By Hossain Eryal.
The current government was elected by popular votes and is of the representative of the people but that doesn’t mean they got a free hand to do whatever they like nor does it mean they won’t make wrong decision, mistake,. After all they are human and are susceptible to all sorts of things misconduct, tribalism, injustice and unfairness and must be hold accountable to the people. In its short terms in office the president and his government has made a remarkable achievement in delivering many of his election manifesto/pledges and the country and its people are far more better shape then they had been in the last twenty one years in social services such as health, education, development, reducing corruption and internal/ foreign policy . This is undeniable and is felt by the people of Somaliland. Nevertheless there is long way to go and enormous challenging is a head of them to delivering the rest of the election manifesto.
Our government, institutions and civil society are new and emerging democracy ; and of course along the way will encounter many problems, obstacles, and may wittingly/ unwittingly made mistakes, wrong doing or dispense of injustice/unfairness. I am not giving them an excuse but that is the nature of the human that when you learning something new, especially when our social structure is pre-programmed to tribalism and kingship. I am pretty sure and confident the president and his minister/government will learn from it.
The peoples and the media/journalists have every right to constructively criticise their president, his government and other elected institutions and make them accountable to them. Democracy without strong but healthy/robust opposition or critics is incomplete democracy; be that in the form of political parties, individuals, media or civil societies.
Past or present especially in the modern democratic society media has become the most powerful instrument or platform that can be use as a force for good, harmony, coexistence and development/prosperity or a path of destruction, civil war, tribalism, hate, iniquity and backword. Though it too is in it’s the early infancy the Somaliland media is no exception they have their up/down; bad moments, mistakes and wrong doing, nevertheless, no one could deny the invaluable contribution that our media have made toward nurturing our developing democracy as well as hampering. It can be said that the Media represents the five senses of the people i.e. Eye, ear, smell, touch and taste.
There is nothing wrong to be one’s critics or opponent; in fact its peoples’ interest to have healthy critic/opponents who genuinely highlight ones’ weakness, but it must possess at least the followings characteristics:
Must have clear/positive and healthy aims/goals and have taste of professionalism, Objectives rather then subjective and free from clan/tribalism.
Must be based: facts and figures not fictions, rumour or here and say.
Must be: impartial, unprejudiced, and tolerant and shows/have decency and not biased or based on hate and dislike of the subject/s.
Must have flavour and decency of the field you talking/writing on about, as it’s a reflection on you/reporters/writers/critics positively or negatively.
Somaliland has come long way from being each other’s throat, civil war, tribalism and clan politics to one of open, vibrant and democratic society. All because we listen to logics and agrees when we are in the right and disagrees when we not; which is rear or non existence in southern Somalia or indeed elsewhere in Africa.
In our country there are two types of media/critics (a) Healthy/Genuine and (b) Hateful/Rogue Media/critics/journalist media outlets in the form of newspaper, radio, TV and webpage internet, freelance writer or political analyst as some would like to be called. These are in their infancy and are in the learning process, nevertheless many are genuine and like their counterpart elsewhere in the world would like to serve their country and peoples and provide healthy news/reports or be platform of guidance, couching and of constructive criticism thus are force for good doing their job as best as they could. They operate within the media rule and ethics. Without distorting or fabricating they inform people of what their elected government/ representatives are doing or up to right or wrong. They highlights/ acknowledge their good deeds, strengths and weakness and tell them what they good at and where they need to improve.
Healthy/genuine/media/critics give us healthy and constructive criticism, offers alternative solution/opinion when there is one. They tell/inform/direct us when we done wrong/injustice or stray from right path so to re-correct it and avoid making the same mistake again. Healthy media or critics/opponents agrees, applaud/praised the positive achievement made by us/individuals, group/s, government, representatives and other institutions and feedback to the peoples. Genuine media/critic/opponents disagree and make healthy and constructive criticism when our elected representative or institutions make mistakes/done something wrong. Healthy/genuine critics/media/opponents show and suggest a better and alternative solution/way to one they are criticizing or opposing to;
Healthy/genuine media or critics acknowledges and apologises when they make a mistakes or published incorrect information. They are not a mouth-piece for a particular clan/tribe. Healthy media never intentionally instigate/ incite hate, tribalism, civil war or any conflict that will endanger the peace and the unity of our people and country. They never distort truth and certainly never invent a complete and non existing information/news/report. They genuinely and passionately would like to work within the law/ ethics that govern media and journalist. This is what I called healthy, genuine media/opponents and critics and that’s what we need.
