Somalilandsun- -The refusal to pay taxes by residents of three Hargeisa Districts is a very serious issue not to be taken lightly.
This was stated by politician Ismail Mahmud Hurre Buuba during and interview with Geeska Afrika in Hargeisa where he also touched on changing political scene in the Horn of Africa Vis ‘a’ Vis stalled Somaliland.
On the issue surrounding a dispute between residents of Ahmed Dagah, Mahmud Haybe and Mohamed Moge districts with the Hargeisa Local Council , the politician who belongs to Opposition Wadani party said
“When some residents of the capital city not only refuse to pay taxes but appoint their own mayor , in the country’s capital city, then it is a very serious matter that requires expedited attention”
Buuba was referring to a recent controversy in which residents of the three districts not only vowed not to pay any more taxes but appointed Hussein Shabeel Ibrahim as their Mayor.
This unprecedented move in the country resulted in the arrest of Shabeel as confirmed by the Maroodi-Jeeh (Hargeisa) Regional Governor Jama Haji Ahmed.
According to the Governor Somaliland laws have avenues for residents to submit their grievances against any public body or servant but non for claims to non existent offices.
Addressing the central government politician Ismail Buuba Urged urgent intervention thence resolution before matters get out of hand.
Said he, “unless the administration of President Bihi resolves this dispute then expect residents of other municipalities and local councils in the country also emulate Hargeisa and not only refuse to pay taxes but appoint their own mayors”
Stressing that harmony between governors and the governed is the precursor to national unity and peaceful co-existence, the Opposition politician told the President that “there is not time to lose in solving this dispute”
Seemingly in covert support of the dissatisfied residents, the Opposition Wadani party politician pointed out that “it is a fact local councils are home to corruption since they collect taxes but never provide necessary services as required”
Said he, “Look at the deplorable condition roads and sanitation of these city estates where potholes and garbage run supreme and you will understand the refusal to pay more taxes”
Stating that the central government is aware of the malpractices within local councils in Somaliland, Ismail Buuba did not mince in accusing the administration of President Bihi of collusion
Concluded his sentiments on the Hargeisa Municipality dispute with residents Prof Ismail Buuba wondered how a country can run perfectly when some areas pay taxes and others do not. “This means the government of the day is toothless”
Touching on the announced plans to construct a new Presidency and parliament buildings the politician who acknowledged the importance of such was also inquisitive on a number of related issues.
“First where is the new Presidency and parliament buildings to be located and what happens to the existing ones, which were recently renovated at very high costs to the public”
“Secondly who is funding the relocation of these importance public buildings, is it by the central coffers courtesy of taxes collected sometimes by force from women street vendors or is it through largesse by a local tycoon?”
Informing that the country is faced by a myriad of problems that require attention Prof Buuba said that were more important than the planned relocation.
“But if the costs of the new buildings are to be borne by a local tycoon then let the public be fully informed” Urged the politician adding that past experiences prove that purported support by some local moguls usual end up with them claiming ownership.
As pertains the fast changing political scene in the Horn of Africa , the former Somalia foreign minister urged the administration to not only take keen note but board the change bus expeditiously.
“Somaliland is part and parcel of the Horn Region thence imperative that we became part and parcel of current political trends” said Ismail Buuba stating that the republic of Somaliland is not an ISLAND!
Yusuf M Hasan
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