Minimum education level for MPs essential

Minimum education level for MPs essential
Published: 15 July 2019 (159 Views)
EDITOR,

The calls for a minimum education qualification for one to become a member of Parliament are justified and the right way to go.

Yes this is right as our parliamentarians are expected to be people who are widely read as they will be expected to ask questions on almost any issue and be able to represent all members of their constituencies.

According to recent press reports those aspiring to be lawmakers need to have at least a college diploma or degree, with those pushing for the new requirement saying being an MP was all about identifying the country's problems and providing solutions, a job that requires critical thinking and training.

The calls for academic qualifications are growing louder by the day as some legislators are said to be exhibiting ineptitude when performing simple duties expected of them. Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda has complained over MPs' unruly behaviour, their failure to understand critical issues of national interest and absenteeism.

He said Parliament has made efforts to assist them through induction workshops and seminars to upscale their competencies. While some of them have improved, Mudenda said there was need for the Constitution to be amended in order for Zimbabweans to vote for academically-qualified MPs.

"Members of Parliament come to Parliament through a popular vote that takes place through their party processes. There are no qualifications as far as academic or professional competence and as such anyone who wins popular vote becomes a member of Parliament.

"The onus is on the people of Zimbabwe to decide whether or not there must be academic and professional qualifications for MPs," Mudenda said.

The calls by Mudenda show that there is something lacking in some of our legislators who spend almost all their term in office without even asking a single question or taking part in any debate.

Even some of their behaviour has shown little understanding of the important role they play.

The calls to amend the Constitution to make it compulsory for aspiring councillors and MPs to have a minimum of five Ordinary Level subjects will go a long way in ensuring that those who vote for these legislators into office represent the interests of the population.

Recently, legislators across the political divide failed to understand the Companies and Other Business Entities Bill which was said to be too technical and the bill was debated by 10 out of 270 members of the National Assembly.

The minimum education requirements will help those who are voted into office to understand the importance of being well-read and research so that they represent those who voted them into power well.

In my opinion the indictions are just not enough but educated individuals are needed in Parliament who can understand and comprehend diverse issues not just political activists.

Voter.

- dailynews

Tags: Voter,
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