It is time we showed MPs who is boss

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BY SARAH WAMBUI

Whatever school of leadership our honorable Members of Parliament attended, clearly taught them things in reverse.

We have 222 Members of Parliament (MPs) and out of this only 30 are required to ensure debate on contentious issues like the Special Tribunal Bill proceeds in the House. But guess what? Only 18 Parliamentarians were present in the House on Wednesday forcing Deputy Speaker Farah Maalim to suspend debate on the Bill by their colleague from Imenti Central over lack of quorum.

If my math serves me right the 18 MPs present represent 8 percent of the House. Now what does that mean? It simply means that 92 percent of our leaders do not care what fate lies ahead of the people they claim to lead; that is, you and me.

How can 204 MPs fail to show at their place of work when there is such crucial business to transact? What are we paying them for? How come KRA never fails to deduct taxes from my well earned money (for keeping the public informed) to pay a bunch of ignominious members who claim to represent my interests in Parliament?

I am not even calling for the presence of all 222 MPs in the House but surely 30 MPs could not have availed themselves in parliament for Wednesday’s session? Does that make any sense?

The Bill in contention affects the lives of thousands of Kenyans whose lives were destroyed fighting for the same politicians who are too busy to attend to their issues. Only 18 MPs care. Yet if it were one of those sessions for debating an increase in salaries or allowances these Parliamentarians would even come with their relatives to unanimously support such a Bill.

When will our honorable friends start doing the honorable duty to take this country forward? When will they stop gambling with our lives and our interests?

I wish they could just for once switch places with IDPs; that they are forced to sleep in leaking shanties with only one meal to survive on. You cannot be a leader unless you have lived the life of the people you intend to lead. You must wear their shoes; experience their troubles, joys and concerns before becoming their leader. How can you lead people that you do not understand?

Mr Imanyara claims the government was behind the poor show at the House (read sabotage) apparently because it does not want a special tribunal. I don’t care what his theory is. All I know is that snubbing the debate shows an act of cowardice. What does it take to come out openly and present your issues on why the bill should be passed or thrown out?

These Parliamentarians remind me of high school kids sick and tired of eating the same old crappy githeri full of weevils but do nothing except grumble behind the scenes fearing reprisal. Mr Politician if you have an issue with a clause or two on the Special Tribunal Bill, come out of your closet and present it. Otherwise resign and keep your mouth shut because if you don not have the guts to raise your issues candidly, then you really do not deserve to lead even a Supermarket queue.

We need someone who can help us make those tough decisions; someone who is not afraid and someone who is willing to take the plunge for us. That is what we call leadership.

It is also important to note that these friends of ours had just taken a seven week holiday against the wish of a majority of Kenyans who rightly thought they still had national issues to discuss. Then after such an undeserved holiday, only 18 MPs show up in Parliament?

In that regard, I propose the following disciplinary measures to be taken against MPs who decide to go AWOL: That from now on MPs must only miss two parliamentary sessions. How else will they work for us if they don’t show face in Parliament?

All Members of Parliament who sleep during parliamentary proceedings will be thrown out of the house for that particular session and will be marked absent. You must also be attentive to represent us well. I do not want my Mheshimiwa embarrassing me before the nation.

MPs who miss more than two sessions will be sanctioned to appear before the House and present their cases. What right do they have to take inappropriate leaves of absence while the rest of us toil tirelessly?

Every time an MP misses a parliamentary session (other than the permitted two sessions) he or she will be taxed for that period.

It is about time we showed MPs who is boss.
 

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