A Push To Impeach The President Hassan Sh Mohamud
Let me start to say that, the parliament can impeach the president for “gross violations of the Constitution or a high treason” with the support of the motion at least two-third of the members of parliament to suspend him from office. Also, the Constitution clearly states that a deputy president will take over while the trial of the president will proceed before the Constitutional Court.
Therefore, the current push by some members of parliament to impeach President, Mr. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is not without a merit but the way they have formulated the motion is off the rails since there is no deputy president to take over or a constitutional court to carry-out the trial and find out the president whether or not guilty of a constitutional violations or offenses in order to charge and force him to resign. In addition, the members of parliament behind the push have done a poor job of digging into the actions of the president and barely scratched the surface to establish grounds to warrant his removal from office.
I mean, missing from their “motion” are well documented facts in written, signed affidavits, testimonials or recorded evidence before it is moved in the parliament etc. Thus, I am sorry to be the one to drop it on them but they don’t have a enough case for impeachment and the allegations against the president as submitted to the parliament that are gibberish, rumors, half-truths and innuendos without much facts and substantiation which could also be a double edge knife in almost all the instances in particular when accusing the president to have involved a targeted assassinations to kill members of the federal parliament without corroborative facts.
Worse, the motion lacks neutrality and integrity of balance between the “executive branch” of the government (the president and the cabinet) and the legislature and the manner in which or lack off they all have exercised their powers while the motion itself purposely omits the complicity of the members of parliament in these alleged crimes dragging on for three years and focuses only on the president as sole violator of the constitution.
Also, it not clear to me which draft constitution they have chosen to cite Article 92 (1) & (2) to remove the president from office or the other articles that accuse him of egregious violations while ignoring that this government is neither parliamentary nor presidential system which weakens their arguments and wrongly assuming that the president is merely ceremonial figure.
Anyway, let us examine the motion dated, Wednesday, August 12, 2015 and submitted to the parliament.
First, the president is accused of violation of the constitution by signing “an emergency law by a military court” which its articles 2, 3 and 4 stipulates the shooting of armed forces and civilians and also signed by then Abdikarin Hussein Gulled, Minister for Internal Security dated March 30, 2014 and implemented without the necessary parliamentary approval. Similarly, the president is accused along with the Minister of National Resources, Mr. Abdirizak who has replaced Mr. Abdullahi Godah Barre in the cabinet of signing illegal deals with Soma Oil and Gas and Fish Guard LTD.
However, the question is, why the prime minister didn’t demand his ministers responsible for Internal Security and National Resources to present these deals to the cabinet in March 30, 2014 and October 2013 respectively? It is not, up to the president to present either the emergency law or Soma Oil and Gas and Fish Guard LTD deals to the cabinet but in principle he can agree to sign with the ministers who should share with their cabinet colleagues in order to be submitted to the parliament for approval, so the president can assent it into law after the legislation is passed.
Second, the president is accused of constant interference with the executive power of the prime minister and making him useless which they allege it became cumbersome for the government to carry-out its constitutional duties and also they blame him the removal of two prime ministers that brought delays and failures for the government to achieve its mandated tasks.
For instance, Mr. Abdullahi Godah Barre then Minister of Internal Affairs was the first person in the cabinet who demanded the resignation of former prime minister Abdiwali Sheikh Ahmed while Abdirahman Hosh, Fowsiya Hagi Yusuf and others who are behind the motion lobbied hard to oust the prime minister but conveniently now they are accusing the president in violation of Articles 97 (1), (2), (3) and (4).
Third, the president was accused of interfering with the Justice System under Articles of 105 and 106 which lacks credibility and credence, trusts no one and need a complete overhaul and reform if you ask me. However, there is no evidence to suggest that the president has ever written to any court including the defunct supreme court to interfere on their activities and their kangaroo system of justice.
Fourth, the president is accused of forming “a kitchen cabinet” of his own called Policy Unit to advise him on matters related to policy, economic, security and social which is not a crime in itself but allege this unit overtook government businesses but they forget to mention then Ministers who operated outside the cabinet or legislatures who always supported the president right or wrong but now all are behind the push for the motion. It is indeed, regrettable for people who lack credibility and integrity like Mr. Abdullahi Godah Barre, Fowsiya Hagi Yusuf and Mr. Abdirahman Hosh driven only by self-interest and not by principle and sore for being left out of the cabinet to submit a motion to remove the president from office. And, other members of parliament who have received hefty bribes and sold their votes to render a vote of no confidence against former prime ministers Abdi Farah Shirdon and Abdiwali Sheikh Ahmed to sign the motion to remove the president from office accusing him of corruption and violation of the constitution.
