When the current Parliament session began Speaker Gladys Kokorwe promised to crack whip and ensure that parliament business is not disrupted unnecessarily, as she had observed from the previous session, they had closed with a lot of Bills and Questions backlog.
Even though we have seen on a number of occasions some members sent out and two having been suspended for a week, the just ended session was not different from the previous one. The only difference was that this time around after wasting lots of time, the house decided to spend the whole night in parliament. Yes, we applaud the legislators for debating and passing five Bills overnight, but at the taxpayer’s cost.
All members, parliament staff, ministers’ drivers and indeed many others worked overtime which they have to be paid for. This is of course in addition to the cost of food consumed during the night. These costs could have been totally avoided had the house done exactly what they promised those who elected them. On many occasions, members would ask questions and not show up. MP Ignatius Moswaane for instance on one occasion had submitted 12 motions, which were each, read out
The speakership would not allow suggestions by members to skip the item. We call on the Speaker to abolish such practices as they are of no value.
On the same day, a motion by Ndaba Gaolathe could not be debated because the quorum collapsed. That is another problem. If members were committed to developing this country, they would not just walk out when there are a lot of Bills, Motions and Questions to attend to.
There were days when not enough number of members would show up leading to no business at all. In addition, members would sometimes debate non-issues which they know they should not debate in parliament. Truth is a lot of hours have been put to waste by members across the aisle. If they can debate and pass five Bills in one night, why can’t they finish all business set for a particular session of parliament?