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February 16, 2019

These costly adventures of Parliament must be reined in

The authority of Parliament as the paragon of virtue and guardian of public interest is under severe test. The activities of the two houses, especially the committees, are antithetical to Parliament’s motto – For the just governance of men.

The MP’s title Honourable should, surely, mean something. But, alas, their conduct is increasingly anything but honourable.  From many claims of impropriety to the grandstanding of the Majority leaders, Parliament has become a crying shame.

Its penchant for usurping the powers of other institutions needs to be tamed. Immediately an incident is reported, MPs launch investigations and summon concerned parties. Yet there are more competent bodies charged with investigations. Parliament is not designed to undertake primary investigations but direct the relevant bodies to do so and report back for direction.  

As we have seen in the parallel probe into sugar, land grabbing and expenditure queries, Parliament is hopelessly incapable of carrying out any serious investigations. Its adventurism is motivated by opportunities for self-enrichment through sitting allowances, extortion and other schemes. 

Similarly worrying is the meddling in Parliament’s work by elements in the Executive desirous of protecting tin gods in the Establishment. This streak is unethical and inimical to the separation of powers. It should be reined in by constitutional amendments to delineate the roles of different institutions once and for all.


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