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The ERA Of Injustice, Corruption And Mismanagement In Somaliland Must Come To An End
Prof: Ahmed Al-Azhari (Independent politician)
For the past 17 years the people of Somaliland have been involved in nation-building without external support. During long years of peace-building and democratization, our people passed through unexpected difficulties, disappointments, and even violent turmoils. But we easily resolved all these problems through peaceful resolution, consensus and compromise. The result is that Somaliland has created its own model for democracy and peace. But under president Rayale’s leadership Somaliland took a u-turn: in 2007:
- The illegal arrest and sentencing of three Haatuf journalists
- The illegal arrest and sentencing of the Qaran party leaders
- The interference of the government in the Somaliland National Human Rights network (Shuro-Net).
- The unlawful arrests and other violations of human rights committed by the security committees applying the general public order of 1963, which the parliament annulled in 1999, as it violates the S/land constitution as well as universal human rights.
- The refusal of the legislated state national budget endorsed by parliament on 19 March, 2007, by the president, Article 55 (1) says: the House of Representatives may debate and amend the budget and approve it by a resolution of the house.
- The president’s extension of the Guurti term in office for four years. This was an illegal act carried through-without consultations with the House of Representatives. It was a plain violation of the constitution.
- The government’s new press law is devised to silence the independent media and free flow of information. Freedom of speech and information is a fundamental rights of the people of Somaliland.
- According to the Somaliland constitution (article 22), every citizen has the right to participate in the political, economic, social and cultural affairs and every citizen has the right to elect and to be elected.
Article: 32/3: gives citizens the right for political parties and associations. This law has not been annulled and therefore, remains to be valid and applicable. Our constitution says only three political parties should exist in the country at any given time but it doesn’t mean that those political parties should be UDUB, KULMIYE, and UCID for ever. The three national parties should emerge from the municipal elections which must be contested once every 5 years.
All the above cases caused a very serious set back for the recognition of Somaliland. If the government fails to abide by the constitution and tries to manipulate the law by changing it to suit its needs, it will be difficult to foster progress and it will prelude a civil war.
The law must be above everyone. Respecting the law is not a failure. It is about access to justice, fundamental human rights and democratic rights. There is no doubt that good governance is a pre-requisite for economic development. Democracy is about governing by the will of the people, not the will of the government.
Mr. President, you have taken the oath of office that you will respect the constitution of Somaliland. Would you kindly set the record for democracy in Somaliland straight without any further delay. We must admit that the year 2007, was very tough year for the Somaliland people.
It will be remembered as the year that president Rayaale crushed the democracy which prevailed in Somaliland. Without a sense of fairness and a keen sense of justice, no leader can command and retain the respect of people.
Leadership is the ability to lead. The ability to generate ideas, communicate them and create choices and begin to critically look at the things that you are doing wrongly.
In general terms, governance refers to the exercise of political power in the management of national affairs. Good leadership entails the effective use and exercise of political power in ways that serve the interests of the people that constitute the nation.
Politics have probably become the easiest and cheapest route to access national wealth across Africa but it is very common now in Somaliland. Those who are elected benefit from the resources at the disposal of the state and exploit the economy of the state for their personal benefit. They love luxury and are careless about their dying poor people.
The major reason of collapse of African states such as Somalia, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Rwanda in the last decade was corruption, mismanagement, lack of justice and ineffective and inefficient leadership. The endemic corruption in Africa plays a key role in conflicts, political instability and poverty.
The corruption virus has infested every sector of our government. Also corruption thrived on the silence of the public and therefore it is difficult to estimate the extent it spreaded.
Corruption and the abuse of entrusted power is one of the biggest challenges facing Somaliland. Over all it is the poor people, women and children who are too often the ultimate victim of the corruption activity. The reality of the poverty afflicting the majority people in Africa is man made disaster. The era of injustice, corruption and mismanagement in Somaliland must come to an end.
There must be accountability and transparency. Mr. President if you continue to play the same tunes, repeating the old policies, I am definitely sure you will be in a virtual failure. Deliberately misusing the public money is the worst form of theft.
This new world in which we live is demanding new ideas, new ways of doing things, new inventions, new methods of marketing, new ways of effective and efficient leadership.