Somaliland:WADDANI Irros 10 Years Tenure as Speaker Blessing or Curse?Part 3
In part one and part two, I have manifestly illustrated that the constitution has given the House of Representatives the power to initiate bills in the wider public interest. The house cannot make an excuse that such bills have not being brought by the executive branch of government. According to article 74 of the Constitution of the Republic of Somaliland any one of the following three can bring bills to the house, 1.The executive branch of the government, 2.Five thousand members of the public and 3. The house of representative, which can instigate new bills or draft legislation for the benefit of Somalilanders.
The house of the representatives led by Hon. Abdurrahman Irro, ignored the wider interest of Somalilanders, but chose to table in acts pushed by foreign, international nongovernmental organizations and business lobbyist groups.
The other legislative bills, which the house failed to bring to the table in light of Somaliland public interest includes among others:
- Drug (medicine) administration and safety act.
2.Civilian staff rights act, since the rights of employees working in the private sector are constantly infringed such as working hours, pay scale, sick leave, annual leave, severance rights etc.
- National security act to modernize our national security apparatus, as well as the official secrets act.
- Public sector reform bills such as Audit reform, Tax reform, Procurement reform, financial accountability reform, justice reform, and civil service reform. For example our tax system requires reform since it is not progressive system of taxation, where the tax you pay depends on your level of income and wealth, currently the burden of taxation falls on the poor and the street dwellers, where little or none corporate and other taxes are collected from big corporations and companies making tens of millions of dollars annually as net income in various industries and economic sectors.
- Road safety act; nowdays it is common thing to hear road deaths every day inside big cities and between towns.
- Bills relating election of parliamentarians and district and regional boundaries demarcation bills.
- Public asset privatization act; to make sure that the proceeds from asset disposal are kept in the government treasury.
- Educational quality standards act.
- Foreign and domestic investment act.
On the other hand, the house led by Irro, failed to follow up the acts passed by the house as far as their implementation is concerned. A case in point is the central bank act passed by the house late 2012, which plainly stipulates the powers of the central bank, its board of directors, regulation of exchange bureaus, setting up of monetary policy mechanisms. Implementation of this act would have helped us to get a solution for the conundrums of exchange fluctuations and inflation hikes. All in all, none of the acts passed by this house has been implemented and no one has followed up why it has not being implemented.
On the management of the resource of the House of Representatives, Irro failed to install an internal audit mechanism at the house, which is an international standard practice. When other parliamentarians asked him how he manages the finances of the house three years ago, he advised them to make themselves salary and allowances increment, which they did.
His leadership of the House of Representatives was disastrous and wasted more than a decade of Somaliland time, which he could have made a landscape legislative reform in every sector.
In conclusion, his ten year tenure as speaker of the house of the representatives was a curse not a blessing.