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Lest our MPs forget

Zimbabwean legislators in a parliamentary session

IT is well and good for Members of Parliament (MPs) from different political parties to work together for the good of the nation. In fact, this is ideally what should happen in a normal society.

But, of course, ours in nowhere near normal to the extent that our MPs seem to only see eye-to-eye for self-benefit and are perennially at each other’s throat over national matters.

Many of us begin to wonder what use these legislators are to us when they seem to have little interest in our welfare.

We understand that Zanu PF and Citizens Coalition for Change parliamentarians, in a rare alliance, have decided to take on Parliament administration over cars for 43 of their colleagues as well as to push for an improvement in their general welfare, which they have told us in the past that it left a lot to be desired.

What really concerns us is that when we voted for these ladies and gentlemen to represent us in Parliament they never told us that their major priority when they perch themselves in the august House was to make sure they are pampered with the nicest things in life such as chauffeur-driven cars, first-class hotel accommodation and mouth-watering allowances, among a host of things they are whingeing over.

It deeply saddens and pains us that, while these noble men and women may be entitled to everything they are demanding, we seem not to see the same energy and zeal when serious issues such as crafting of laws and defending constitutionalism need their undivided attention in Parliament.

All we see are political divisions and debates conducted along partisan lines at the expense of national interest.

Never have we heard that these legislators have coalesced around currently burning matters to do with devolution funds which appear to be under siege from looters, electoral reforms, violence, corruption, abuse of State resources, the diaspora vote, plight of fellow countrymen in South Africa whose exemption papers expire at the end of this year, the thorny Private Voluntary Organisations Amendment Bill, the sorry state of our healthcare system and the rampant hate speech and intimidation ahead of next year’s general elections, among a host of national concerns.

One does not require rocket science to know what form the debates around these issues would take if introduced in Parliament today. It is pretty obvious that if any of these issues were to be introduced in the august House, hell would break loose and some would end up being thrown out of Parliament, simply because what should be guiding the MPs’ debate — the Constitution and their legislative mandate — are currently failing to unite them.

Instead of approaching issues objectively, with an open mind and national interest at heart, the legislators are so blinkered by partisan agendas that they always fail to justify why they were voted into Parliament.

So it comes as a real tragedy that because of the MPs’ complete disunity on matters of national interest, the Executive, jogged by the ruling Zanu PF party is now riding roughshod over the parliamentarians.

While legislators from the opposition may do their best to raise some important issues of national interest, it has become the norm that the ruling party members will never see any sense in the matters the opposition raises simply because it is the opposition which has raised the matters. Yet, curiously the same ruling party MPs are more than willing to accept support from the opposition members on matters speaking to their bottom line.

This is a shamefully sad, indeed.

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