However, contrary to the above logics there are same who completely operate opposite and outside of these rules and ethics. They disguised themselves in the name of media when in fact they are a bunch of self implanted/injected diseases of hate and clannish who had never embraced the 20 years old of Somaliland reconciliation and forgiveness. They neither respect our Islamic teaching or our Somali culture which forbids/prohiped falsehood and deformation of character of an individual, groups or institutions or anything that create instability, mistruth, harm unity and coexistence of the people or ignite civil war between peoples, groups or clans. They writes and publishes fabricated/invents false and non existence propaganda far from truth, they twisted and delude true story to suite for their end and interests.
These hateful and rogue media/journalist/reporter/ individuals has been trying and working hard to resurface/bring back to life the long gone and well buried distrust, animosity and the memory of the civil war between the Somaliland clan/tribe and or community. They rap old wounds with wire brush to maximise damage to harbouring a maximum infestation of bacteria thus minimising the chance to fully heal. They employed well known tactics such blackmailing, falsehood and deformation of character. There are reliable sources suggesting that these rogue hateful/media pays some disgraced/ discredited individuals/groups to simply giveso call interviews to their purposely build WebPages/papers and to write/propagate propaganda full of falsehood, deformation and baseless/ unsubstantiated, unfounded allegation, personal and character attack against the president, government ministers and others innocent individual/groups.
This kind of tactics is the true character of hate infested mind/personality and is the tools used by those who are not genuine of whatever he/she is doing. These hateful and Rogue used and be-friend with rogue individuals/groups to use for their purposely created rouge media outlet as platform for propaganda machine and to attack others. They capitalised genuine and local/individual grievance and distort it for their propaganda without considering the consequence of their gruesome actions. Until now a kind of publicity seeking individuals / groups at whatever cost has been a symptoms in the western world but now there are increasing number of Somalilanders /Somalis who have been infected by this disease so these Rogue media recruites those effected by this disease looking for a platform just to get publicity.
These hateful / rogue media are the mouth–piece for particular clan/tribe/groups for all the wrong reasons, while demising, making baseless accusation and discrediting others. They advocate hate, tribalism and violence. They write article or report which in fact not more than “Naxli biiray). This is what a called Hateful and Rogue Media and they have no place in our society and the people of Somaliland are more mature to distinguish the different between Healthy/genuine and Hateful/ rogue media outlet.
It’s the characteristic of Hateful and rogue media to label every piece of so call news item or article (……..hebel oo ay Madaxwaynaha isku Qolo ama Jifi yihiin). I remember a while ago that Qaran news wrote an article about a case in Hargaisa Court……in that case there was seven charges hearing the case, of which one of those seven judges happen to be belong to H/J tribe and Qaran News wrote this (…….Xaakin ay madaxwaynaha isku qabiil yihiin ayaa Xukun ku riday……….).
This is not a healthy/genuine reporter/media/journalist but it’s a typical of someone whose mind been poisoned by tribalism/clannish disease and hate.
Some of those that meets/fit the charactrisc of the Hateful and Rogue Medias are includes Qaran News, Harawo and others. They have no Decency left in them let alone any professionalism or journalist flavour they broke every media’s law and ethics and to some extend Waaheen but at least Waaheen still have some decency left in them.
In fact every piece of so call news items, report or article wrote and/or published by Qaran news and Harawo and their co-conspirator and individuals says more about their intellectual deficiency/personality then their intended targets.
Hateful and Rogue media uses this formula “Anything to do with current government or Kulmiye’s Party is bad”.
I will leave you with the following Somali wise word/Proverb.
Read this Somali Proverb an old Somali saying ( Gaal Dill Gartiisana Sii) which in Somali context literally translate “ if wishes kill the man/unbeliever but regardless of however much you dislike or hate him you must not discredit from his deed, wise mind, skills and capacity; you must not deny or deprave him from justice).
By Hossain Eryal