Bile Rafle Guuleed, he became angry, and ordered the arrest of the accountant. The accountant spent one ful month in jail without trail. After friends contacted the ministry in Mogadishu , they finally released him fro jail. Disappointed in and angry, he decided to leave his post and the country. for the next twenty years he spent working in the gulf country financial institutions and finally came back home in the nineties.

 

Just like Mogadishu of yester years the Boono system took a big hold in Somaliland. During Rayaale the Boono was used almost in all government invoicing. When I visited the accountant in his office, he told me he leaves his office sometimes six in the evening. Before he left for treatment for his illness, another hard line bureaucrat minister Mohamed Haashi instructed the accountant to keep an eye on the finance and do not let these bogus Boono to empty the bank. The problem is Hirsi and company have to reward for those who helped them win the election. Every Ali and Omar in town comes with these Boono and demands cash. He said that if he approves every one these Boono, their won't be any money for the public employees, so I have to delay some, refuse some and pay others. One day before I visited him, The vice minister of finance, another incompetent who left Alberta two year eleir to join the Siilaanyo campaign, came and threatened him for to fire him if he keeps refusing these Government issued Boono. He said, " waar Wasaarada ma anagaa maamula mise adiga", Since the minister is not here, he is in charge. The accountant did not back down. In his mind he thought the government will back him up by safeguarding the nation's finance.

 

Finally the Chief cabinet, Hirsi showed up and told him " waar nin madax adag ayaad noqotay ee xilka waan kaa wareejinayaa". The accountant was expecting to have a meeting with the President and explain the reasons for his refusal of these Boono. What he did not know is, Hirsi is in charge and his word is final. The next day he was fired. Soon after he got a job from one of NGO's and he never felt better in his life and said he has no regrets. Some of my family members said " waar ninku doqonsanaa, jeeg markuu qoraba isna muu mid qorto, cidna wax ma weydiiseen si fiicana wuu u qoyi lahaa". They felt an opportunity to get rich was missed by this hard headed bureaucrat.

 

The more you go south, the corruption gets even worse. While in Somaliland we are dealing with few thousands or small time corruptions, in the south of Somalia, we are talking about hundred of millions. How about a county without order for twenty some years and when a light comes at end of the tunnel, the southern politician want to rob all the money sitting in a foreign bank. For them the whole life measured in a "beeso".

 

If that was Bile Raffle yesterday, it is Hirsi now. They say the more things change the more they stay the same.

 

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Tallaabo   

The biggest problem we have in Somaliland and elsewhere in the Horn is people have no concept of halaal and haraam in their minds. Also there is no fear of Allah in the hearts of the political elite.

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galbeedi   

I think it is a tradition among Somalis. In the eighties, you could see a guy will get a job in one of those places where they literally rob, and after a year or two he will build a big house which every one can se. Friends and family will praise him for his looting and he sends his mother to the Hajj. Except " man raxama Rabbi" it is part of the culture. What people do not realize is corruption eats the progress, and the poor will suffer.

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Galbeedi, which is why I think it's better for Somalia to adopt a more Libertarian stance when it comes to running the economic affairs of the country.

 

Somalia can't handle being a big bureaucratic centralized State such as the U.K. or France. The corruption amongst the Somali government officials would be endemic, and no amount of preventative measures will be able to curb it. If a politician doesn't outright rob the citizens, then he would appoint his nephew or his cousin to high positions within the government.

 

This was a reality during the Kacaan era. Government officials often appointed their family members to high positions of power, despite the fact that they have no skills or credentials of their own. And this robs the Somali citizen in more ways than I can describe.

 

So perhaps we should adopt a system where the Government enforces criminal law and property law, but then steps out of the way and lets the citizens conduct their own affairs. As peace is maintained in the country, then the citizens would establish their own private companies or partnerships which could deliver services to the people in a very efficient manner.

 

We've already seen how efficient and competent Dahabshiil is. Dahabshiil and the Khat Market has proven what Somalis can do if we put our minds to it. And we can accomplish a lot if we had a government with a laissez-faire approach to economics and governance

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galbeedi   

Doctor Kenedy, your proposal is really the only way to combat corruption. Libertarian free market economy is the only way. We already have a culture of free enterprise among the people. The role of the government in running the economy must be minimized to curb the looting. The stake of the citizens hold on the country will rise. The only way losers, criminals, thieves and others could make a living is by joining the government. They have no hope in the free market or others parts of the economy run by honest hard working entrepreneurs.

 

The young educated Somalis must push for reforms or bring these new ideas in the sun.

