Tourist Politicians

Tourist MPs who come on a tour from the city to the rural areas either monthly (that is if you are lucky) or after the lapse of his/her 5 year term in office. All of a sudden after getting elected into Parliament – the politician suddenly and miraculously become filthy rich. So is the situation in the urban areas. The very same Member of Parliament will relocate from the high density suburb to the plush leafy low density suburbs. How can such an MP relate to the problems of the suffering people in the locality? Isn’t it ideal for the MP to reside and experience the everyday struggles being faced by the very same people he purports to be representing. Navigating the pot holes, undergoing those long dark hours without (power) electricity. Case of missing M. Ps seem to be a very common phenomenon across most African countries.

It takes a whole lot of bureaucracy to reach the M.P. Why does it take many weeks to report the burst sewer pipe? Even the local councillor does not have constant contact with the M.P. What however, remain surprising is the sad realisation that villagers on many occasions take a break from their busy routine rural chores to attend the ‘promised’ meet the MP rallies. In the sun they sit gleefully waiting until they became sun-baked. Some of the elderly men will come clad in their best outfits. Necktie and suits, don’t mention colour blocking! This is even in spite of the scorching sun. A gentleman has no weather so they say!

These people have faith, high hopes and are always expectant of hearing some wise words from the M.P. For the thinking in such a communities is that the legislator is the panacea to all their problems. He is the educated and wise one. From simple complaints of shortage of water at the dipping tank to the poor rains. They all believe their MP should shoulder the burden. Despite calling for such rallies the M.P never show up. It is just but waiting and waiting….Hope 2015 will be kind. Hope the citizens across Africa will be able to initiate civic agency and civic driven change. Hope citizens will be bold enough to hold the elected officials to account for their actions, deeds, inactions either wilfully by accident or by design.

People Power!