Sometimes i look at our parliament and i loose all hope for this great nation. I mean, who even the parliamentarians themselves understands their roles despite the fact that its critical. How do we gauge their perfomance. Why does everyone want to be president even when they have failed miserably as legislators.
Ever since the advent of constitutionalism, governance has taken the form of a structured system of laws formulated and joined together by a pillar called constitution to create a way in which people relate and get along. Even beforw that, in the traditional setting communities used to follow a set of unwritten rules formulated by elders on how the community was to conduct itself. Therefore key to this kind of governance is the organ that is mandated to come up with laws or rules if you like.
Today, everything you do is based on a statute. You wake up to go to work ro a career that is regulated by law. You drive on the left side because of a law. You pay tax because of law. And there has to be someone paid to create that law for the good of all in order to have an orderly and organised society.
Now, very few Mpigs know their important roles. Very few will come up with creative bills that turn into effective laws that can help us solve todays problems. I can only remember a few outstanding law makers who left a mark like Joe Donde, Njoki Ndungu and infamous john Mututho. These ones created famous bills that ended up as laws. At least they tried to change the situation using their roles. Now can you imagine someone like Waititu coming up with any bill. Or Sonko, or Moses Kuria, or Oburu Odinga, or Wetangula?
Problem is our legislators seem to think their roles are playing politics, word trading, attending harambees/funerals and worse of all managing funds like CDF. Even the president seems to have no idea of these geezers crucial roles. You see, to fight corruption you need good laws that bring out transparency. Police and NTSA use the very opaque and archaic laws to trap you using the speed gun so that you can shed bribes. Yet if the law was setup such that the fines are easily payable by say instant tickets that explicitly state the amount which should not be set so high for a misdemenour as to encourage the paying of bribes, and these organisations are mandated to continously educate the public on their rights through paid adverts, then we would win the fight. Only laws can do that. It was also sad to see the president instructing legislators to lead a physical fight against illegal brews forgetting that their most crucial input would be to come up with relevant legislation to curb the vice and encourage legal manufacturers to fill the void rather than have a sensational reaction that lasts for two weeks and we are back to normal.
In my opinion parliament is more crucial than even the presidency. A president may have no clue and survive(eg Moi) but a clueless parliament is an absolute disaster to a country. That is why in parliamentary democracies which have proven very effective and progressive, citizens do not evwn choose their head of government directly. They elect legislators who in turn choose the prime minister who is accountable to parliament the peoples representatives. Here in
Kenya we glorify the presidency as some godly office and ignore the people who can bring the real changes needed via legislation.