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Opinion: What is happening in the National Assembly is not funny any more

Speaker Peter Katjavivi needs to be firm and fair

So much has happened in the National Assembly in the past few weeks. And so much has been said about what has been happening in the National Assembly in the past few weeks.

Possibly, one can safely say that there has never been anything like what is going on in the National Assembly these days.

One can also say that all this is an indication of a thriving democracy. Or worse still an indication that whatever form of democracy going on is edging towards not only to a chaotic parliament but anarchy that might threaten the fabric of unity outside the august house.

Maybe this is an exaggeration, but the fact is that there are more pressing issues facing the nation right now. That these issues such as loss of jobs, Covid-19-induced poverty, homelessness caused evictions, the spread of Covid-19 and an education that has been disrupted by Covid-19.

There is nothing wrong for those who resort to violence when they are supposed to discuss and push for workable solutions for all the problems bedevilling the country at the moment. But there is everything wrong when they resort to such fights while the people who sent them to parliament are expecting better.

One thing the opposition should know is that the ruling party ministers are right now under severe stress because they are struggling with various issues. To mask their failures, the ministers who are not performing will divert attention from themselves and cause chaos and anarchy.

Take job losses, for example, are there any answers and solutions as to how the issue can be resolved? It is not clear. Not even a sign on the horizon.

Sadly, some opposition leaders are falling for this cheap trick and in the process, they soil their names. Why then sink to the same level as those bent on disruptions? The best medicine is to tolerate and let it pass then press on with your point.

No one eats those fights in parliament. No one turns those fights into a shelter when they are evicted. Those fights do not create jobs for thousands of people left alone by unions and the labour ministry. The children who have lost days of learning time do not learn anything from those fights.

The British parliament is one good example of where people fight with ideas through robust and meaningful debate. Parliament should be such a place where minds go to war and not hands.

The last fight in the House of Commons itself and MPs was in 1923.

Maybe there is a misunderstanding about what an opposition party should do and what a ruling party should do.

The nature of democracy is that an opposition party should hold the rulers accountable for their actions. This is why they are voted to go into parliament. They are sent to fight but to use their minds to argue and win by ideas.

Apart from criticising the ruling party’s policies and ideas, opposition parties must offer alternatives. Such alternatives should not and must never be an exchange of fists or useless exchange of words that do not contribute to anything.

Some people have spoken about provocation by the ruling party MPs. If anything, any leader worth his salt should never be drawn into any physical or verbal fight when they are supposed to be the better person.

This is not funny any more.

Wonder Guchu

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