A Somali women group entertains during past community meeting at El-Boran Hotel gardens. BETTY LUKE/PRESS POINT

By Betty Luke

The Somali Community living in Isiolo County has complained over neglect by the former and current county government saying they had not benefited in any way despite producing Deputy Governors.

A section of the community leaders accused the Governor Mohammed Kuti government of sidelining them on development issues and unfair allocation of resources.

Isiolo Chamber of Commerce Chair Mr Hussein Jama who doubles as Isiolo Referral Hospital Board Chair demanded that the county government offers the community an opportunity to do business with it through provision of contracts.

“I do not care even if he (Governor Kuti) wants to remove me from the hospital board position but we will not stop demanding for our rights,” said Mr Jama while adding that the community had nothing to show since devolution came in.

Mr Jama urged the community to stay united saying doing so was the only way to ensure they do not continue suffering.

“If we do not stay united, we will continue suffering,” he said.

The community lamented that their sons and daughters employed by the county government had been reduced to rubberstamps and could no longer make independent decisions while some of them were selfish and not pushing the community interests.

“Our people (in government) who should have represented us are toothless and cannot safeguard our interests,” said Mr Mohammed Ahmed popularly known as Koroboi referring to Deputy Governpor Dr Abdi Issa who he claimed had been reduced to a ‘flower girl’.

The group told the county government leadership to allow officials from their community to do their work without interference for them to safeguard the interests of their people.

To ensure they are not shortchanged in future after striking political deals, the community revealed that it will no longer enter into agreement with any aspirant but their community.

“Anyone who wants to enter into any political agreement with one of us will be required to bring forth their community on board,” Mr Koroboi said, adding that they had realized the mistake they made in the previous elections and will not repeat it going forward.

The community is considering fielding candidates for several elective posts including MPs.

But, Ms Farhiya Hussein, nominated MCA, said the community had immensely benefited from the previous and current regime.

In the current leadership, the community, she said, had benefited with Deputy Governor, county executives, chief officers, hospital board leadership, Municipality representatives and Nominated MCAs among other positions.

On his part, Deputy Governor Abdi Issa said he had been sabotaged and was not being involved in running of the government that he is part of.

“We have been isolated and our offices have no budgets,” the Deputy Governor told The Press Point.

He said the community was now planning to reposition itself for unity and try new methods such as involving lawyers while entering into agreements as individual pacts had not worked well for them.

“We (as community) are ready to go for as many positions as possible and if we do not agree with the rest, we are ready to face it off on our own to avoid future frustrations,” said Dr Issa.

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