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Day of Shame in Parliament

Feature Article Day of Shame in Parliament
DEC 9, 2021 LISTEN

“The other day, one of the honorable members audaciously snatched a ballot box from the Floor of the House in broad daylight. His colleagues nearly ate him alive. They hunted him down like grass cutter into a corner before pummeling the demons out of him.”

Oh, how I wish I were an honorable Member of Parliament in the Fourth Republic so I could enjoy my own privileges of misbehavior in the august House! But alas, wishes are not horses!

But speaking plainly, I envy the honorable MPs for two things. First, their excessive financial and social privileges intrigue me. They never fight or quarrel about that. But I am most aroused by their unlimited freedom to publicly misbehave over policies the two major parties disagree with. Parliament’s penchant for public mischief and naughtiness, I dare say, surpasses the highest commotion ever staged in Katanga or Commonwealth Hall during my school days.

And mind you, our MPs are not students who would go on the rampage of excitement every now and then dressed as masquerades with protruding backsides and artificial front cleavages designed to hoodwink students. (You know a number of students stole skirts, blouses, bodices, and many other female body enhancers from their sisters for purposes of academic fun. It was amusing those days to watch the hilarious troops from Katanga Hall soak campus with drumming and dancing from the balcony.

But unlike students, our MPs are famous lawyers, doctors, engineers, businessmen and women, pastors, daddies and mummies of distinguished backgrounds and accomplishments. These are the men and women society looks up to for counsel to solve social problems and to address difficult constituency challenges. That is why the majority of Ministers are appointed from Parliament. Yet, when they get on the Floor of Parliament, their conduct often becomes unrecognizable, sometimes very bizarre!

Take the latest imbroglio about the budget for example. Once it became clear that both parties disagreed on aspects of the budget, the debate degenerated into a verbal showdown without any rules. In the full glare of live cameras, our honorable members cast their tittles aside and squared off. They yelled and screamed at each other, somebody ordered the Speaker to shut up, the Speaker refused to shut up, then there was a fiery surge to overthrow the Speaker’s Chair in the rebellion. Indeed, I was shocked when suggestions and accusations of impersonation were raised by MPs in Parliament. The idea that legislators can even consider such a possibility by their colleagues is uncommon.

The other day, one of the honorable members audaciously snatched a ballot box from the Floor of the House in broad daylight. His colleagues nearly ate him alive. They hunted him down like grass cutter and cornered him in some obscure part of the Chamber where he was pummeled to pulp!

To see our honorable members chasing each other in the legislative chamber like a wild jungle game of cats and mice is pathetic. And more surprisingly, both the men and women rank equal in the mischief making. For I saw a lady honorable being shoved down the floor by her male colleague who removed her seat beneath her in a previous excitement. My own eyes also witnessed an occasion when a very honorable female voice went to town and attacked an honorable male with a spunky innuendo that our own filial traditions forbid.

How difficult is it for dissenting MPs to dialogue and find common grounds that make us all winners rather than this grandstanding and cheap popularity contest that makes the chamber look like a jungle?

The other day, one of the honorable members audaciously snatched a ballot box from the Floor of the House in broad daylight. His colleagues nearly ate him alive. They hunted him down like grass cutter into a corner before pummeling the demons out of him.

Oh, how I wish I were an honorable Member of Parliament in the Fourth Republic so I could enjoy my own privileges of misbehavior in the august House! But alas, wishes are not horses!

But speaking plainly, I envy the honorable MPs for two things. First, their excessive financial and social privileges intrigue me. They never fight or quarrel about that. But I am most aroused by their unlimited freedom to publicly misbehave over policies the two major parties disagree with. Parliament’s penchant for public mischief and naughtiness, I dare say, surpasses the highest commotion ever staged in Katanga or Commonwealth Hall during my school days.

And mind you, our MPs are not students who would go on the rampage of excitement every now and then dressed as masquerades with protruding backsides and artificial front cleavages designed to hoodwink students. (You know a number of students stole skirts, blouses, bodices, and many other female body enhancers from their sisters for purposes of academic fun. It was amusing those days to watch the hilarious troops from Katanga Hall soak campus with drumming and dancing from the balcony.

But unlike students, our MPs are famous lawyers, doctors, engineers, businessmen and women, pastors, daddies and mummies of distinguished backgrounds and accomplishments. These are the men and women society looks up to for counsel to solve social problems and to address difficult constituency challenges. That is why the majority of Ministers are appointed from Parliament. Yet, when they get on the Floor of Parliament, their conduct often becomes unrecognizable, sometimes very bizarre!

Take the latest imbroglio about the budget for example. Once it became clear that both parties disagreed on aspects of the budget, the debate degenerated into a verbal showdown without any rules. In the full glare of live cameras, our honorable members cast their tittles aside and squared off. They yelled and screamed at each other, somebody ordered the Speaker to shut up, the Speaker refused to shut up, then there was a fiery surge to overthrow the Speaker’s Chair in the rebellion. Indeed, I was shocked when suggestions and accusations of impersonation were raised by MPs in Parliament. The idea that legislators can even consider such a possibility by their colleagues is uncommon.

The other day, one of the honorable members audaciously snatched a ballot box from the Floor of the House in broad daylight. His colleagues nearly ate him alive. They hunted him down like grass cutter and cornered him in some obscure part of the Chamber where he was pummeled to pulp!

To see our honorable members chasing each other in the legislative chamber like a wild jungle game of cats and mice is pathetic. And more surprisingly, both the men and women rank equal in the mischief making. For I saw a lady honorable being shoved down the floor by her male colleague who removed her seat beneath her in a previous excitement. My own eyes also witnessed an occasion when a very honorable female voice went to town and attacked an honorable male with a spunky innuendo that our own filial traditions forbid.

How difficult is it for dissenting MPs to dialogue and find common grounds that make us all winners rather than this grandstanding and cheap popularity contest that makes the chamber look like a jungle?

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