His Excellency Musa Bihi Abdi, the newly elected president of the Republic of Somaliland, brought together his new cabinet of ministers Saturday at an inaugural meeting during which he tabled his plans for a sweeping reform in government practices.
President Bihi promised supporters during the party campaigns which brought him to power that he would uproot government malpractices which included misuse of public office powers and services, misappropriation of resources, clan loyalty and unbridled divulgence of state secrets.
Mr. Hussein Deyr, who still holds the office of Presidency spokesperson, read the new leader’s seven-point agenda for reform to the press at the end of the cabinet meeting.
Mr. Bihi took the cabinet through a formal oath process whose objective was to hold them to a solemn undertaking to:
- Keep ministerial and state secrets to themselves at all times
- Register private property and assets before taking office with state
- Ministers register relevant bio background pertinent to office with state
- Strengthen and accelerate inter-ministerial relations in order to maximize government efficiency
- Ministers develop view to justly distribute resources across the regions and to encourage said regions to optimize productive sector
- Ministers distance themselves from all association with specific clans in order to emphasize state responsibility over clan allegiance and/or association including participation in clan-organized meetings and banquets in honor of minister/s
- Takeover ceremonies not to be held outside official premises
This first proclamation of the new government was widely but tentatively welcomed by a wary public worn out by similar promises that hardly materialized under previous administrations. A number of ill practices had marred the reputations of governments that had on a number of other counts done well.