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A Showdown Between The Parliament And The President Over The Amina-Weris Case
Rayale Ignore's A House Legislation Making It Obligatory For Care Not To Cancel Amina-Weris’s Appointment
Hargeysa, Somaliland, April 1, 2006 – The Somaliland president Dahir Rayale Kahin has rejected a resolution passed by the House of Representatives on last Wednesday asking the government in the form of the ministries of “Health and Labour” and “National Planning” to take the necessary measures for reinstating Amina Sheikh Mohamed, known as Amina-Weris, in a vacant post with the Hargeysa office of Care International that she has been illegally denied.
Amina-Weris, a Somaliland citizen, was offered the job of a Team Leader for Care Hargeysa in February this year. However Care International withdrew the offer on March 21, 2006, citing an incomprehensible excuse.
According to Care’s Administration Manager, Mr. James Gatere, the cancellation of Amina-Weris’s appointment was “due to internal issues in our Hargeysa office”. Care’s decision was not all unexpected.
As revealed by our sister newspaper Haatuf on 7 th March, the Somaliland minister of Planning, Ahmed Haji Dahir, was already putting pressure on Care not to go ahead with the employment of Amina-Weris.
The acting team leader of Care Hargeysa Tim Muia, a Kenyan, confirmed to Haatuf that Mr. Haji Dahir informed him of the government’s opposition to Amina-Weris’s appointment since she was the wife of Ahmed Sillanyo, leader of the largest opposition party in Somaliland .
Mr. Muia told Haatuf that he passed on the government’s position to his superiors in Nairobi for further instructions. Muia was among 5 persons short listed by Care as candidates for the job of team leader.
A panel of interviewers selected Amina-Weris and she was supposed to report to duty as from March 20 but the date was moved by Care to April 2, 2006 “due to some internal issues” that needed to be addressed.
Wednesday’s decision by the House directs the government to expel Tim Muia out of the country while asking Care either to give Amina-Weris the job she was originally offered or face expulsion as well. However the government vowed not to comply with the terms of the resolution.
Instead, president Rayale’s administration had accused the House of attempting to usurp executive powers. The act which also binds international organizations to give priority of employment to qualified Somaliland citizens, will go to the House of Elders (Guurti) before submission to the president who has the authority to sign it into law or reject it.
Care also informed that they had consulted with the country’s Foreign minister Edna Adan about Amina-Weris’s appointment.
According to Care, the Foreign minister not only nodded her approval but also praised Amina-Weris’s integrity as a person.
Apparently the government team entrusted with the task of blocking Amina-Weris’s appointment preferred that their communication remain discreet and verbal.
“The ultimate effects of your conduct made the issue in the spotlight, which is not advisable to involve our selves at this stage” the ministry of Health and Labour’s letter said.
Meanwhile, the bill passed by the lower house on last Wednesday is expected to go before the Guurti.
But Rayale’s decision to Vito the legislation has already aroused tension between the parliament and the presidency. The lower house has gone on recess as from last Thursday. But a showdown looms in the horizon between the two branches of government once the opposition controlled lower house returns from recess.
“We have tried in vain to work with this highly incompetent president. We passed in good faith the budget bill [on March 21] which really deserved to be sent back to him” complained one legislative leader.
Although the government insisted that it had nothing to do with Care’s cancellation of Amina-Weris’s recruitment, however written communications between the government and Care attest to the involvement of president Rayale’s cabinet ministers in the affair.
A letter carrying the date of March 19, 2006 sent to Care by Mr. Hassan Qalinle, director general of the ministry of Health’s Labour office openly calls for “the re-advertisement of the post in question while at the same time banning previous short-listed candidates from participation.”
Mr. Qallinle was apparently responding to a letter received by his ministry from Care International. In this letter, which was dated March 10, 2006, Care wanted to reassure the Somaliland government that Amina-Weris pledged not to use her post for politically motivated ends.
Source: Somaliland Times
Sample of letter written by ministry of health & labour