Every state has three main organs that design and implement the state’s goals and objectives – the executive, the legislative and the judiciary. The quality of the public servants and how they work to achieve state’s goals determine the success or failure of that state.
The public workers are the state’s vehicle for implementing developmental policies and achieving the goals of the government. They play an important role in the development of many areas such as the creation of new economic and political structures, and the acceleration of economic and social changes, reducing unemployment, and ensuring a more equitable distribution of income.
In Somalia, the three main organs of the state were divided by 4.5. Clans were also the criteria that are divided all the public works. This brought wrong positioning and misallocation of the public servants. Every minister employed individuals from his clan and close relatives. You can see this employment right now from the ministries. The civil servants (the ministry staff) of every ministry are clan majority, and if you ask it, you will be told that the ministers nominated by that ministry recently were mostly from one clan and since they got the job in clan bases, they implemented the clan interests and employed individuals of their relatives. No one thought who is qualified the work.
The clan-based system of employment resulted many problems. It increased corruption and bribery. It is difficult for you to be served without paying additional amount of money. Most of the government workers do this. They do not rely on their standard salary although they are not paid their salaries constantly.
One day I was registering a company from a ministry. I paid the registration fee to the finance department of the ministry. I brought the receipt to the registrar. He received it from me. He then asked me to pay him in order to do the work. It was unexpected to me. He gave me his mobile number and said send some money to me. I shared the issue to my boss, and he said to me simply pay him! I gave him some money that my boss ordered me to pay. When he saw the money, he said that it was very little and he was expecting more!
I asked his qualification. He told me that he does not have a degree, and he graduated from secondary school. After further questions, someone told me his clan. I asked him how he knew that employee’s clan. He answered that most of the ministers of that ministry were from one clan, and most of the employees of that ministry employed are from that clan.
The other thing I have known that day was that after the Duhur prayer, the offices are closed and the staff go to their houses.
Clan based employment brought bribery and poor performance. The civil servants are ideally those implement the public policy. They are also responsible for supplying the minister with the information necessary to take the right decision. That is ideal thing, but the actual thing is that most of them are clan-based employees who have no even an idea about their responsibilities.
The clan based employment system is prevalent today. There are many fresh graduates who are seeking to secure jobs, but no one considers their degree and knowledge. The job seekers know and say to you there is no way they can secure jobs without clan support! They have to contact with their MB, minister or any other politician from their clans if they need to find jobs from the government.
Without ignoring the current challenges and problems, without ignoring the 4.5 criteria we have got this government, I do think that clan based system is not fruitful. In my view, bottom-up approach is one best way we can overcome the clan problems.
First, the local government staff should be employed based on their knowledge and competence of the work. There are many job opportunities today from the local administration. Those opportunities should be given to the right persons, not favorite persons. I think this is where we can start the campaign.
Second, competent and qualified persons should be replaced by the civil servants or ministries staff, and the ministers should employ the new employees based on their qualifications, knowledge and competence.
I think the local administration and ministry employees are the most important staff that implements the goals of the nation. This bottom line policy of employing the staff of these two institutions will help to overcome gradually the clan-based dysfunctions, and it will be a good start of a better future!