Monday, April 19, 2021

Did National Assembly members raise harassment issues by CSOs and The Social media to evade scrutiny or to defy undue influence?

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QUESTION OF THE DAY

The impression given to the Public by many national Assembly members is that they were speaking their mind on the draft Bill and Schedule on the promulgation of the 2020 Constitution so that amendments could be done to fine tune the document.

The complaint of the NAMs against undue influence received sympathetic ears from the media leading to cautionary remarks on how advocacy could be done to encourage them to put national interest before personal interest to prevent their alienation.

The response of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice gave the members an opportunity to approve the principles and merits of the Bill and deal with the details at the next level. If National Assembly members are only concerned with some details then why did they refuse to vote in support of the second reading and then wait to put their proposal for amendments at the consideration stage?

Yesterday, the National Assembly members had the opportunity to vote on the principles and merits of the Bill. Three quarters needed to vote in support to move the Bill to the consideration stage to discuss the details. Twenty three members voted against the principles and merits thus resulting in the termination of the process of putting it up for a referendum.

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CSOs are now telling the media that they are pressure groups aimed at reminding NAMS what their duties are since they are servants of the people. They argue that to accuse them of harassment is to shortchange democracy. They claim that their lives are in the hands of the NAMs and democracy dictates that they exercise their freedom of speech to tell their representatives what they want of them.

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