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What are MPs doing in The Hague?

19 September 2013, 13:31 Mubweka Paul

Kenya’s top Principals are facing charges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the world has been watching keenly as many firsts are being witnessed. It is the first time that a sitting president and his deputy are being prosecuted while in office but on another scale, it is the first time legislators have swarmed the small Dutch city of Hague in ‘solidarity’ with the accused.

As we witness these turn of events, it is critical that we not only celebrate how far we have come but also ask ourselves how we are behaving in front of the whole world.

Legislators are supposed to create laws that facilitate proper governance and enable the citizenry live lives that are worthy. Our MPs have instead swarmed the Hague-based court singing the National Anthem and others praying the Lord’s Prayer.

While this might display solidarity on one hand, on the other it shows the amount of unprofessionalism and undedicated service we have employed as electorates. The Senators and members of the National Assembly are displaying not only solidarity but also the highest degree of inappropriate behavior.

The colossal amounts of money that have been spent in travelling to and fro the Hague should have been channeled towards other causes that are worthwhile.

Someone like Joshua Arap Sang who is accused alongside the President and his Deputy could not afford the air fare and opted to remain in The Hague over the four-day period. This could be averted if the leaders considered their actions and paid for Sang to re-unite with his family for the short break instead. That would have displayed utmost humanity and care for the common ‘mwananchi’.

With the resumption of the cases, the legislators are back to The Hague and have now gone in numbers that are unprecedented. However, Kenya is currently at a crisis with debt levels having soared over the last few years and the cost of living having reached unbearable levels. These are the things that leaders should be busy debating in the Senate and the National Assembly yet they comfortably roam about The Hague with the notion of ‘solidarity’.

Both Principals already said that the cases are personal matters and they will see to it that they sort them out and clear their names. This however has not sunk into the heads of the parliamentarians who think that their show of solidarity will influence the court’s decision. It is crucial that the President and the Deputy act wisely and warn the legislators against absconding house sittings for reasons other than constituency commitments, County commitments or unavoidable circumstances like health and family matters.

Behaviors being displayed currently are tainting the image of the government and the country as a whole.

We are a state, yes, but we need not only say it but mean it. Sure as gravity on the surface of the earth, we are not displaying our status as a state when our legislators swarm The Hague with no clear purpose of their visit. Even the officials at The Hague might be feeling burdened by the risky state of their city brought about by high ranking officials jamming the area with no clear purpose and no official invitation.

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