Maxamad Dheere: An Incompetent Appointee
March 31, 2010 3 Comments
Imagine that a stray bullet, one of the thousands that constantly whiz past you in this deadly city, dislodged itself in your mother’s heart. Quite a normal thing, considering the situation we are in. So you quickly rush her to hospital, hoping that she stays alive at least until you reach there. You put her on the stretcher expecting that the doctor, assessing the severity of the situation, would instantaneously drag her into the theatre for that life saving operation. But no – you are told, instead, to pay upfront the operation cost, the admin fees as well as extra for the services of the handlers; all this while she profusely bleeds beside you. You came in a rush and were perhaps a little too traumatized to remember bringing some sacks of money along with you, so throw yourself at the compassion of the doctors. You march restlessly to and fro pleading with them and promising them that you will bring the money. ‘Just begin the operation please, I will go and get the money,’ you scream but to no avail. The doctor informs you that the hospital operates under the instructions of the governor and he has laid down these rules.
You stare on despairingly as your mother convulses with agony on the stretcher, her blood gently dripping onto the concrete. Her listless body begins to deteriorate as life slowly seeps out of it; her face gradually loses colour and her eyes fade away against her pallid features. Only a few meters away from the operating theatre, she breathes her last as you look on helplessly.
That governor is none other than Maxamad Cumar xabeeb also known as Maxamad Dheere, the man who asserted sovereignty over people’s lives. An infamous warlord who controlled Jowhar and was once the mayor of Mogadishu, Dheere owned a private militia, operated road blocks and obtained his living largely through extortion.
Maxamad Dheere – A Short History:
The governor of Middle Shabeelle in 2004, Maxamad Dheere was among the warlords who were on the American payroll for their alleged counter-terrorism operations which, of course, failed to produce any result. When, by mid 2006, the wave of Islamic Courts Union (ICU) swept through the Southern regions of Somalia and the warlords were easily defeated, he escaped to Ethiopia and stayed there for some time. By the end of 2006, when the Ethiopian invasion of Somalia was in full swing and the Ethiopian troops had embarked on their long-yearned genocide of the Somali people, Dheere was seen cheerfully escorting the invaders. Ululating with excitement, he urged his entire tribe, as well as Somalis in general, to support the invasion.
‘The troops are going to liberate the clan so accompany them with milk and water’ or ‘ciidamada beeshay xoraynayaan ee biyaha iyo baraxa ha laga daba qaado,’ were his famous words.
After the heavy bombardment of Mogadishu by the Ethiopians in march/April 2007 (in what came to be known as the Nine Day War or Fooryaaye), the Ethiopians rewarded Dheere for his contributions and made him the mayor of Mogadishu. It was during his reign as a mayor, and perhaps under his instructions, that the government militia carried out a systematic looting of the Bakara market on a broad daylight: scenes that shocked the Somali nation. In his attempt to win favours from his masters, he amassed hundreds of innocent people from the streets and handed them over to the Ethiopians on the pretext of terrorism. Their whereabouts is not known until today.
When the Ethiopian army was defeated and were preparing their final move back to their country, Dheere was deposed from his position as the mayor of Mogadishu and Dhagaxtuur was put in his place. This was done by Nuur Cadde, the then Prime Minister, but Dheere, incensed by the audacity of the PM to remove him from power, refused to comply to the order and threw a tantrum. The Ethiopians, whom he fawned to, arrested him and took him along with them on their retreat to Addis Ababa early 2009 where he was imprisoned.
When he was released by mid 2009, he immediately escaped to neighbouring Kenya. When interviewed in Nairobi a few months ago about the events in Somalia, he famously claimed: ‘I am only hiding here in Kenya because I have no AMISOM tanks to protect me and I hold no responsibility.’ But now that is about to change.
Today, Maxamad Dheere is seen circling around the Villa Somalia compound, his contentment clearly unconcealed. The man who massacred countless number of innocent lives and oppressed thousands more is today said to be appointed as a Security Minister in the upcoming cabinet reshuffle. Something seems to be amiss here and I would not be wrong in my estimation that tribe had to be a major factor in his appointment. He hails from the same clan as Sharif. Blunders like these are perhaps what the Somali population needs to see more often, for they may, in time, prove to be the final straw that precipitates the demise of the feeble TFG regime.
It is like appointing a common thief to guard a jewellery store. You know his record. You know his past. You know he will steal again, but still you appoint him the position. Perhaps a time will come when the sword of Al-shabaab will cut the hand of the thief, as the masses rally behind them in Maslax!