by Mohamud M UlusoThe wrangling over the legal process of the impeachment motion against President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud for treason, constitutional violations, abuse of power, and other crimes continues and took another bizarre twist on October 13, 2015. With great surprise, the Speaker of the Federal Parliament, Mohamed Sheikh Osman Jawari, and Prime Minister (PM) Omar Abdirashid as a “Kangaroo Court” issued formal ten page disposition judgement of the motion. Whatever the motivations and intentions are, the two leaders’ action falls outside the constitution, good governance principles, and rule of law. The disposition judgement changes the impeachment motion into Auditor General investigative report on government wrongdoing, incompetence, corruption, and general failure and orders to go back to the drawing board for reinventing the federal government. The change and judgement defeats the purpose of the motion which is to prevent abuse of power, corruption, impunity, and to advance good governance. The motion is applicable solely against the President.
Thursday, October 22, 2015
As defined in the dictionary, the “Kangaroo Court” disregards the principles of law, perverts justice, follows irresponsible procedure and gives judgment outside of legal procedures. The duo didn’t need legal advice, legal charges, prosecutor and defendant arguments, witnesses and reference to applicable laws for making their decision. They probably received the evidences collected by the sponsors of the motion intended to be presented to a court trial from individuals involved in the preparation of the motion.
The presumption is that the political leaders are above the law, while many powerless citizens are languishing years in the federal government prisons without access to judicial system. But, the Constitution prohibits unfair, biased, and inconsistent enforcement of the law.
From August 12, 2015, the impeachment motion in compliance with article 92 of the Provisional Constitution remained under the prerogative power of Speaker Jawari. That provoked bitter recrimination between the Speaker who issued conflicting instructions to circumvent the constitutional process and the parliamentarians, sponsors of the motion, who responded with harshly critical press releases and media talks to express their objections and make their case. The exchange of accusations for corruption, deception, and politically motivated objectives has degraded the reputation of the parliament, Somali politics, and demoralized the public. The parliament which functioned with less than 180 members and few weeks of work in each session enters the closedown and farewell phase.
Furthermore, the incessant campaign and proclamations of the head of the UN Mission for Somalia (UNSOM), Ambassador Nicholas Kay on the immediate suspension of the motion has bolstered the perception that Somalia is under the administration of foreign powers and that foreign driven agenda overrides all other matters, including the vital importance of respecting the rule of law, protecting human rights, and holding political leaders accountable for their actions or no actions.
The controversial directives of the Speaker on the motion are not included in his responsibilities and powers outlined in Article 7 of the internal regulation of the parliament. The disposition judgement constitutes an insidious precedent for the long term trust in the rule of law and restrain on government power.
The Judges of the Kangaroo Court rejected the treason charges and made all other allegations as wrongdoing and deficiencies of the federal government. There is widespread perception that the efforts of the duo is to obstruct the role of the Supreme Court to express an opinion on the legal foundations of the allegations against President Hassan. Clearly, they violated article 3 of the provisional constitution on the separation of jurisdiction and powers between branches of government for checks and balance.
The disposition judgement does not exonerate the president from serious charges, rather humiliates him, condones impunity for injustices committed against citizens, absolves Government offenders and encourages persecution of innocent victims, dismisses human rights violations against internally displaced people, and more importantly covers up complicity of parliament and council of ministers in the allegations listed in the impeachment motion. The Judgement instructs the implementation of the following measures:
v Abrogation of the unconstitutional decree No. 5 of 28, 2015, review of law no. 1 dated February 7, 1965 and regulation no. 4 dated June 3, 1962. The motion claims that innocent Somali Citizens were killed by the government on the basis of this unconstitutional decree.
v Immediate approval of independent judiciary and human rights commissions, establishment of constitutional court, appointment of judicial inspector, review of rules, regulations and staff of judiciary system.
v Conformity of National Security Council with article 111H of the Provisional Constitution, verification of correct number of security forces, review of nominated commanders of the security forces-military, police, intelligence, and custodial corps- appointment of civilian authority for oversight of security forces, review of the agreement on the deployment of African Union forces in the country, and establishment of new law on private security firms.
v Tracking of missing Somali funds held in the US Federal Bank in New York, issuance of new law that revokes all immobile properties (land, building, airstrips, ports, hospitals, sport games, hotels, MCH, agricultural farms,, public parks, and other public assets) transferred or rented to private citizens after 1990, and return of assets owned by foreigners before 1990. This decision annuls the legitimacy of former government acts without political and legal process.
v Cancellation of the agreement of the Federal Government of Somalia with FishGuard Ltd, review and cancellation of all foreign contracts and tenders not in compliance with rule of law, review of Somalia Oil and Gas Company Agreement, cancellation, suspension, or renegotiation of defective contracts examined by the Financial Governance Committee, submission of report about the contracts with Favori and Albayrak to the parliament.
v Immediate formation of Anti-Corruption Commission, immediate payment of Salaries to security forces, bottom up review of the public administration to weed out nepotism, favoritism, corruption, and mismanagement.
The following federal government institutions are tasked to implement the above listed instructions: Parliamentary Committees, Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Finance, Central Bank of Somalia, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Women and Human Rights, Independent Human Rights, Reconciliation, National Security, and judicial service commissions, Ministry of Security, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Public Works, Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Ports, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Information and Tourists, Ministry of Petroleum, Ministry of foreign Affairs, Procurement and tender Commission, Auditor General, Presidents of the Federal Member States, Regional and District Commissioners. With exception of the Parliamentary committees, all other institutions are members of the Council of Ministers and auxiliary entities.
It is noteworthy that since the time the media reported the submission of the impeachment motion, the Somali political elite and civil society actors did not avail of the constitutional right and responsibility of citizen’s political participation by offering political, legal, and procedural opinions on the handling of the motion in order to advance the democratic practice and rule of law in Somalia and to hold political leaders accountable. The subject matter of the Impeachment motion should have been a serious concern for all Somalis because it questions the legitimacy of the president to remain in office.
Mr. Mohamud M Uluso