We have been exceptionally harsh and critical of the current Mayor of Hargeisa Mr. Abdirahman Mahmoud Aideed SOLTELCO and went as far as crowning him the worst mayor in the world and chronicled his profoundly corrupt and self-centered reasons for wanting a second term as a Mayor. It’s exhausting but why why do we do it? Because the effect of his soon-to-end term is something every Hargeisa resident will live with for the foreseeable future, and Hargeisa, Somaliland’s capital deserves better than the trash-strewn, potholed cesspool that SOLTELCO has lorded over the last several years.
Mayor SOLTELCO is unfortunately more than just an extraordinarily corrupt and incompetent civil servant, he personifies the societal decay that has been eating away at the moral fabric of the people of Somaliland. A society that no longer ostracizes the liar, the thief, or the corrupt but embraces and holds them up as a model of success. There is no denying the fact that SOLTELCO, like a villain from a badly written political corruption book, is simply a symptom of the unseen pandemics that have been ravaging the people of Somaliland long before COVID-19 — corruption and tribalism.
President Bihi who toured the main bridge and flood-damaged areas is not an innocent bystander who is helpless to affect any change and watch Hargeisa washed away by floods like the rest of us, partially perhaps because of climate change as his online trolls try to compare Hargeisa floods to those at the holy city of Mecca but mainly because of the greed and incompetence of its elected officials starting with the Mayor who either sold or gave away flood zones for residential plots constricting the natural drainage of the city, and if any percent of the state institutions in Somaliland were functional, what SOLTELCO represents would’ve withered and died a long time ago, instead, it grows fat feeding on the misery of the very people whom it was supposed to serve and because of the public’s collective complacency, we live in a country where SOLTELCO wants a second term entirely funded from the public coffers and is trading publicly owned lands for political favors.
SOLTELCO is by no means the only candidate who is openly violating campaign finance laws (if we had such laws) by using public funds for campaign purpose, one prime example is President Muse Bihi Abdi’s prime pick for future Speaker of Parliament, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Dr. Yasin Faratoon but we digress.
The capital of the Republic of Somaliland has seen major floods in the past few days where its main bridge that connects the city may collapse and a lion on the loose terrorized its citizens and critically wounded a woman but its Mayor, Mr. SOLTELCO has curiously stayed quiet and disappeared from public view except to solicit, dine and court tribal elders for their “votes”. In perhaps the purest form of impunity, he claims he has been in training for the last eight years, and now has cracked the secret code of becoming the best mayor that Hargeisa deserves.
It brings us no joy to air one of Somaliland’s dirtiest laundry that beyond corruption, what sustains SOLTELCO and what he represents is tribalism and until we reject this oppressive and mutant version of democracy where tribal elders are the unspoken kingmakers that pick who can run for public office in our elections and we stop electing people based on kinship or tribal affiliation and move to a higher ideological plain where meritocracy and good ideas matter, we will forever end up with the most corrupt and inept of public servants.
The path forward and the cure to the disease that is SOLTELCO, not the person but what he stands for, corruption, greed, and incompetence shielded by a system run by others like him higher up in the food chain is to punish them in the ballot box and until that happens the people of Hargeisa deserve SOLTELCO for another term.