House defends MPs’ performance

The parliamentary chiefs have come out to defend the performance of lawmakers saying that the continued amendments of the numerous legislations is not because there is a general lack of capacity in the House, but the nature of Rwanda’s history.
L-R : DEFENDED LAWMAKERS: Parliamentary Speaker Rose Mukantabana ; Senate president Vincent Biruta
L-R : DEFENDED LAWMAKERS: Parliamentary Speaker Rose Mukantabana ; Senate president Vincent Biruta

The parliamentary chiefs have come out to defend the performance of lawmakers saying that the continued amendments of the numerous legislations is not because there is a general lack of capacity in the House, but the nature of Rwanda’s history.

The president of the Senate Dr Vincent Biruta and Speaker Rose Mukantabana defended the performance of the Parliament during a press conference on Tuesday, which aimed at highlighting the parliamentary achievements in the first term of 2010.

They made the remarks while responding to journalists questions on why the parliament has continuously amended some of the laws that they had initially passed.

“It is not lack of capacity among MPs that result to continued amendment of laws; normally we pass these laws with a certain aim but if the practicability turns out not to be feasible, we amend it,” Speaker Mukantabana said.

She added that the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi left the entire legislative system shattered and that in the process of reconstruction, the country had to come up with laws compatible with the situation.

“The laws that were established in 1996 after the Genocide were meant to save the situation that prevailed then. To date, a lot has changed, which is why we are amending laws to come up with updated ones,” she said.

Senate president Biruta said; “a reforming nation like Rwanda requires many laws and sometimes it’s important to amend existing laws.”

“However, parliamentarians are not experts in all fields; unlike other parliaments where an MP has a big team of experts and researchers, ours here are understaffed. We have one technical person serving an entire committee,” said Biruta.

Of late, the Parliament has been amending many laws including the constitution which has been amended three times since it came into force in 2003.

The amended constitution is currently before Senate awaiting approval, and according to parliamentary officials, after the amendments are published in the official gazette, many other laws will also have to be amended to conform with it.

Among the laws that may be amended include the law governing the operations of parliament.

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