After purported millions of dollars facilitate Country’s Oldest Monument change from public to private property right in the middle of Hargeisa
By: Yusuf M Hasan
Somalilandsun- In the Somaliland Capital a monument stands tall as a mark of the sovereignty and self-rule of the country that came via bloodshed and loss of livelihoods.
The monument crafted by astute long term mayor of Hargeisa Awil Elmi Abdale is the renowned Hand help map of Somaliland situated at the junction of the road to Egal Airport at the city’s Mahmud Haybe district
As long as most can remember it used to be a place to visit and reminiscence on the struggle of Somalilanders that led to defeat of the Somalia national army and subsequent withdrawal from this country’s 1960 voluntary later turned fateful union with Somalia in 1991.
Be it visiting from within the city, the regions and the diaspora or foreigners here as expatriates or tourists the monument known in Somalia language as GACANTA- that is the Hand that denotes the huge palm grasping the map of Somaliland also used to be a place for one to indicate he or she was in Hargeisa through photographs and later selfies.
That is it was a public monument in which citizens took pride in for it was the first symbol of their hard won self-rule and respite from the near annihilation by the government of late Dictator Mohamed Siyad Barre.
Today forget about posing beside the monument but even taking a photograph of the Gacanta monument is a near crime for it is now no longer a public place of pride but a commercial Centre with an assortment of semi structures where wares of various sorts are sold.
Pursuit by Somalilandsun indicate that Gacanta is to be destroyed soon to pave way purportedly after the entire site exchanged hands from public to private
Pursued for confirmation on this rumor Mahmud Haybe district administrators in whose jurisdiction the country’s oldest monument lies told Somalilandsun that though the monument is within their purview, it is only locational for it is owned by the central government.
Having failed to verify on the purported sale we here conclude by revealing that the change of hands from public to private ownership of both the monument and surrounding piece of land is courtesy of a sale that saw $4m change hands
While we are aware of who is the new owner we are pursuing the facts related to the transfer thence divulge all identifies involved in this heinous crime to the nation and its prosperity
In the meantime keep watch of this site as we campaign for preservation of the country’s history as initiated during appeal for the formerly famous SNM era but now discarded Magaahida Inanta.