A new report by a civil society organisation which found that a large number of MPs do not make any contributions to debates in Parliament is disturbing.
Parliament plays a central role in the country’s constitutional order.
It is the institution mandated to pass legislation to facilitate the implementation of the Constitution and to serve as a watchdog on behalf of the public.
Constituents send an MP to Parliament so that the legislator can play the dual roles of defending the interests of those that elected them and at the same time contribute to issues of national importance.
MPs are also essentially the voice of the people at the national level and when constituents have problems, ranging from inadequate water supply, shortfalls in the healthcare system or impediments in their search for economic wellbeing, it is MPs who should voice their concerns.
It is unacceptable that so many legislators do not make any contribution in Parliament, despite the considerable salary and allowances paid out to them.
Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo makes a valid point that perhaps there are too many MPs and the number of constituencies need to be reduced to have a more vibrant Parliament.
That is something to be addressed in the long-term.
Still, it is no excuse for laziness among legislators and an abandonment of their key duties.
Voters should note those MPs who seem incapable of performing their duties and vote in individuals who can more effectively discharge the core duties for which MPs are sent to Parliament.
Source: All Africa