Somalia: A new dawn, a new day for Somalia
A new dawn, a new day for Somalia
August 01 2012
“The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalised version of the first” Thomas Jefferson former American President.
Today August 1, 2012, Somalia marked the end of long and painful journey. The National Constitutional Assembly delegates provisionally approved the new Constitution. This is a historic achievement for Somalia long in the making.
The leaders of the Transitional Federal Government have successfully played their party, thanks to the unwavering support of UN Secretary General’s Envoy to Somalia, Ambassador Peter Augustine Mahiga and other Somali political stakeholders. He has shown honest and brotherly deduction to help Somalis out of the mess.
The ball is now squarely in the court of Civil Society, including the traditional elders, media and scholars. The implementation of the new Constitution will start right from the selection of the Members of the Federal Parliament – the subsequent element in Road-map. The members of the new Federal Parliament should be selected in accordance with the criteria set out by the new Constitution.
Traditional elders should select and bring forward names of people with high academic qualification and integrity beyond reproach.
Civil Society Associations – including media – should be watchful at this crucial juncture. They should conduct thorough background auditing of the people proposed by the traditional elders and protest against those who don’t meet the set criteria – high integrity and Academic qualification.
They should engage harshly – with moral condemnation, naming and shaming – for those who submit tribal sycophants, people with questionable background or unqualified candidates. Wake up Somalia, let us set the agenda for our country, once and for all. It is now or never.
The philosophy of the new Constitution is anchored on the principle of people-centred governance. “All power is invested in the public and can only be exercised in accordance with the Constitution”.
The Public will exercise this power through their representatives in the House of the People of the Federal Parliament. That is why the members of this House are pivotal for the success of the new dispensation and new era for Somalia. They are vital for our boom or burst. The people, we send to this house will determine what we will become in the next decades to come.
This is “the moment of truth”. Are we going to pursue a bright future or will we slide back to the dark days? Will we rise triumphed by sending our intelligentsia to the House of the people to represent our collective interest or will we succumb to our siege tribal mentality and extend the cynical reign of the myopic tribal warlords?
We need to be careful and cautious. We need to pull all our efforts together to ensure that the spirit and letter of the new Constitution is not undermined at this inception stage. We need to pull all our effort together to ensure the members of the new Federal Parliament meet the criteria set out by the new Constitution. We should endeavour to inform and educate the elders to be mindful to the requirements of the new Constitution when considering a member of their communities for an MFP.
Once this assignment is accomplished successfully, a remedy for our problem will suggest itself. Successful implementation of the new Constitution requires candid and intelligent people who can digest and eternalise the philosophy of document.
I can guarantee – Insha Allah- there will be no more famine in Somalia from today. Our tragic ordeals will be a “thing” in the past. I choose to support my argument with the startling assertion of Amerty Sen who argued that there has never been a famine in democracy. He wrote:
“In democratic countries, even very poor ones, the survival of the ruling government would be threatened by famine, since elections are not easy to win after famine; nor is it easy to withstand criticism of opposition parties and newspapers. That is why famine does occur in democratic countries”.
Although the evidence of his claim is debatable, I am convinced that the core of the argument is powerful. Deliberative governance based on public participation, fair and free competition, issue-based and result-oriented political platforms can set the foundation for a governance system that is effectively responsive to the needs of the poor masses.
And that is the blueprint of the governance system enshrined in the new Constitution. Let us therefore guard the new Constitution with our blood. Let us not allow ourselves to be enslaved by bigotry and tribal siege mentally. Let us all read the Constitution and demand proper implementation that reflects the spirit and letter of the Constitution.
It’s the provisions in the new Constitution that can address both our individual and collective needs. They said the rising tide raises all ships – both big and small. That is to say every single citizen or community will reap the benefits of new Constitution – if implemented accordingly.
Let me close my short essay with other quote of the towering former America president Thomas Jefferson, I have started with. He remarked “A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labour the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities”. And that is exactly where we will be heading with the new constitution.
Brave hearts, it is another hey-day that calls the patriotic intellectuals of Somalia to come forward and guard the interest of their beloved country and people with blood.
By: Saed Faadi
The author is topical commentator
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Raxanreeb’s editorial policy.