• Why have some parliamentary committees kept witnesses waiting for hours to give virtual testimony?
•English is an imported language, so they say. But what is worrying is the way some honourable legislators mutilate the Queens English.
A Member of Parliament (pictured) earlier this week brought proceedings of a virtual committee meeting to a standstill. The lawmaker was attending a meeting where the committee was grilling the chairman of a commission over the recent wave of ethnic clashes in some parts of the country. As the chairman was making his submission, the legislator, who had apparently forgotten to mute his microphone, was heard uttering intimate words – promising to meet his lover in a hotel in Kakamega. After about a minute of drama, a clerk, who was the host of the virtual Zoom platform, muted him. Moments later, the man unmuted and apologised to the committee.
Still on virtual meeting, just why have some parliamentary committees developed a habit of keeping their witnesses waiting for hours? Last week, a top government official lamented to chairman of a powerful committee that he was kept waiting for close to an hour. The committee, which had invited the official to the meeting, had no quorum to start business. The man complained that he was forced to reschedule his appointment with donors from Germany to honour the parliamentary meeting, only to be kept cooling his heels. Interestingly, the meeting eventually aborted for lack of requisite numbers needed to even discuss the agenda.
English is an imported language, so they say. But what is worrying is the way some honourable legislators mutilate the Queen's English. This week, a female chairperson of an influential committee kept on asking his colleagues to "second the meeting". At first, some committee members appeared confused with what the chair was saying or intended to say. One of them said, ‘Chair, are we supposed to second the agenda of the meeting or the meeting itself?’ But the lady kept on repeating the same thing, leaving her colleagues perplexed. Finally, one of them said, "Okay, I second the meeting." Let us continue.’