Borana Culture 

71ST Borana Oromo Tribe Abba Gada

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Kurraa Jarsso Diddo is the next Abba Gada in Borana Oromo Gada System of leadership,Kurraa will be in power for the period of 2017-2025.
The Borana Oromo has a very prominent traditional system of governance-the Gada System. This system is not only well developed and well preserved among the Borana Oromo but also a viable socio-political system to date, comparable to no other region in Oromiya.
Gada institution has three Gada assemblies each with its own Abba Gada. The Gada assembly to which the Abba Gada Liiban Jaldeessa belongs is called Gada Harboora. There were four senior councilors in this assembly. Gada Harboora is considered to be the senior of the three assemblies and it is also the Gada assembly for all of the Borana society.
The other Gada assemblies, Gada Hawattu and Gada Konnitu, are the assembly of leaders from Hawattu and Konnitu clan of Goona moiety of the Borana society. Regarding their authority in all the matters regarding the Borana society, all the three Abba Gadas and the other three Adula Hayyus (senior councilor) have the same and equal authority, “muraan wal-qixxe”.
This is the reason why the Borana Oromo chooses to call the Abba Gada of Harboora Assembly “Hayyuu Fiixe, or Adula Fiixe”, which literally means “the prime councilor”. He is a councilor representing his clan like the rest of the councilors with the same and equal vote and authority when a decision is to be made. Nevertheless, it is customary that one person has to lead a team whenever there is a team of leadership. Therefore, the Abba Gada in the Oromo Gada system is rightfully considered as the prime minister rather than a president who can make decisions alone.
It is an indigenous system of government where leaders are elected to position of authority through the will and active participation of the people they represent.For people who have studied the system and worked with the Gada Councilors, it is absolutely clear that Gada is a functioning democracy.

Leaders are not only elected to position of authority to maintain the laws and the rules of the land but also made accountable for every decision they make during their tenure as councilors of their own constituency and leaders of the society.According to the Borana Oromo Gada System, the Gada is made up of three assemblies of active leaders and their immediate family members called Ya’aa.

These three assemblies have to undertake ritual migrations throughout the Borana land during their period of administration.”I came to know some of the Borana Gada Councilors when their Gada assemblies crossed over to the Liiban territory of the Borana land to perform ritual ceremonies in February 2003″ Says Ibrahim.

The Borana custom makes it mandatory that the men and women who belong to the Gada class of Kurraa Jarsso Diddo undergo circumcision only when their Gada class as a whole reaches the Gada stage of active leadership.This is true for other successive Gada classes, the Abba Gada in the Oromo Gada system is rightfully considered as the prime minister rather than a president who can make decisions alone.

The Karrayyu clan has one Adula Hayyu in Gada Harboora. The other two Senior Councilors are Abba Gadas of their respective assemblies.There are also clan councilors in Gada Harboora called Hayyu Garba, and in Gada Hawattu and Konnitu called Hayyu Meedhicha.

The status being a councilor in Gada Harboora is quite different from being a councilor in Gada Hawattu or Konniitu.The Gada system is not a system where authority is simply passed from fathers to sons. Of course, the legacy of one’s family and the past accomplishments of a clan councilor has a great influence in the decision that is made to nominate the would-be councilors.
These councilors must pass through a rigorous training for years about the laws and the customs of Borana, and the wisdom of leading a society before they take the position of authority in Gada.

Courtesy:
Ibrahim A. Elemo (M.D., MPH)* Book “The role of traditional institutions among Borana Oromo”

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