Lawmakers in Somalia’s Puntland parliament have come under intense criticism for becoming a political crutch for the government amid growing public frustration over the state of economy, waning national clout and misappropriations.
The Parliament Speaker, his two Deputies and chairs of ten parliamentary sub-committees form a standing committee that convene every Monday to draft reports and carry out oversights into government activities when MPs go into recess. Credible sources within the parliament tell Garowe Online that the 13-member influential committee more often fails to gather over critical issues facing the 66-seat-chamber let alone enforce an accountable government.
Critics allege that President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali’s administration continues to erase the traces of accountability with shady mingling with the standing committee.
Among those implicated in an alleged corruption in parliament is the Chairman of Parliamentary Sub-Committee on Economy and Finance Mohamed Farah Nuh whom parliament sources accuse of covering up state-wide protests over devaluation of Somali shilling triggered by a cash factory that mints paper notes in Bossaso port city.
Nuh—who doesn’t compose Parliamentary Sub-Committee on Federal Affairs—had shuttled with Ali between Mogadishu and Garowe multiple times for negotiations with the federal government.
Moreover, a long serving member of parliament Sadik Abshir Garad—Chairman of Parliamentary Sub-Committee on Peace and Security-- is said to have developed a personal rapport with the President.
Garad reportedly jeopardized legislative sessions to exercise oversight functions for accountability and transparency within the government.
Sadik Abshir has been rewarded with a membership in Electoral Team (ET) at federal level ironically for his loyalty to Puntland presidency.
Chairs of Parliamentary Sub-Committees on Social Affairs and Infrastructure—AbdulkadirFarah Botan and Mohamud Farah Warsame—have joined the parliamentary brass to have executive influence further anchored in the house.
By now, the President appears to be usurping parliament whose vast power of oversight into financial matters and how government spends public funds remains curtailed.