A loose group of ex-politicians, Diaspora members, academicians and religious clerics, who call themselves the Madasha – The Forum – has lambasted the government, Tuesday, of violating the national constitution and encouraging others to do so.
Speaking to the media, for the second time within ten days since the incumbent President came to power on end of 2017, the Forum accused the government of widespread constitutional violations.
Professor Abdisalam Yassin, one of the original members who formed the group, decried the tradition among leaders to take a solemn, constitutional oath upon being sworn into office and abandoning it as soon as one assumes the responsibility.
“By taking the oath we were supposed to remember that we are undertaking a national responsibility promising accountability to Allah. On that same oath a government official is promising transparency, justice, accountability and fair dealing to the public he is to serve,” Professor Yassin said.
“As soon as one assumes office, that oath is no more. The Constitution is no more, and the public servant turns into a power of its own, accountable to none: not to Allah, not to the public, not to the constitution,” he stated.
Professor Yassin pointed out that in such a state the Constitutional is rendered useless to become a mere mime one had to go through on his/her way to the office.
Mohamed Hashi Elmi, another of the few who remained from the original Madasha core members, took the long-expired term of the Parliament and its members.
“Whatever salaries paid to the Members of the Parliament once their initial, constitutionally-mandated five-year term has ended, is Haram – illegal,” he said.
Salaries were paid from public funds and, as such, whatever they had been given after the expiry of their terms was tantamount to daylight robbery of the public coffer.
“Neither did the MPs respect the oath they have taken to constitutionally serve the nation nor are they ready to atone for what they did in any way,” he said.
Mr Elmi accused the MPs of the Republic of Somaliland’s bicameral parliament of not only overstaying their terms but willfully holding back crucial laws to further line up their pockets and pave the way for more extensions.
Few other members – some of them new to the Forum – spoke on similar themes at the press conference.
The Madasha only re-surfaced a few days ago when it held its first press conference during which its spokesperson, Hassan Guure, declared that the former government of President Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud ‘Siilaanyo’ was much better than the current one as it stood for ‘development’.
Interestingly, hardly a week went by without the group holding one or more press conferences calling for the former government to come down, encouraging, on the same breath, civil disobedience and violent demonstrations against the government. The words they used, the accusations they levelled, the areas they denigrated – rightly or wrongly – had nothing to do with ‘consultation’ or criticism from former statesmen, clerics and academicians and were more in line with opposition members who wished to pull down an existing structure.
It remains to be seen how the incumbent government which is less inured to harsh criticism weathers this fresh spate from the Forum.