An investigation carried out by Goobjoog News has established that 91% of the lawmakers failed to appear in their respective constituencies despite orders to do so as instructed by rules of procedure of both Houses.
Only 9% of the 329 member Federal Parliament honoured their call to meet with their constituents highlighting the possible disconnect between the leaders and the people they represent. The lawmakers were expected to spend at least 15 days in their constituencies to touch base and listen to the concerns.
Most parts of the country are still largely facing a severe drought which has persisted for some time and for the lawmakers, a chance to visit their constituents would have been appropriate to find ways to deal with the impact of the drought.
The investigations covered all the regional administrations- Puntland, Jubbaland, HirShabelle, Galmudug and South West states. Galmudug ranked the worst with all the lawmakers giving their constituencies a wide berth.
Puntland, the northern state established in 1998 has a total of 48 representatives- 11 from the Senate and 37 from the Lower House. Less than 15 MPs visited their constituencies in Garowe, Galkayo, Goldogob and some other regions during the last two months break.
An average of 31% of MPs went back to Puntland state and this is the highest number of MPs to visit their constituencies per region.
Dahir Abdikadir Iro, a former Federal MP stated that an MP is a representative of his/her people and is required to pay a visit to his/her home constituency during a break to help deal with the difficulties they are facing and if overwhelmed by the load of the problems, to seek the help of other MPs.
“The number that went back to the places they were elected from is less than 10 MPs according to me yet this small number is not active enough as expected from them to see and meet the various community members,” said Dahir.
Several lawmakers visited Garowe among them Ali Gaab, Ali Sharma’arke, Burhan, Saido Mohamed, Waaberi among others. Hawo is the only MP that visited Galkayo town.
In Goldogob in Mudug region, 6 MPs visited the location among them a member of the Federal Upper House known as Senator Farhan. This group held a meeting in the local government office in Goldogob and most of them left the following day. Only MPs Dahir and Abdirashid Gabobe went back to their voters and listened attentively to the voices of their constituency members.
Earlier, some MPS from Sool and Sanag regions sent medical aid to their constituencies though this humanitarian effort does not fall under the two months break session as confirmed by Goobjoog News reporter in Khatumo State.
The central Somalia state has 48 lawmakers in total- 40 from the Lower House and 8 from the Upper House.Our investigations reveal that none of the lawmakers visited their constituencies during the two months period making Galmudug representatives the most rare of the lawmakers in the region during the recess.
Speaking to Goobjoog News, sultan Abdinasir Jama Seed said not even a single MP went back to Galmudug region. He expressed his amazement with the low concern the lawmakers had for their region.
For Abdinoor Mohamed Farah, the absence of the lawmakers during a time the region is facing severe drought is unfortunate.
Abdirahman Shati Ade believes that the 10th Parliament is far worse than its predecessor.
Only four lawmakers did manage to show up in HirShabelle state which is represented by a total of 45 lawmakers- 37 Lower House and 8 Senators. Those who appeared are Amina, Farhiyo, Abdifatah and Abdirisak Deer. This group of MPs visited their region on drought related activities.
On average, 9% of MPs from Hirshabelle went back to their constituencies.
During this period, the region especially Jowhar experienced communal conflicts but few of the lawmakers did make effort to visit. No lawmaker visited the Middle Shabelle region as revealed by our investigations.
Southwest is made up of 3 regions and 18 districts. It has the highest representation in the Federal Parliament- 69 Lower House members and 8 Senators. Six lawmakers visited Baidoa town while one MP (Dahir Abdi Abdullahi) visited Burhakaba.
The other five MPs are Idris Dakhtar, Abdifatah Ibrahim Geesey, Sheikh Adan Madoobe, Mohamed Fanah and Isgooye Deerow.
Most of these MPs who paid a visit to Southwest State are alleged to taken the ride to see the close relatives in the area.
Contrary to this are 3 MPs namely Idris Dakhtar, Abdifatah Ibrahim Geesey and Dahir Abdi Abdullahi (Dr. Go) who listened extensively to the affairs and the situation their respective electorates are undergoing. They jotted down complains that was raised by their people. This was confirmed by the local people who spoke to Goobjoog News.
On the other hand, MP Mohamed Dhalha who hails from Lower Shbelle went to the area in the company of the President Mohamed Farmaajo who paid a visit to Afgoye town. MP Dhalha did not even visit a single member of his constituency during the visit. Local conflicts took place in Marka town and no MP from the area set foot in the town. Barawa town has the same fate and no MP visited it.
On average, 7% visited the regional State which means only 7 MPs went back to see their voters.
According to sources that Goobjoog News talked to, MPs Iftin Hasan Mursal, Fartaag, Bulsho, Ahmed Nadir, Ahmed Hashi went to Jubbaland and held meetings with their constituents.
Even though there are some MPs who accompanied President Farmajo on his official visit to Kismayo on the 6th June 2017, they all flew back to Mogadishu without meeting with the people who voted them in.
51 MPs were elected to the Lower and Upper Houses from Jubbaland and only 5 MPs performed what was expected from them. On average, 10% out of the 51 Federal MPs went back to their homelands.
The big questions are: what did the remaining 46 MPs do with their vacations?
Gedo region is one of the regions in the country with numerous problems caused by drought and conflicts.
The region is made up of 7 locations and almost 10 MPs represent them in the National Parliament. Since the elections of the local MPs in the late 2016, MP Mohamud Ali Magan visited the area in March 2017 in the company of Deputy Turkish Ambassador who took medical aid to the region.
Based on our investigations, it is emerging that majority of the lawmakers chose to spend the vacation in their own liking oblivious of the challenges facing the electorate who elected them either directly or indirectly during the 2016/17 elections. It is not clear if they spent their vacation in Mogadishu or were on a globe trotting mission in the capitals of the world. Be that as it may, lawmakers have a cardinal duty and responsibility to the electorate who give them the mandate to act on their behalf and effectively represent them during session and out of session.