Parliamentarians can be clowns

On numerous occasions, I was convinced that going to parliament and mingling or listening to politicians is boring, even though it was a passion of mine to sit and listen to them.

But that is not always the case. Parliamentarians have a sense of humour that many can mistake for childish behaviour, and I do not blame you for thinking that way.

One of my high school best friends Ndasha used to always say how childish politicians are after an argument between a certain minister and the opposition was broadcast on television. I would concur with her, of course, since ‘parliamentary sessions were our thing’, and in that line, we had something to talk about always, especially if either one of us missed the ‘show’ as we all regarded it as such.

Aah, those were the days! Anyways, my apologies for diverting from our initial conversation. I need to support my stance that parliamentarians are comedians, gosh they crack me up to the bone at times. I have so much fun when in parliament, although I go there to work (my life as a journalist).

So, the other day in parliament, APP president Ignatius Shixwaneni seemed a tad bit irritated by a remark made by Attorney-General Sackeus Shangala. As much as I understood his point, I felt the indirect altercation was just too funny.

You should have been there. I mean, childish would have been the correct term to refer to how Shixwameni reacted to Shangala’s joke, but at the same time I would understand why he would take offence.

Shixwameni gave a motivation statement on his trip to Switzerland to the Assembly and related meetings of the Inter- Parliamentary Union (IPU), and he basically just gave the report. Afterwards, Shangala queried for in-depth information, making a joke which implicated Shixwameni in gallivanting in Switzerland.

“I went on an official business trip to Switzerland; I did not buy this shirt I am wearing in Switzerland. I did not go there to have fun”, said an irritated Shixwameni.

Now tell me on a serious note, would you not laugh at that? All the parliamentarians started laughing, and such things happen more often than not. I would rather be found there than go to a comedy show. Education, Arts and Culture Minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa chipped into the conversation when Shixwameni explained that “two delegates from the Ministry of Education were also in attendance”.

Hanse-Himarwa responded by saying “Who? No, No. The Minister of Education was not in attendance”. “Do you not know what happens in your own ministry? I did not say the Minister attended, I said individuals from the Ministry were delegated to attend the conference”, Shixwameni responded.

Some Parliamentarians just have a sense of humour. Another thing which happened in Parliament that very same day was when Shixwameni weighed in on the conversation about what or who should be regarded as youth, saying 60-year-olds still want to be regarded as youth.

For that reason, a number of youth will not want to join politics because old people still want to be regarded as youth, even though their time had passed. Now, as much as there is truth hidden in that statement, and believe me Shixwameni could not have said it better and taken the words right out of my mouth, I still saw a lot of humour in that statement.

He really is funny, and I am still laughing about that. You should have been there to witness the fun and jokes in parliament, despite a number of people taking offence or being irritated. Next time, join me in parliament and you will enjoy a comedy show without having to pay anything.