3 Deadly Political Blows Wajir County Government May Not Survive
In the post truth politics of the present, much has been said about the troubled gubernatorial seat of Wajir County currently occupied by H.E. Mohamed Abdi Mohamud and as the electorates wait for the appeal’s verdict that is approaching fever pitch, there is more than meets the eye. As the bulls lock horns, the grass gets drier and the electorates cheer on the sidelines, there appears to be a bigger hidden hand that may have more of a say in how the anticipated contest will shape up than the propaganda of the rivals and the peddled half-truths of the past. This subtle hand is manifesting in the shape of 3 deadly blows that may deal the incumbent a puncture if not a burst tyre altogether. As alliances form and break the incumbent appears to be shooting himself in the leg every day and little of the administration’s actions or inaction seem to derail the downward roll. Time will tell if this deterioration of the electorates’ goodwill can be restored but the 3 deadly sins of this administration may need a lot more effort and time to tame.
Firstly, the political anomaly many are wont to mention is a previously unseen prejudice in recruitment. While it is political practice all over the world for politicians to reward their loyalist with political appointments once they romp into office, this administration’s whole recruitment exercise was not only seen as biased by many but to be in a league of its own. It beggars belief how an administration that was sold to the electorate as the epitome of impartiality and inclusiveness can wantonly recruit like the young administration of H.E. Mohamed Abdi Mohamud. A case in point is the recruitment of the chief officers (Cos). 5 of the 7 who were deemed to come from the Fai sub clan are from the governor’s own sub-clan, the Odey Suge and the other 2 are from the Loboge sub clan. Mohamed Fai hails from the Loboge sub clan. The two Fai executive committee members (CECs) are also of the Odey Suge sub-clan. The other Fai sub clans are said to feel alienated. This is where it gets more interesting though; all of the chief officers who have Authority to Incur Expense (AIE) are from the Odey Suge sub-clan, the sub-clan the governor hails from which pundits say has shocked even some of the most ardent supporters of his administration. More shocking still is that none of the Ogaden and the Ajuran Chief Officers have an AIE! The import and importance of an AIE is that Chief Officers are the accounting officers of departments and any chief officer with no AIE remit is not worth his or her salt. It means that a chief officer of a certain department has to wait on a fellow chief officer of the same rank and power to sign a check or authorize payment of an expense just because he does not come from ‘right’ sub-clan! The department of Health, for example, has 2 Cos, a Jibrail of Hon Kenyan’s sub clan and a Fai and both have Authority to Incur Expenses. However, for the Water department which has an Ogaden and a Fai COs it is only the Fai CO who has the authorizing power which means while the Ogaden and the Fai COs are both nominally of the same power and authority, the Ogaden is a lame duck and cannot write let alone authorize a check and has to wait on the Fai CO. This runs throughout the departments and is said to be raising a storm even among close allies of the governor and may be one of the greatest undoing of his administration. It may alienate some of his closest allies in the 2017 elections and if not nipped in the bud, may prove disastrous for his re-election in case a by-election is called. Besides the potential political damage for the incumbent this previously unseen anomaly does not augur well for community cohesion.
Carrying by the Sack load
The administration appears to be racing against time and in the helter-skelter of it all, the electorates appear to have bought the notion that, like Mobutu Sseseko’s dying days this is an administration that is devouring all it can in the shortest possible time hence the term rapidly gaining currency, Juwan Ku Xaabis, (Carrying by the sack load). This term is extremely damaging the incumbent chances of a recapture if a fresh election is called. It was the County woman rep who set the slogan in motion after what appeared to be an angry exchange of unpleasant words as a result of alleged unfulfilled MOU agreement between her and the governor as was reported in some quarters. This was quickly picked up by rivals of the administration and formed the basis of the formation of what was hailed as an alternative alliance. This alliance is however claimed not to hold any water as the backers and movers are said to be incapable of convincing even their chickens to vote one way or the other. I digress.
