The Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, who is also the Majority Leader of the house, Hon. Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu has condemned perceptions that Members of Parliament do nothing but to live a glamorous and comfortable life, saying Parliament is not a place for eating and belching, but comes with huge obligations and responsibilities.
According to him, there’s more to the duties of every Parliamentarian than what people see them do each day in the chamber as largely perceived.
There are duties of the house as well as duties to the constituency with an excessive pressure coming from these people who chose you to represent them in Parliament (Constituents), and relatives, therefore, holding such positions must not be seen as bed of roses.
“Parliamentarians are erroneously saddled with paying of school fees to funding constituent’s burials and funerals to being expected to construct roads and even KVIPs”.
“I have enumerated these not just to put the fear of God in those who think Parliament is glamorous and a place where “we eat and belch hear hear”, but also to encourage those out there, even in the diaspora, who are qualified and are patriotic to heed the call to warm up to take up the mantle”. Hon. Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu emphasized.
Majority Leader Hon. Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, made these humble remarks in a closing ceremony at the capacity training workshop for some selected Journalists with interest in governance and parliamentary reporting.
Reiterating that, It is not enough to be a Ghanaian and be an eligible voter to be a Parliamentarian. A lot more grit, wit and skill is required, if we want to move the business of this county forward and transform our economy.
We may have started identifying and grooming young men and women, He professed, and have them go through the paces aimed at becoming career legislators, which will attract the right calibre of people and not money bags into our Parliament.
“To the current crop of young intelligent fellow Legislators, I encourage you to be single-Minded and resolute. Look for mentors among the old hands and soon you will be well versed and waxing in Parliamentary procedures, practices and
language”. The Majority Leader stated.
A Parliament, He said, is as strong as its Committees and the committees are made up of competent, qualified and committed members.
Concluding that, we must change the narrative and it should be an honour to be a Long serving Parliamentarian and not to be called names like Suame Mugabe.
The capacity training workshop which was organized by the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs (MoPA), Parliamentary Training Institute (PTI) and the Parliamentary News Africa (PN Africa), was under the theme: “Building Media capacity for effective oversight of Parliament”.
The workshop was used as a condusive platform to educate these specific Journalists on the differences between Parliament and the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs.
The capacity building program was to also assist participants to differentiate the thin line between media freedom and the breech of parliamentary privileges, as well as solidifying the understanding of participants on parliamentary proceedings.
Story: Blessing Roselyn Boateng