Parliament rushes debatable bills into law

Parliament desperately pushed through a rushed late night session on August 7, 2019 to pass into law 13 pieces of legislation. This is surprising if one were to consider the slow pace at which Parliament has been conducting its daily business since this winter session began.

The bills, which were passed in the night, have far reaching impact on the lives of Batswana, but were not subjected to adequate debate by parliamentarians after the Umbrella for Democratic Change Members of Parliament walked out. The UDC has since issued a statement condemning the desperate bid by the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) to force bills into law.

However, we say all MPs must shoulder the blame, as they have not been entirely productive this session. On numerous occasions, the daily Parliament business was interrupted because the House failed to form a quorum. It was not only the BDP MPs who were absconding but it was also MPs across the political divide.

Not withstanding that it is election year, our MPs should be serious once Parliament sitting begins. In some instances, the business would last just over 30 minutes before the Speaker calls for adjournment, something which contributed to an upset in the schedule of Parliament business.

It is time for those who will make it back to Parliament after elections to introspect. The ruling party will always hustle all arsenals available to get things done its way and win, but the opposition should safeguard things do not happen in this way. The opposition is there to make the ruling party account.

If they had attended Parliament in their numbers over the session, the quorum would not have collapsed on many occasions and some of the legislations would have been tabled on time, and be adequately debated.

This has been ongoing for quite some time that when it is time to debate policies and laws that impact on the lives of the voters, unity, which was admirably visible in the House during the MPs’ Salaries Bill debate ceases to exist. This is all wrong. As for the ruling party MPs, it is clear that members do not have the interests of the voters at heart. 

Batswana have put faith in the ruling party for over 53 years now, but it is clear that such great devotion in return from one such dominant party in the interest of the people does not matter. 

The people who voted you into power are watching, and we hope they do the right thing come October when they unreservedly exercise their right to vote.

Parliamentarians should stop using the House for cheap politicking.

Today's thought

"The difference between a policitian and statesman is that a politician thinks about the next election while the statesman think about the next generation"

-James Freeman Clarke 

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