The term Juwan Ku Xaabis, has done considerable damage to the young administration and rumours were flying around few weeks ago that a prominent personality in the administration was caught at Jomo Kenyatta International airport carrying 23 million shillings’ worth of cash in a basket only to be stopped by immigration officers who were said to be shocked after what looked like a million buck of notes passed to them gaining the carrier a quick pass. This could not be substantiated but adds to the growing feeling of a section of the electorate that this is an administration rapidly preparing for an early exit. In politics the reality hardly matters and perceptions almost always carry the day. In this misfortune, Juwan Ku Xaabis, whether proven or not will be one of the deadly terms that rival camps will use to drive home their agenda to rid H.E. Mohamud’s administration off the county.
Not his own man
The last but not the least of the 3 deadly sins that may join forces to confine H.E. Mohamud to the dustbin of political history is the tag of been not his own man in the running of his administration. There is a near consensus that H.E. Mohamed Abdi Mohamud is a pleasant man of appealing character. However, the electorates have also reached a consensus that he is actually not the man behind the throne and that an influential member of parliament and the governor’s wife are those pulling the strings. The Somali, though not the sexiest of all creatures, will consider nothing short of a vandalism of the culture for a man to forsake his roles and responsibilities to his wife let alone another woman. These are some unspoken rules and the only sure way to bury a Somali man a life is to tag him a ‘wify’, a man whose omissions and commissions are dictated by the whims of his wife. There is no denying that the First lady is a woman with a powerful personality. During the electioneering period some of the pertinent questions raised by a large section of the voters was if anyone would be able to rein in the ambitious and powerful first lady. One of the architects of the governor’s election team was taken to publically assure voters that one of the MOU between the team and the governor was to let not the lady be and that she should keep an arm’s length from not only the campaigns but from the running of the then would-be administration. This appeared to have been achieved but only just. While the indefatigable lady was thin on the campaign trail, she is not so in the running of the administration as her power and decisions are felt all around the governor’s office. A case in point is the fracas that emerged few weeks ago between her and an MCA besides the many other incidences whirling around. The lady has a right to exercise her power as the domestic and social custodian of the powers of her husband but she appears to be the most visible first lady in the region if not in the county which is rattling too many snakes. This is a deadly sin according to a large section of the electorate and may cost H.E. the coveted seat. There is also the issue of the influential member of parliament and his stranglehold on the administration of the governor. I have to mention a seldom acknowledged act that the MP can claim credit. Without the fear of contradiction this is the man who revived a then dead governor candidate after the Fai sultanate selected a little known American educated IT specialist for the seat. The man who almost singlehandedly revived the political ambitions of the septuagenarian and brought him back to the political limelight eventually winning him the seat was this MP. There are others who played a role but the pivotal role was this man’s. He therefore has a reason to enjoy the trappings of power once his camp has won control of the county affairs. It is understood that the influential 3 term MP had an MOU with the powerful first lady. In the MOU was that the MP asked to be given a free hand in the forming and running of the administration. It appears this agreement was granted. I am not privy to other mega concessions the ruling camp has given up to appease this seemingly powerful and influential member of parliament but it is an open secret that he was rewarded with 3 of the most powerful positions after the governor’s which he gave to what is believed to be his henchmen. The finance docket was given to his man, the chief officer of finance is non-other than the man who managed his CDF and the speaker who many believed to have been imported from Mandera county is his protégé. After these considerable concessions, even the most ardent supporters of the administration who are quick in its defense believe that the MP should have taken the backseat and let the governor be. The MP’s political rivals and an increasing number of residents of the county are of the opinion that he is calling the shots way beyond his powers and getting far more than he deserves. This is not endearing many residents to the governor or his administration and is likely to have a catastrophic effect on the electoral chances of the incumbent.
Caana daatay dabadood la qabay goes the Somali saying, however if the supreme court calls an election, it will be in all probability caashoy geed qabso for this administration.