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MPs’ priorities clash with the interests of Kenyans

19 February 2015, 11:52 Paul Orodi

Nairobi - Members of Parliament are the people tasked with representing the interests of the people in the National Assembly and Senate; they sit in those chambers for hours on end to debate bills that serve the interests of the public or electorate.

Kenya has had its fair share of nuisance from MPs. Last December, a number of them threw tantrums and brought chaos upon the House in a manner never seen before. It was a disgrace to the republic as fists were hurled all over and water splashed on the speaker.

Such chaotic scenes have led to the suspension of three opposition-allied MPs to serve as a warning to any members who think they can run down the August House. Before this motion was moved, MPs had passed a bill regarding titles, who should have a flag and sirens on their vehicles. This bill was debated upon but if you analyze its importance to the Kenyan people, there is none.

As a country, Kenya is ranked top 10 among the countries with the highest poverty index. About 18 million Kenyans live below the poverty line. This figure translates to about 46% of the population.

According to the report that claims these figures; Reasonable Goals for Reducing Poverty in Africa-Targets For Post 2015 MDGs and Agenda 2063, Kenya risks not achieving the 2030 goals of poverty eradication in 15 years time. Reasons given for the increased poverty levels include lack of proper basic education, devolved corruption and mismanagement of public assets, lack of long term goals by politicians who simply look at winning the next election.

The fact that politicians only look at the next election is devastating. They are supposed to be working on bills that can strengthen the standards of education, improve the living conditions of slum dwellers, increase access to medical services, reduce the tax burden of poor persons and so forth.

Instead, they debate bills that really do not shape the development agenda of the nation.

MPs need to get their priorities right. A bill seeking to describe titles of leaders when Kenyans cannot afford basic education and others die in their houses due to lack of health services is a big joke.

Corruption is rampant at the County level and this has slowed down the development of he country. MPs should be busy digging out the corrupt officials and air them in public for the Ethics and Anti-Corruption team to investigate and the public prosecutor to prosecute the culprits.

Parliament needs to be directed and steered in a manner that will benefit the country. Members of Parliament behaving in uncouth ways cannot be tolerated and it is also important that performance of politicians be based on their effort to bring a change to Kenyans especially around the MDGs.

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