SOMALIA: TROUBLE AT PUBLIC SERVICE EMPLOYMENT * Mareeg.com somalia, World News and Opinion.
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SOMALIA: TROUBLE AT PUBLIC SERVICE EMPLOYMENT

30/11/2013-Mareeg.com In my view, public service employment should aim at developing human resources in the country by affording adequate and equal opportunities in selection and appointment, awarding of training opportunities and must employ non-political, clan or religious affiliated civil servants with required qualifications and competences which are the backbone of smooth running of government affairs in its fight against corruption, impunity, injustices, management and administration for security and stability, economic recovery and building functional institutions which are now in jeopardy. Also, it is necessary to have good quality people in the public service in order to work hand-hand with the New Deal Members of the international community to succeed their efforts on behalf of Somalia. For that reason, a starting point for the president is to give directives the Cabinet to summon up back for duties all civil servants and officers in the armed forces during Gen. Mohamed Siad Barre’s Government who are still active and can contribute knowledge and experience in the work place and can train the new recruits fresh from universities and schools who wants to become public service employees or who want to join those in uniform. What’s more, to establish the necessary institutional foundations for the future of the country it is important to make the most out of past experiences and identify expatriate experts and international institutions with relevant experience in Somalia and invite them back those ready for work and provide their technical and professional experience to the country. Why, would the president, Dr. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud want to reinvent the wheel and start all over again? On the other hand, I urge the president to address the matter concerning the Director Generals appointed by former president Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed and yet remain the only legitimate Senior Public Officers in the government and not ignore the repeated recommendations and calls of the National Civil Service Commission to resolve it reasonably and according to public service law. Accordingly, former president Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed has appointed 28 Director Generals with required excellent educational background, experience and proper professional qualifications, honesty and integrity to do their jobs but to date only 3 remain (i.e., fisheries, agriculture and public works) and the other 25 Director Generals were sidelined and replaced with like-minded people with either religious or clan affiliations during former president Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and then prime ministers Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo and Abdi-weli Mohamed Ali “Gaas” without cabinet vetting or National Civil Commission’s approval at the expense of those who have sacrificed their personal and professional lives since the inception of the transitional federal government (TFG) and worked as volunteers without a pay for a long time but found themselves replaced with others when the government begun giving remunerations to its civil servants. Despite, no provision of sustainable and adequate salaries for public service employees it is still an important source of income for many families and forms the initial bases for wealth accumulation. Not only this distorts family incomes in the country accepting the current situation but it also excludes large population from driving policy about the things that matter most to their lives in the government which is unfair and unacceptable. It really, concerns me though how little this sort of behavior bothers the Members of the New Deal who is paying the money to sustain and maintain the public service employment in the country. The big question despite the fact that is, how does the federal government under Dr. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud want to rebuild functioning institutions of the collapsed government institutions and all its state organs with no public officers with required qualifications and relevant experience? In opposition, the National Civil Service Commission responsible for establishment and abolition of public offices tried to stop to be seconded these Director Generals to apply the law, relevant legislations regulations of civil servants but with no avail. To date, the Director Generals thrown out of their ministries and seconded remain without offices, no change in pay-point and no horizontal mobility characterized with change in career path for public officers. They are swimming against the current. Therefore, I call upon the President Dr. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud to reinstate all those Director Generals under former President Col. Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed who have a genuine Presidential Decree and seconded without the knowledge and approval of the National Civil Service Commission and thus unlawfully their salaries reduced. That’s why, the National Civil Service Commission, has investigated upon complaints made by those Director Generals forced into a leave of absence or seconded mainly to the Ministry of Labor relating to its constitutional and statuary functions and powers and made its recommendations for their reinstatement as it considered just in the circumstance of the cases. Deplorably, it was ignored and dismissed by then former president sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and his prime ministers Abdi-weli Mohamed Ali “Gaas” and Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo who have replaced these Director Generals with their own and at the same time violated their constitutional rights, basic freedoms, human dignity and human rights and want very much justice from the president Dr. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud for their case. Lately, the Prime Minister Dr. Abdi Farah Shirdon and his cabinet put a lot of pressure on the National Civil Service Commission, closing its offices and when that didn’t work went further to vote unanimously to abolish it and the called the Commission as thing of the past which belonged the transitional federal government whose time has expired. It was however, saved by the speaker of the parliament but still the commission is in limbo with uncertain future. Indications are that, past and present parliaments have failed to curb the excesses of the executive arm of the government in this matter of national importance where it wishes to influence the make-up of government employees for obvious reasons but to the determent of public service institution and eventually the country. Certainly, there are clear instances, in the public service employment where skewed employment reflects the clan affiliation of an individual minister since each member of the current cabinet like the previous one brought on board their “own staff” without the vetting and approval of the National civil Service commission with thin educational background and patchy employment record. Consequently, an imbalance, in civil service employment of the clans in the government violates the 4.5 Somali Clan Formula to make a somber reading since public institutions do not reflect the national clan diversity in the country.  Nonetheless, I strongly suggest that, in the future the lawful authority for the appointment of public servants and cadets in the armed forces with an oversight from the New Deal Members i.e., UK, US, Turkey, Japan and EU to regard merit, equity, aptitude and suitability in order to qualify for public service employment or services in the armed forces which is at present in shambles due to nepotism, cronyism, favoritism, clan, political or religious influence etc. This way, it will give confidence and trust of Somali people in their government which is in short supply these days when it comes to government employment in civil and armed forces and also it will dispel suspicions about the President, Dr. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s political agenda and policy direction and his alleged crusade of recruiting his students from SIMAD and members of his P. D. Party or at his expressed request that, the Cabinet must flow suite which is the popular view all over the country but not true. Next year the president must put in place future plans to conclude successfully negotiations with Somaliland, strengthen Somali Armed Forces, restore law and order, create Anti Corruption and Human Rights Commissions, a succession strategy to democratization process with its structures in place before the elections in 2016  and a road-map to conclude the Interim Draft Constitution to reflect the Sovereignty of people and their Political Independence, Territorial Integrity and Somali Unity, Supremacy of the Constitution, State Religion, Human Rights, National Values and Principles of Good Governance, Culture and Traditions of the country and its people. It is therefore, a pre-requisite for the president to have a civil service structures reformed and its capacities strengthened to make it more professional, non-political or religiously affiliated and overcome past syndrome of unfair recruitment, selection and appointment of public officers and members of the armed forces. Surely, it will be a welcome signal if the New Deal Members reassure the Somali people that they will be there for the country and its people despite the fall out and disputes between the president and the prime minister or the alleged corruption in a government. This is because the Somali people are worried sick and afraid a return to the past, so any change of the new deal plan or slight hesitation of its member countries either to withhold their pledges temporarily or scrap the whole plan not only it will put the Somalia into a doubtful future but it will also increase the hardship on the people. Dr. Abdi Ulusso

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