Parliament is not a retirement home

Parliament is not a retirement home

IF you ask some civil servants, including the army personnel, police and teachers what they intend to do with their lives when they retire, some of them will tell you they intent to join politics.
Their argument will be that they have seen so many wrongdoings done by politicians. They will further lament of the poor status of the public service, the poorly paid public servants, the horrendous working conditions and a whole lot of troubles they claim “politicians” have put them through during the miserable years of their service.

Also the future retirees will tell you that we need more educated people in parliament who can also hold to ministerial positions and make informed decisions.
“We need educated parliamentarians that can have robust debates not these ones that were voted because they were best in singing political songs (ha re batle maparamente a tsebang ho haila feela).”

Their arguments for why they want to join politics seem to be coming from a place of concern for their country and its people. It seems our pensioners think they did not do enough in their jobs and as such they feel if they are given positions of decision making they will excel.

Besides, they believe they have the necessary experience to turn the country around. They reason that because they have spent most of their prime years in service, they are the best people to cure the social ills, economic dilapidation and political rot that have hit our country so hard.

Unfortunately, these retirees forget that they contributed so much for our country to be in the state it is today. They blame the politicians for everything yet the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) proceeding has shown us the level of shocking corruption and malice that is the order of the day within public institutions.

Moreover, these good officers of our Majesty King seem not to understand what the word retirement means. I think someone should get them a dictionary to give them the meaning of the word. Retirement comes because it is believed a person has done his/her part and should go home and get a hobby. Politics and getting into parliament should not be the hobby for pensioners.

People should learn that politics is not a retirement home. It is time for us as electorates to teach pensioners their place. It is time to stop voting for people on retirement into parliament if we are serious about the development of this country. Otherwise we should stop being angry when they sleep in parliament.

The level of youth unemployment in this country is too high. However, we still see the public service advertising jobs that need a lot of years’ experience.
It is also not uncommon to see our government deploying pensioners on contract basis to important positions that include but are not limited to PS, diplomatic missions and heads of parastatals.
We need to rethink the way we view politics. The parliament is not a retirement home.

Kelello Rakolobe

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