Amid reports of absenteeism among Members of Parliament (MPs), the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) has condemned the habit arguing that it will deny citizens their fundamental right to development.
For the past weeks, MPs have been shunning meetings of the 2016/17 budget for what one local newspaper said has been their focus on their private businesses.
Reacting on the matter, CCJP Acting National Coordinator Martin Chiphwanya called for action to be taken against MPs who are not attending deliberations of the August House.
“Members of Parliament become leaders because people vote for them to do the job in parliament. By choosing to stay away from parliament without any valid reason, MPs betray the people who gave them the mandate to represent them in parliament.
“Citizens should strongly protest against these MPs and demand explanations from them. Most importantly, constituents should be bold enough not to vote these MPs back into power because they have deliberately chosen to abandon their mandate,” said Chiphwanya in a statement.
Recently, Speaker of Parliament Richard Msowoya announced that the Business Committee has decided that absconders should forfeit their allowances.
Msowoya pointed out that absenteeism was denting the image of Parliament in the eyes of the public and having a negative effect on businesses on the floor of the august house.
Members of Parliament get K40 000 per day as subsistence allowance and K10 000 sitting allowance which is paid out before the meeting starts.
According to Standing Order 206 (4), the seat of an MP can only be vacated if the member is absent without leave from the Speaker for three successive meetings of the assembly.