Monday, February 12, 2007

Useless talk devoid of action

Here are some excerpts from a commentary carried in the Kenyan newspapers. Please have a look and at the end it, give me a guess of the writer’s profession. Ready?

“…the national defence policy should be reviewed…,” the author says.

“… operations of units sharing the national security mandate … should be harmonised. I do not see why the units should not routinely share intelligence and equipment, and support one another in emergency operations,” the author adds.

“…the veil of mystery and secrecy surrounding procurement of security hardware should be shredded,” he continues to argue.

Last but not least, the author says, “…private security is a service many Kenyans are paying for, and there is no reason we cannot enhance it through legislation and license competent private firms to have controlled armouries so that their guards can bear arms…”

You are wrong if you thought the writer’s profession was something other than legislating. At the end of his article, the byline at the bottom of the article says, “The writer is the Eldoret North MP and an ODM-Kenya presidential hopeful.”

In the byline they should have included this: He is also a former assistant minister in the Office of the President and former Minister for Home Affairs.

William Ruto is an example of the breed of people called legislators AKA Members of Parliament. It is common for them to address the public saying this or that should be done. But by whom?

MPs are given a mandate to make laws and amend laws. They have failed miserably to do this. Instead of making laws to rectify flaws, they take the higher moral ground and point the finger at ‘the Government.’ But what is government?

The four proposals –on how to improve security- that hon. Ruto made sound genuine if only Ruto was an ordinary citizen. Hon. Ruto served as an assistant minister in the Office of the President for some time. This position placed him in a position to give proposals on how to improve the security situation of Kenya. What did he do with that position? What will he be remembered for?

Hon. Ruto now admonishes the secrecy behind the National Security budget. This secrecy didn’t start today. It has been around for a long time. The masses have talked about this black-hole for as long as Ruto has been an MP. Did Ruto move any legislation to make the tendering system open to scrutiny by public institutions?

Parliament has powers to approve or reject the executive’s budget proposal. If we went to Ruto’s voting records in parliament, we will for sure find out that Ruto never cast a single vote against the security budget that he now describes as making “little economic sense.”

Most Kenyans will agree with me that nominated MPs Dr. Julia Ojiambo and Ms Njoki Ndung’u cannot be described as noisemakers. We never hear them say this or that should be done. They instead bring in legislation to address their concerns. In 2006 alone, Dr. Ojiambo’s initiative gave us two new bills and one amendment. In this 9th parliament new comer Njoki Ndung’u gave us a bill to address the rising cases of sexual assault and abuse. It is a shame that the biggest noisemakers in the land don’t have their names attached to single bill.

It is high time we told our MPs to slow down on their rhetoric and use their mandate as MPs to make laws that address what they whine about. These MPs should first exhaust their powers as MPs before seeking presidential powers. Their use of parliamentary powers should be an aptitude for their performance as presidents.

No comments: