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IS THIS WHAT TO EXPECT?

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THE silence of the EBC in the face of all that is happening around the election of senators is deafening. That it is no longer a secret that there is a lot of vote buying and the institution, which is supposed to guard against such, is silent, is worrying.

Will the election of senators be credible? Will we have people with the capacity to take the country forward or we will have people who have bought their way into Senate and, therefore, ready to recover what they lost when buying the votes? This is troubling because we heard the same thing during the election of Members of Parliament and indeed looking at the composition of those elected, a majority are businesspeople, which makes me think that they indeed used their wealth to make it in.


What kind of Parliament are we going to have? Will parliamentarians have the capacity to do what they are supposed to do? Do they have the necessary skills and technical knowhow to salvage the country from what we saw in the previous Parliament?


I fear this may not be the case because from the early stages they are already failing to stake their claim. I was happy when the used to be vibrant Lobamba Lomdzala Member of Parliament told the Clerk to Parliament that he was wrong to adjourn the House before the elected Speaker was led to his seat. That was a sign that the veteran politician knows his stuff and I thought he would be at his best this term.


However, I was disappointed when the clerk gave them a wrong lecture and they kept silent. When reading the article, I asked myself if it was true that no one called him to order.


Constitution


In terms of the Constitution of this country, citizens have a right to elect their own government. The people elected, therefore, have the mandate of the entire nation in Parliament. At least that is how it is supposed to be. That is why they should not be held accountable for what they say in Parliament so that they are free to express the views of the people.


This is the reason why they have to always consult the people they represent. That the clerk had the audacity to tell them that he does not expect rebels in Parliament but people who will blindly support the Tinkhundla system of governance worried me.


Yes I say blindly because the story said he even told them that they would hear people criticising the system, yet they should stand up for the system.
My concern is that the parliamentarians were supposed to tell the clerk that they are representing the people and they are going to carry out the mandate given to them. That they remained silent when this man was taking away the powers of the people of this country worried me. Is this what we should expect?

If they fail to tell an officer that he is offside, will they have the guts to tell the incoming prime minister that his policies are not what the people need. Will they be able to hold the Executive accountable? To me they have given the wrong signal already. They are not supposed to be told by an officer to stand up and defend even what they know is wrong with the system.
I am not saying they are to let untruths about the system go but to say they have to defend even the bad from the system is worrying. After all, no system of governance is perfect and it must always improve. Criticizing it does not mean you are against it always, but it may mean you are pointing out where it should be improved. Is that wrong Mr Clerk?
I think the Clerk to Parliament needs to get refresher courses as well. This is not the first time that he was offside. The fact that in his assignment he forgot that the Speaker had to be taken to his seat before the House adjourned, showed the need for a refresher course.
Forgotten
I have not forgotten that he previously decided to pray in tongues and adjourned the House when it was supposed to elect the Speaker. This was not procedural but the man decided to do it and I am not sure of his reasons but that was unconstitutional because the Constitution is clear of when should the Speaker be elected.
Parliamentarians should also stand up and be counted, they have to prove to the nation that it elected the right people. To fail on the first day tells me that they are not ready for the task. Is it a confirmation that the nation elected the wrong people as they bought their way into Parliament? At least it is in the powers of the parliamentarians to prove that nation wrong.

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