Is PM Kheyre Threatened By Mayor Thabit Rising Popularity?Insiders Say PM Pushing For Removal Of Mayor
Insiders Say PM Pushing For Removal Of Mayor
It is now emerging that Prime Minister Hassan Kheyre is pushing for the removal of Mogadishu Mayor Thabit Abdi Mohamed as political rivalry emerged between the two.
A source has confided to Radio Dalsan that the Premier is “uneasy” by the political ambition of the 39yr old Mayor who in his 10 months governance has become arguably the most visible politician winning the hearts of many Mogadishu residents and Somalis in general by his fresh style of leadership.
From his reaction to the October 14 bombing leading the mourning city from the front to his introduction of radical changes, involving the citizens and injecting fresh ideas in the administration of the Banaadir region Thabit stood out to be one of the most effective politicians in 2017.
In 2017 Kheire on the other hand has had to face waning popularity since his appointment in February of that year.
He was criticized of being a “Photo Op” PM and creative Somalis launched a
hashtag “Igu Sawiir” complete with a song to mock the PR stunts by both the Premier’s Office and Villa Somalia.
In September the extradition of AbdiKarim Muse “Qalbi Dhagah” leader of Ethiopia’s ONLF leader was a major setback for the PM and President seeing the administration plunge to the lowest level since taking office. The public passed a harsh judgment against their government calling Kheire and Farmaajo traitors for handing over a Somali hero to a foreign country.
Insiders say December 2017 announcement of a conference to charter a new course to have Mogadishu and Banaadir acquire a new status that will see it in charge of its security and increase it political representation Parliament triggered Kheire’s alleged rivalry with Thabit.
“There is concern a change in the status of Mogadishu may make Thabit stronger politically and be directly in charge of the security in the city with its own regional force. There is effort from PM Office to frustrate any attempt to have Mogadishu change its status” the source said.
In what political analysts see as a move to curtail more powers of the Banaadir Regional Administration President Farmaajo on Friday issued a statement to stop allocation and sale of public land revoking all transactions back dated to to February 8 2017 when he took office.
“Mayor Thabit has established the capital Mogadishu as his political base right on the backyard of the PM. Thabit at the moment enjoys the support of the people of this city. This political rivalry may be more about the 2022 elections. We cannot rule out the two politicians interest in occupying Villa Somalia after Farmaajo” Mahamed Said a political commentator said.
This emerging rivalry, say analysts, threatens to shake if not split the Farmaajo government. It is most likely that the removal of a popular Mayor will cause a major backlash sinking the government’s public approval even lower.