The acting mayor of Garowe city, Ahmed Mohamed Du’ale, speaking at the 41th session of Puntland parliament in Garowe. June 23, 2018.

Garowe–(Puntland Mirror) The interim mayor of Garowe city, Mr Ahmed Mohamed Du’ale, has ruled out running for mayor in the upcoming district council elections, as confirmed to Puntland Mirror by credible sources close to the Interim mayor.  The interim mayor has flirted with the idea of competing for the position in the last few months.

The sources have stated that Mr. Ahmed officially confirmed that he was not vying for the mayoral position.  The position became vacant when President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali decreed the dissolution of the elected district council and mayor in April 2018 and appointed Mr. Ahmed as the interim mayor in the transition period.

The sources say that Mr. Ahmed has given few reasons for his decision to back away from running for Mayor, including poor working relationship between him and President Abdiweli. He also blamed Garowe city’s meagre financial resources and budget which will make it very difficult for him to accomplish his plans and promises of increased development, regeneration and improved public services.

In May 2018, Mr. Ahmed was selected by his sub-clan as a member of the District Council in order to enable him to run for the mayor.  The selection of Council members based on tribal quota system is still ongoing.

In July 2018, Puntland Ministry of Interior has issued the timetable for the selection of Council members and the election of Mayor and other elected officials which is scheduled at the end of August 2018.  It is believed that the selection of Council members will be concluded in August and the elections will take place in the beginning of September 2018.

Humanitarian worker to Interim district mayor

Before he was appointed as the interim mayor of Garowe by President Abdiweli, Mr. Ahmed was working for France based humanitarian organization, Action Against Hunger (AAH) in which he was the head of its Garowe office.  Many people have considered Mr. Ahmed as a political and government neophyte as this interim mayoral appointment was his first ever public service responsibility.

The mayoral duty demands high level of problem solving and public speaking skills, ability to work with traditional leaders and other segments of the society as well as government experience; qualities that some observers say Mr. Ahmed lacks.

In the three months he is office, Mr. Ahmed has not accomplished any substantive work except the repair of few gravel roads bankrolled through contributions from the residents.

Our sources confided that the initial appointment of Mr. Ahmed as the interim mayor back in April 2018 came from his friends working in Puntland President’s office, individuals whose real motive were to secure bidding contracts and project funds from Garowe local authority such as the Garowe Urban Development Project funded by the World Bank.   

Mr. Ahmed has faced a number of challenges since he assumed office, namely lengthy and complicated land disputes, endemic corruption in the district administration, deteriorating security situation and weaker basic public services.

Puntland Mirror has learned that Mr. Ahmed is still working for AAH and was promoted to lead its operations in Puntland and South-central Somalia which could have played a part in his decision to stay out of this race. In July 2018 there were widespread rumors that the Interim mayor was away on personal trip to Nairobi and his job was taken over by the permanent secretary of the local administration.

Garowe residents are concerned about the number of rookie councilors who are considering to run for mayor. Puntland Mirror will share with you the biography of the candidates and analysis of their competence and suitability to this very important responsibility.

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