Cabinet Members of Puntland known to the Diaspora as “Klepto-Kakistocracy Government” PART II
Cabinet Members of Puntland known to the Diaspora as “Klepto-Kakistocracy Government” PART II
By Prof. Farjac
In memory of Abdullahi Mahdi Hassan (Sayid)
We have been asked by many members of the Diaspora to change the title from “Naas iyo Nikaax” to several other nicknames such as “Puntlands’ Destruction Team” or “Klepto – Kakistocracy Government”. We accepted, and we would like to humbly and deeply apologize to those cabinet members who felt offended because clearly they didn’t fit the label of “Naas iyo Nikaax”. We have also seen the number of departments announced by the TFG. Guess how many? The number of departments announced so far is 39 with 39 secretaries and soon the PM is going to nominate 88 deputy secretaries. What a shock? And we were complaining about Puntland. The difference is TFG cabinet salaries -with no protection- are paid from the international financial aid, while the salaries and protection of Puntland cabinet is paid from the meager revenue of the taxpayers
As we have promised, in the second part of this article we will discuss the large number of bodyguards, technicals, how the size of the protection of the cabinet members and the leadership of Puntland affects the defense and the meager financial resources of Puntland. Furthermore, we promised that we will analyze the concept of planning and auditing. We will dance bachata around these topics. We are just firing blank bullets as warning shots to the kakistocratic regime.
Why Puntland Is Being Invaded? Do The Math:-
One might ask, what is the difference between the warlords of southern Somaliaand the cabinet members of Puntland since each one of them has a caravan of SUVs full of badly trained bodyguards of their own sub-sub-clan militia? A simple question to satisfy your curiosity is: Why are they so afraid of the population of Puntland that they are supposed to serve? What crimes did the Diaspora cabinet members commit to warrant the protection of a minimum of 120 bodyguards, and a minimum of five technicals each? What have they done so far for the state of Puntland? Is there any tangible concrete achievement that they can claim? Do they have any plans to execute and benchmarks to attain? Why is the taxpayers’ money being wasted on the rental of technicals or to pay the salaries of bodyguards for the ministers of non-functional departments? No wonder that some of the regions of the state of Puntland are unprotected and invaded by neighboring states. Just do the math. We have 6,360 bodyguards, when you multiply the 53 cabinet members by the minimum number of 120 bodyguards. Furthermore, you get 212 technicals when you multiply 53 cabinet members by an average of the minimum 4 technicals per cabinet member. We are being very conservative on the number of bodyguards and technicals per cabinet member. The most important cabinet members have an average of 10 technicals. Some of the cabinet members combine their forces when they are going to their fancy offices and parade with a mighty number of technicals and bodyguards that block the traffic for quite a while. We wondered about the goal of hiring this amount of bodyguards. Are the cabinet members hostages of the militia of their own sub-clans? Is there a real and clear danger to living in Puntland? Or is this a way of employing the unemployed people of the clans? Or is it a way to scare the Diaspora and implicitly send a hidden message not to come to Puntland if they can’t afford to hire a large number of bodyguards? What is the reason behind the huge number of bodyguards and technicals?
We did not include in the calculations, the bodyguards and technicals of the president, the sons and the relatives of the president, vice president, speaker of the house, VIP presidential advisors, director generals, important parliamentarians, governors, mayors, members of the supreme court, chiefs of Intelligence Services, top leaders of the Presidents’ Secret Political Police, police station chiefs, government sponsored piracy leaders, any important fat cat or what have you. We conservatively estimated that their number exceeds by more than five times the size of the protection of the cabinet members. All of the cost of protection for these individuals is paid from the revenue of the taxpayers’ money. Please don’t include in the calculation the money paid to the leaders of certain clan militia and leaders of no-clan based religious militia. Practically, they are hidden warlords that need to be paid, otherwise they can create trouble for the leadership of Puntland as they did before.
Once you calculate the number of bodyguards and technicals used by non- cabinet members combined with the tecnicals and bodyguards of the cabinet members, you will end up with a huge number of military power positions, and you will start making a logical connection between the reasons for the lack of defense at the borders of Puntland and the wasted Puntland military resources used for personal protection of the Puntland leadership. No wonder that the state of Puntland is being attacked from right and left and invaded from the West and South. Why can’t we send all these bodyguards and technicals to defend the boarders of Puntland? I bet that when the bodyguards hear that they will be sent to defend the borders of Puntland, most of them will defect.
Since Puntland doesn’t have an incentive to defend its borders, why don’t they solve the border dispute problems peacefully through negotiations? We are convinced that a peaceful negotiation about the border between Puntland and Somaliland can be achieved easily. Yes, we know that a peaceful negotiation between the two sister states will hurt the interests of the few who are benefiting from the conflict. If you look at the big picture, it is in the interest of the two states to live peacefully with each other and with their neighbors. Both states will save human and financial resources. If they need a daredevil to act as a go between or as an emissary of one of them, they can contact us.
Going back to the Diaspora cabinet members: will the cabinet members or the leadership as a whole accept to go to their air conditioned offices without bodyguards and technicals? Why can’t we choose some people who don’t need bodyguards in order to serve the State? Next time when you see your Diaspora cabinet member with his entourage of bodyguards, just ask if he is a hostage of the bodyguards or he just likes to feel important. I bet the president is going to chew them out and advise them to reduce the visible bodyguards. They could use bodyguards with no military uniforms. The president himself could use this advice and have his bodyguards wear suits and neckties to look like members of his own cabinet. Another question that keeps going in our face is: Will the administration confiscate all the technicals and use it for the defense of the state?
