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What are our legislators taking us for?

28 June 2012, 14:42 Paul Orodi

It is funny how Members of Parliament (MPs) behave while on the floor of the house. You might think they are the sole heirs of God’s entire creation. It baffles me. They seem to forget that it is the common man who propelled them there and therefore they should take it as a privilege.

Just last week, Kenyans were treated to a good number of shocking bills that left a sour taste on the citizens’ tongues. Parliament is mandated to redraft and change laws as deemed necessary. That’s the sole role of the famous ‘houses’ around the world. But now the trick part comes in when they turn that chamber into their casino tables where they make deals of all kind as long as it suits them.

I bet the politicians have yet to feel such a wrath as was unleashed on the North African leaders. They should be given some free lessons and taught on how the kings of Africa and powerful African-Arab leaders concocted their own downfalls.

First on the floor to be discussed was the bill that sought to bar people without degrees from contesting. How do you even come up with such? How will your degree in Music help a malnourished and poverty stricken community that has youths in numbers still unemployed and schools that lack classrooms and proper food supply. No aspiring member of parliament has ever approached the masses with their papers and actually made it to the august house. People want good education not leaders with good education.

The Late Hon. Njenga Karume rose to become one of the most celebrated leaders in this country for his roles and contributions in government and business. Having served under Kenyatta, Moi and Kibaki in different capacities, Karume was seen as the most influential man in Central Kenya and its environs. However, with all that might and prowess in politics, governance and business, Njenga never made it to past lower primary classes. On the other hand, very learned politicians, technocrats and aristocrats have brought this very same country to its knees.

Scandals like the Goldenberg and Anglo-leasing were planned commissioned and executed very carefully by the so-called learned gents. People so deep to the throat in these scandals are very well known to be holders of degrees in economics, accounting, finance ad many more. Others are master degree holders in business fields, planning areas and other. A good number pose professional qualifications in accounting among other fields. Now do tell me, what makes these scandalous men and women more honorable than the not-so-educated class of Njenga?

To enter the house later that evening of debate was the Political Parties Act. The MPs wanted to amend it to suit their ever growing desire to party hop from one party to another at any given time. Democracy gave us the freedom to express and associate ourselves with whosoever we so wish. Those are fundamental rights of man but people lets not shoot ourselves by following this to the letter and ignoring all other flash lights.

A political party has its beliefs and ideologies and these are what brought about democracy. With their different ideologies, they all try to express their individual ideas to the public in order to be chosen in an election to implement those much loved ideas. When you tell me that Kenyans right now don’t need political parties instead they need leaders, Hon. Ephraim Maina, you must be joking with me real hard. You ought not to even call yourself or your colleagues. Leaders, who do you even lead? You left us a long way behind and took the ‘greedy-men’s highway’.

Political Parties represent peoples ideas collectively joined to form the ideologies and beliefs. Now for a politician to run for elective post, he need be in a political party that he believes shares the same vision as him. If s/he feels that there is no party that shares in his ideologies then he is allowed to go Independent. That is clearly provided for in the constitution so why the need for party hoping?

Party hoping, if ascended to, would create a political playing field that would fence out the population in a cruel way. It would be the start of what I can call ‘Black Democracy’. Politicians would use parties the wrong way and thus no one would be held accountable for failing to leave up to the ideas he presented to the people on campaign time. S/He would be free at will to jump from one party to another and by the end of the five year term be not measured by any standards. This is not what we bargained for when we went all head on in 1991/92 fight for multi-party system.

Let us keep track with what these house of legislators is doing lest we find ourselves in a ditch that might hamper of desire for progression.

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