By M.A. Egge
The President of the Republic of Somaliland H.E. Ahmed Mohammed Mohamud Silanyo has rejected parliamentary motion on privatization of Berbera petroleum storage facilities on technical constitutional grounds and seeks substantiation on the move.
This was made public by the minister in charge of government councils and assemblies’ coordination and technology Hon. Ali Hamud Jibril soon after the parliament voted to block plans to privatize the Berbera facilities.
Hon. Jibril said that according to Article 12 of the constitution which empowers the government to either own, buy, sale, rent, lease or dispose off any moveable or immovable state property in the manner it deems fit, the Head of State rejects the motion on the grounds that the (government) had NOT YET reached a final decision nor has it entered into any agreement with any party on the issue.
“The state arms ought to act, judge and operate within the laid down regulated constitution”, said Hon. Jibril.
He elaborated that the parliament based their decision on Articles 38, 39 and 54 section 3 of the constitution, something that contravenes the legal spirit of the constitution which he termed as being inappropriate to the context.
“Those articles are hereby not binding since there is no any agreement that the state has so far entered with any private entrepreneur”, clarified the minister.
He revealed that the President had had talks with some businessmen who are privy to the importance of investiture in the sector but no further agreements were reached.
“What we are at logger-heads with the legislature is on the technical constitutional path they took”, said the minister.
He however said that the lawmakers were their brethren and fellow arms of state in governance and appealed to them substantiate the real of state of affairs.
“I call upon the legislature to deal with the President’s rejoinder as per the legality it deserves”, appealed Hon. Jibril.
In a twist of events following the parliamentary decision to block the privatization of the Berbera petroleum facilities, the commerce Minister Hon. Musa Kassim released a press statement that not only reiterated the state’s right to make and take apt decisions on public properties as per Article 12 (described above), the minister made it clear that he had at no time whatsoever sent “an agreement to such effect to the President and neither had the President sent the same to the parliament”.
He accused opposition politicians of having a hand in the issue hence distorted facts while manipulating ill-innuendoes.