Parliament now a church: MPs

Parliament now a church: MPs

Staff Reporter

MASERU

THE MP for Mosalemane, Sam Rapapa, this week told the deputy speaker Montšuoe Lethoba that MPs “are now merely attending church, not parliament”.

Rapapa said it is unacceptable that the notice paper would show that there would be issues to be discussed in Parliament but business would only open with a prayer and the House adjourns.

Rapapa also bitterly complained that last week’s Notice Paper No. 78 showed that there was a motion to discuss the return of opposition leaders who fled the country last year but for the rest of the week Parliament’s business was only about prayer.

He said the motion was even amended to include the recommendations of the SADC Commission chaired by a Botswana High Court judge, Justice Mpaphi Phumaphi, but that was never included in the business of parliament.

“We are just continuing to come here to pray and then go back irrespective of the urgent motion to discuss those issues,” Rapapa said.

“When will these motions be included on the order paper? We are now aware that we are merely coming to church to pray and then go back despite that there is business to do.”

Likhetlane MP, Lekhetho Mosito, agreed with Rapapa adding it was now a year since opposition leaders Thomas Thabane of the All Basotho Convention (ABC), Thesele ’Maseribane of the Basotho National Party (BNP) and the Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL)’s Keketso Rantšo fled the country claiming their lives were in danger.

Despite that Parliament had not discussed and resolved their problems.

Mosito also observed that Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili has not been attending Parliament since February this year.

Parliament Standing Orders require the Prime Minister to go to parliament to answer questions from MPs at least once a month.

The Mabote MP, Moshoeshoe Fako, also appealed to the House to ensure that the fate of the three leaders is discussed “especially because there is no business for this august House”.

Fako said MPs should take the absence of business for the House to talk about the smooth return of the exiled leaders “and these things that are happening in the country nowadays”.

Kuytloane Sello, the Hlotse MP, complained that Parliament had never discussed the SADC Commission report and therefore called on the government to ensure that the recommendations are implemented.

Responding to the concerns, the Deputy Speaker Lethoba said the Business Committee is still seized with the matter and it will hand it to the Speaker so that it will form part of the business for the House.

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