Should outgoing MPs debate issues?

Saturday February 27 2021
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Members of Parliament during the plenary session at Parliament on February 2,2020. PHOTO/DAVID LUBOWA.

By Guest Writer

In recent times, we have witnessed the media carry stories on what happened during the General Election as well as the ongoing parliamentary debate on sensitive matters such as security of land tenure, school fees charges, war against Covid-19,US war ships at Mombasa, etc.

Some of the stories are unnecessary sources of hatred and disunity because they focus on postmortems instead of proposing the way forward.

What baffles me is the fact that long after the elections and announcement of winners and losers, the outgoing parliamentarians are still debating very important issues of national importance.

The best practice should be that whenever we are to go for elections, Parliament and local councils, should be dissolved and the incumbents made to handover office to the accounting officers.

Also all civil servants who decide to run for political offices should resign from their positions and hand them over to the appointing authority. 

This is the most sensible thing to do because it creates a level playing field for every candidate so that each of them can use personal resources to market themselves to the voters.
Otherwise, in the current setting where seating MPs and councillors continue  holding office while conducting campaigns at the same time and remaining in office for more  five months after  elections  creates unnecessary complications, including abuse of office, especially by those who will have lost election.

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Any one who loses an election finds it difficult to remain mentally stable in the short term. And as any human being,  they can do anything to recover from the shock and mockery of losing election.

As a young democracy, it would be better for the Electoral Commission to follow the proven practices of  much older democracies that have had a lot of experiences and learnt a lot of lessons to come up with their models of today.

Politicians have powers to decide anything, sometimes including their salaries and pension, even after serving for only a few years. Think of the 500 additional pensioners, who are created from Parliament after every five years. This is a big financial burden to our  heavily indebted country.

Tereza Kuzuli,
Concerned citizen

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