By T. Roble
Immediate former Lower House Speaker Mohamed Jawari has rubbished claims he received kickbacks to pull out from a long drawn battle with Prime Minister Hassan Khaire noting he chose to quit ‘to avert bloodshed’.
In a long resignation speech to the House Thursday which he also threw jabs at his hitherto political arch-rival Khaire, Jawari said he did not take even a penny contrary to social media reports the veteran politician who stunned his supporters by exiting the speakership had ‘bagged some dollars’.
“I am on oath and I can confirm before you today that no money was used to buy my resignation,” said Jawari as he pleaded with the public for forgiveness over the political crisis that engulfed the country the whole of March crossing into April.
The outgoing Speaker who had to fend off combined force of the executive and his immediate deputy Abdiweli Mudey said he bowed out after it emerged the proposals of this team were not accepted by the rival team.
“We were guided by two important principles with my team-supremacy of the constitution and fidelity to the House Rule of Procedure,” Jawari stated. “We had hoped for negotiation and political settlement and we agreed to suggestions from various quarters but the other side refused.”
To avert a ‘looming collapse of the House’ Jawari told lawmakers, I opted to resign. “The House was moving to resort to unconstitutional means which would have left a black spot in our country’s history so I took the decision to resign.”
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Not letting his political nemesis walk Scot-free, Jawari fired shots at Khaire noting the continued grandstanding would have led to bloodshed. “When it looked like someone was claiming power, I realized our differences could lead to bloodshed. I could not allow anyone to be harmed because of me.”
At the height of the political crisis early this month, the government withdrew Jawari’s security leaving Amisom to step in to protect him. A stand-off also ensued April 4 in the Lower House building after claims some lawmakers had carried their arms to the House contrary to security procedures.
The 73 year old politician who has been in politics for over half a century called on MPs to promote dialogue and conflict resolution observing the House had registered remarkable progress since his assumption to the speakership in 2012.
He urged the lawmakers to expedite the process of electing another speaker which must be concluded with 15 days in line with the House Rules of Procedure.
Leaving the speaker’s sit for a space at the chamber seemed to have humbled the long serving politician as he sought the indulgence of MPs to orient him in the common man’s hangouts in the city.
“After five years in closed doors with restricted movement, I would like to ask the MPs to show me around in Mogadishu and where you normally sit.”
To his deputy turned political foe, Jawari reminded him he had not after all been acting speaker as he had claimed when signing off press statements these past weeks. “According to the rules of procedure, from today, you can be the acting Speaker.”