The new Parliament should not be trapped in old ways, the page has turned

A building that houses Rwandan Parliament in Gasabo District. Net.

The new-look Parliament swears-in today with some of the big names that have dominated the last two or three terms making way for new blood.

Previous parliaments met with a lot of challenges but slowly by slowly they managed to wade through. Today there is no lack of equipment or facilitation, most of the grey areas and uncharted territories have been streamlined therefore the people will expect more from them.

As explained in its mission statement, its role is “… legislate and oversee the Executive action for and on behalf of the people of Rwanda in a bid to achieve national development.” We should expect more oversight from them.

For one, the page has turned. For the first time the legislature will have the first post-genocide generation as a member. 23-year old Imaniriho Clarise will be representing the youth.

Her presence should be a wakeup call to her fellow older generation of MPs; that they will now have to contend with the Dot.Com generation. They will have to keep up with the changing trend by working smartly. With all the new technologies, they will have the tools to delve deeply into the country’s needs in line with the changing world.

They will need to do away with archaic laws such as obliging driving test candidates to only use manual gear shifts, not automatic cars that are now taking over our roads. Self-driving cars will soon be upon us, is parliament ready or will it wait until they hit our streets before enacting the necessary legislation?

Another equally important thing is that Kiswahili was last year adopted as the fourth official languages. Is the House ready to draft bills in the fourth language?

Work begins now.

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