Fifth, the president is accused of treason by signing illegal deals with Albayarak Turizm on October 14, 2013 that have laid off 5000 dock workers and FAVORI on June 30, 2013 that laid off several hundred people of airport workers. These two controversial deals were brought to parliament between Somalia-Turkish Companies in regards to the Capital City, Mogadishu’s Airport and Seaport that are the two main point of entry to the country which concerns me was overwhelmingly rejected by the legislature and due to its failure and that of the cabinet they continue to operate illegally blaming the president for giving the green line. Why, the parliament didn’t impeach the president in 2013 but waited until now to raise the issue?
Sixth, the president is accused of lack leadership in security matters and lack of sustenance and maintenance of Armed Forces without mentioning that the parliament and cabinet receive their increased salaries and per diems regularly. The question is, where is the role of the Ministry of Finance who has submitted the budget and supposed to make sure that all civil and military personnel receive their salaries and per diems on time? Why, the parliament which passes these budget yearly didn’t investigate for three years why salaries and per diems were not regularly paid by the government?
Seventh, the president was accused of turning back the country to the transitional period of the federal government by demeaning the Presidency and signing agreements with Mr. Nicholas Kay, UN Envoy and other Ambassadors Accredited to Somalia in violation of his prestige as Head of State, symbol of national unity and head of the government. Well, Mr. Kay and these Ambassadors represent the UN and their countries respectively to Somalia and there is no breach of protocol by the president to sign agreement with them.
Eighth, the president is accused of the continued presence of AMISOM in the country but they ignore to mention their excesses and human rights violations of massacre of innocent civilians in Lower Shabelle, Bakool, Central and Hiraan regions which forced many people to flee their homes. Also, why the members of parliament and those in the cabinet who are behind the motion silent about Ethiopia’s constant involvement and interference in the internal affairs of the country and as well as undermining the authority of these regions by kidnapping their officials and jailing them in Addis like the president-elect for Gal-Mudug of Ahlu-Sunna who ended up in Addis jail after he was invited by the Ethiopian Government as a guest or the officials from Gedo region while the president is accused of not honoring the government’s agreement with the belligerent group.
Given, the suspicious timing of the motion, it is rumored that Ethiopia is behind the current push for the impeachment to further destabilize the country using Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden, Abdiwali Mohamed Ali “Gaas” and their goons in the federal parliament and these other elements in the parliament and the cabinet and also it is working feverishly behind the scene to garner support within IGAD countries which is not their damn business.
Ninth, the president is accused of failing to do the necessary task of constructing an elected administrations at the Village, district and regional levels in the country but most members of parliament pushing for the motion support these illegal establishments of so-called regional states of South-West and Jubaland despite the speaker’s opposition to these clan-enclaves formed without inclusiveness or proper consultations of the people concerned.
Given the above, to “impeach the president for lack of performance” of the government which the parliament and the cabinet are guilty off as well is not a sufficient ground to remove him from office.
Furthermore, there are no legal basis that, the Speaker of the House can bring such a motion to impeach the president to the floor of the parliament for a debate just because of a petition signed by some disgruntled members of parliament whose political future hangs in the balance and maybe who are bit under the weather since 2016 is fast approaching. I dare say that, we haven’t seen any prime minister to complain about the president interfering with cabinet affairs or accusing him of stripping off his executive powers except when he is asked to step-down. Plus, there is no a shred of evidence to suggest that the president’s “meddling” in cabinet affairs resulted the lack of performance of the government but their own inability to perform their duties.
Nor, we have seen for the past three years the parliament accusing the president for lack of performance of the government, violation of the constitution, treason and corruption which itself and the cabinet are guilty off as well. Anyway, if the Speaker decides to bring the motion to parliament for debate he will inaugurate chaos, divisions, discord and conflict that, will definitely destroy the institution itself and mark the end of the weak Federal government something that Somalia can ill-afford at this juncture of political uncertainty. Therefore, he must stop the parliament being tempted to remove the president after it had failed the constitution and couldn’t fulfill its role of supervising to monitor the work of every government department and investigate possible abuses for the past three years in its existence and allowing this cancer spelled out in the motion to fester and spiral out of control.
So, what is the fuss all about? In my view, we can’t allow the Speaker or the members of parliament to dream about compensating their inability to divulge their responsibilities and duties of keeping the government excesses in check to cover-up now their guilt and complicity in the violation of the constitution and corruption by setting in motion to remove the president from office when he has got only left his term in office less than a year. There gotta be some way out of this.