Somali politics has been predictable for a very long time. There is always an exception to the rule. Prime Minister Mohamed H. Roble was seriously underestimated by friends and foes alike.
Most of all, he was seriously, underestimated, by Farmago & Fahad. Unlike the previous PM Khayre, he demonstrated an understated leadership at a very tumultuous time. Soft spoken also meant people listened more intently when he spoke.
Measured in speech and action – without drama and tireless IguSawir photo calls, not to mention fake hugs & inauthentic pronouncements, and “Savior Complex”! What a relief it was to witness calm and steady leadership.
Like him or not, he truly has shown Grace Under Fire, Courage & stood his ground. We need more understated, resolute, brave leadership, which delivers on their promises. Notably, after delivering the election, he is planning on departing gracefully. A standard all political leaders should emulate – don’t overstay your welcome is a reminder for leaders who continue to crave the spotlight. Knowing when to bow out, is a sign of strength and innate confidence.
Farmago’s electoral demise, began when he decided (with the support of Fahad) to underestimate his Prime Minister. Publicly accusing him of land theft only created more divisions as well as hostility. Sending soldiers to his office was beyond reckless & an intimidation tactic which seriously failed Farmago and strengthened Roble domestically and internationally.
Fahad lording his influence with Farmago, and publicly disrespecting the Prime Minister was also another serious political mistake. This only forced the Prime Minister to assert his authority and influence. If he hadn’t, he would’ve assured his political oblivion and public disdain. It would have been political suicide to ignore the public provocations and intimidation. Farmago played a old regime playbook and it seriously backfired. They also broke a time honored political rule – don’t create unnecessary enemies. In particular, those sitting, in the seat of power.
There are numerous lessons, the election process has illustrated, as well as lessons to be learnt. Maybe the most important, as well as obvious are: use your power wisely, don’t underestimate people, avoid publicly humiliating your opponents, do not create unnecessary enemies, – particularly, those who have the power, authority & the influence to determine your success or failure.
While Prime Minister Roble was new to politics, he has all the same, left an indelible impression on Somali politics. Freshly recruited, by a leadership, depending on his being docile, passive, and easily manipulated. Undoubtedly, he is now, a man transformed. A political Kingmaker no less.
Moreover, we can even find consensus as well as agreement, that the twist and turns of Somali politics, has forged PM Roble into a seasoned politican and power broker. He will be departing the scene, with both a power base in place and a name recognition.
Like it or not, no one will be forgetting PM Roble any time soon.
God Speed & All the best!
Khadro Duale, former Minister of Trade and Industry of Somalia