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Yeah definitely. Somalis are already an enterprising people, we are risk-takers, and we know how to get what we want in the Free Market. In Nairobi, you can find Somali businessmen selling products from all over the world, at a much cheaper price than what the Kenyans or Indians sell it for.

 

We have our good qualities and our bad qualities. And the bad qualities of Somalis are amplified when we have a Big Government. Everyone's heard stories about the level of corruption during Siad Barre's era. The good qualities of Somalis are amplified when we have a small Government and free markets. Somalis would be manufacturing, expanding businesses, constructing, teaching, and investing at extremely high rates. And we could catch up to the rest of Africa in under 15 years. (Probably even less than that)

 

What I would propose, would be to set up a government which enforces national security, prosecutes criminals, enforces contracts, and protects private property. Everything else can be handled by the Free Market.

 

I've seen Somali private schools, private hospitals, and private organizations which offer far better services than anything a Government Agency can offer. And if peace is restored in Somalia, there will literally be hundreds of companies competing for customers. This will force companies to drive down their prices and increase the quality. And if a Somali company does a terrible job, they can go bankrupt and be replaced by a newer, better company. The same way how Pan American Airways, TWA, and Woolworth's went bankrupt and vanished because they couldn't compete. And they were replaced by others who could do a far better job than them.

 

With government, that can't happen. With government, if they do a terrible job, you're forced to accept it and you really can't do anything about it. If the government delivers terrible electricity services, then you have to accept it. If a private company delivers terrible electricity, then you could easily switch to the competitor. This is the beauty of the free market.

 

Somalia could become an extremely prosperous country in a relatively short time, if the right economic policies are pursued.

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Under the current system, the only way opportunistic thugs and losers can ever achieve something in life, is by joining the Government and hoping for a big paycheque.

 

Under a free market system in Somalia, the only way these losers can ever achieve something is by working hard and being of service to the people.

 

Naturally, they don't like that and will do everything to oppose it.

 

The Government of Somalia should have a very limited job, and should stick to their limited duties. We could do well with a Government Spending that's about 10% of GDP

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galbeedi   

Absolutely, we can't have a centralized huge system that can build things like china or other centralized nations.

THat era was from 1970-1977, were people feared the system. Also in this day and age fragmentation, it is hard to establish, find or organize a highly efficient bureaucracy that can implement government projects. You could contract out almost everything, from procurement to highway building and other services. Electricity in most cities today is run by private enterprise. they are cheaper and reliable, there are possibility of some government employee stealing the fuel.

 

I believe less than ten years you could have some of the most modern services in electric, phone, internet and cable. You could have private companies building roads, ports and housing.

 

 

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galbeedi   

<cite>
said:</cite>

Galbeedi could you tell us more about the daily life (or your observations thereof), your interactions with ordinary folks/businesses/students,
the status of women
, quality of life, state of the infrastructure, where you see this "homeland" heading in the next few years etc. Thanks in advance.

 

So far its just been a politics overdose.

 

lol

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Apophis   

The people should be robbed by unelected cartels instead of elected politicians. Bloody great idea from the school of greed, aka: economics.

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<cite>
said:</cite>

The people should be robbed by unelected cartels instead of elected politicians. Bloody great idea from the school of greed, aka: economics.

 

Apophis,

 

1. Dealing with a business isn't like dealing with the government. If you don't like how a certain company does things, you can leave and deal with the competitor. The same how I hated Verizon, so I switched to T-Mobile and received better service.

 

With government you don't have that choice. Even if you vote, the guy you voted for could have lost the election and you'll be forced to deal with someone you don't like. And deal with a government bureaucracy which you can't stand.

 

2. Aside from some exceptions (and this is due to monopoly and lack of proper regulations), private companies don't "rob" people. You pay them money and they give you goods and services. It's pretty straightforward saaxib. I'd much rather deal with them than a government ministry which decides how many goods should be produced and how they should be distributed.

 

This leads to chronic shortages and wasted labor, and Siad Barre's era was full of examples of Somalis waiting in long lines for hours for the most basic stuff (ie. bread, eggs, leather, etc.)

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galbeedi   

Apophis, economy is what what creating prosperity around the globe. The business community, if supervised may not rob as much as the government. If you have a restaurant and some company asks you to provide 100 plates of lunch a day or every few days, believe me , you would be happy to provide that services and you do not need to cheat. Even if they steal 10%, the job will be done. If you give that simple task to a government guy he may cut the lunch half, give some bribe to the businessman and deliver only 25 plates.

 

They are stealing the salary of the solders by falsifying the names. Can you imagine these guys can not even deliver the soldiers o

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