Mogadishu (UM) – The ongoing political drama in Somalia in which the Executive and the Speaker of Parliament are engaged in a fight for survival is testing the Somali people’s patience. For nearly a week, the political discussions have focused on the Motion of No Confidence brought by MPs against the Parliamentary Speaker Mohamed Sheikh Osman Jawaari.
UM interviews revealed that the majority of the people interviewed feel that this political drama has come at a critical time for the government.
“When Parliament returned we thought we were defending ourselves against DP World. We were proud of MPs and government for uniting on this. Then they turned on each other. This is unfortunate,” said Saeed Jimaale a trader in Hamarweyne Market.
“I am not sure why our politicians cannot work together for more than 1 year unless they are forced to. There are too many egos in the Parliament and government,” added another trader in Hamarweyne Market.
Many interviewed suspect foreign interference in the current political unrest and as far this continues they are not hopeful that Somali politics will change.
“There are too many people with interests in Somalia and greedy MPs and Ministers who are easy to use,” said a university lecturer who did not want to be named. “Somalia will not be allowed to move forward unless we stop foreign interference.”
“Qatar, UAE, EU, UN all these are just a few which are more powerful than the people of Somalia when it comes to making decision for the Somali people. How can this be? Somali MPs and Ministers must remember who they represent or they must go and live with their paymasters,” said an angry Parliament employee who did not want to be named. “Every time there is political dispute we all suffer. It is not acceptable.”
The above feeling was echoed by most interviewees who agreed that until the Motion is resolved spending will decrease, investment decisions will be put off and even wages may not be paid to civil servants for the first time since President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo came to power.
“Already people are spending less and saving more of their salaries. Those that have debts with us are starting to ask if they can pay over a longer term period. Now with this political situation, things will be worst,” said a grocery shop owner who did not want to be named.
All the interviewees felt that whatever the outcome of the Motion against the Parliamentary Speaker, it will not stop there and more instability will follow.
“If Jawaari goes then MPs would seek to do the same to the President and Prime Minister. If Jawaari survives, he will take revenge. This is not a good environment to do anything in Somalia,” said Ahmed Abdi, a businessman who lives in Mogadishu.
The Motion against the Speaker of Parliament’s legitimacy is still disputed by MPs supporting the Government and those loyal to the Speaker.
There is also no indication of what the next steps will be or when they will be taken by either side. UM will keep readers informed of all developments on this matter.