Fancy Job Titles with Hefty Stipends and No Real Jobs :-
Generally this is a method to create jobs for cronies, friends and family members. We do not want to clearly specify the real titles of the individuals holding fake positions with full of air titles and no real jobs. Therefore, we are going to use surrogate positions that existed in other regimes similar to the current regime. As most of you know, some of the members of the cabinet are given self-important titles without any concrete jobs such as Secretary of the Department of Piracy and Anti-Terrorism, Secretary of Disarmament of Tribes, Secretary of the Department of Resettlement of the Diaspora, Secretary of the Department of Refugees from the Souther Somalia, Secretary of the Department of Chip-monkeys, and similar Departments. Most of the developed and underdeveloped countries have not more than nine (9) departments while Puntland’s cabinet members exceed 53 members.
Without being offensive to any particular department, we would like to explain two administrative issues that the departments have in common. “The Lack of Planning and the lack of transparency”.
It is customary in every country that each ministry (department) prepares a long term and short term plan for that specific ministry. After gathering all the different development plans an independent agency (generally the office of the Department of planning, international relations and coordination, or any agency assigned to execute this task) compiles all the plans and makes a combined development plan for the state of Puntland. We have seen innumerable times, individuals being appointed into leadership positions in various sectors of the state of Puntland but none of them ever made a plan for the sector to which they have been appointed. We underlined Planning for many reasons. Every department is required to have a short and long term plan. In addition of providing full control over all the activities of the department, it allows the decision makers to establish proactive goals and implement the priorities of the objectives. Planning helps the top decision makers of the department to allocate the meager financial and human capital resources appropriately in the most economically effective and efficient manner, to quantify the targeted goals and establish methods of measuring the successes of the department. Some cabinet members will claim that they have some projects going on in their departments. They will flatly tell you that they don’t have any planning document for the project when you ask them if they have the plan for the projects. How can they manage and execute a project without a plan?
At the end of every planning period, the department (ministry) is expected to produce a report that shows what has been achieved in the plan of the department for that specific period, what has not been achieved and why it wasn’t achieved? What were the main obstacles to achieving the goals/plan? What needs to be changed in the future in order to achieve the plan? The budget of the department should be clearly spelled out on the website of the department. Dear reader, do you know how many Puntland departments have websites? Do you know what is written on the websites? Only very few of them have websites that were established by the previous administration. Please check this out and you will find obsolete websites, made by the previous administration, which have not been updated for a long time. At an age of rapidly changing technology, would you believe that most of the departments of Puntland have no websites? Only very few of them have websites, thanks to the previous administration.
Except nominating the kleptocratic leadership, what did this administration contribute to the departments of Puntland? Seek the truth.
The lack of a real plan for what should be achieved in the short run, not only for the whole state but also the lack of any short or long term planning and benchmarks for each sector or each department of the government makes the whole state a disoriented state led by kakistrocratic kleptocratic poeple, crooks. Please show us what you guys are doing, and even invent some justification of how you are spending the taxpayers’ money. At least spend some money on some plausible lies. We are very gullible.
If there are no planned targets and benchmarks to reach (as a one year plan, two year and five year plan), then there is no way to judge the efforts (if there are any) of the government and how the funds are being spent. The government can be judged and evaluated on the basis of the proposed budget and plan set for each year on security, economic and social development.
Lack of Independent Audits:-
The Cabinet Ministers from the Diaspora known for their failure in their respective countries of residence have one main goal “to get rich quickly.” Currently, they receive not only the stipends, and salaries for their large number of bodyguards, the rent of technicals, maintenance and fuel of the caravans of technicals that protect them, but also other funds to pacify trouble makers of the clans. Furthermore, they can steal and embezzle as much as they want from the budgets of their departments without being caught. No one has ever been brought to justice (from the establishment of Puntland to date, or from the creation of TFG to date); we have never heard of a president, a prime minister, a cabinet minister or any other who embezzled public funds who was brought to justice. Unless we start prosecuting the thugs and the kleptomaniacs, no one will be deterred from stealing public funds. In fact, in Puntland they are encouraged to embezzle and rob everything. The few individuals who don’t steal are called dumb and stupid.
The lack of any independent agency for checks and balances allowed the president and his cabinet members to shamelessly tell outrageous lies about the uses of the financial resources of Puntland. We hoped for the formation and establishment of a committee composed of representatives of the media, some tribal chiefs, members of the Puntland Diaspora Forum, members of the legislative branch, businessmen, religious leaders, youth, etc., with full authority to inspect, audit, examine the budgets of all the agencies and departments in Puntland. We hoped for a committee that is autonomous and independent from the administration.
Is there any tangible progress in security, education, health, economy or what have you in Puntland? It is customary from previous administrations to nominate a committee from the parliament (same sub-clan individuals handpicked by the president) to be the independent audit team. It is usually a corrupt team auditing corrupt administration. The result is the same—No corruption has ever been found.
The two groups that we trust most are the media and the religious leaders. A committee made of these two groups would do a great job of auditing the various departments. Before this committee is nominated, each department should be given time to report all their activities on the department's website. If the department doesn’t have a website, it should be forced to have one. Then allow the audit group to carry out their inspection with no interference from the administration.
We are aware of the new reshuffle of the government which will be announced at the end of the next week. Unfortunately the new replacement seem to be worse tan what we were trying to correct. We need a real change.
In the third part of the article, we will explore the klepto-kakistocracy of Puntland, the phase-out and replacement of Diaspora with religious pretenders, and various other topics related to the cabinet members of Puntland.
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