Regional newspapers often carry stories of absentee Members of Parliament who sometimes paralyse House business.
Bills linger in drawers for lack of the necessary quorum as MPs abscond to attend to personal affairs. This habit has also affected the regional parliament, the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA).
EALA members were sent to Arusha to represent their countries and region’s interests, they are mandated to attend and participate in the Assembly’s sitting and not pursuing personal business and lining their pockets with taxpayers’ money in the process.
To see an honourable member of the regional parliament claiming sitting allowances for a chair hardly or never occupied is outright robbery.
Recent news from the regional Parliament shows that measures are being put in place to curb absenteeism.
It is imperative that the House deals with the matter firmly.
How the East African Community has condoned the practice for this long is baffling because it gives the institution a label of great disrepute.
That lawmakers who are supposed to set the tone and example are the ones thwarting the moral code sends the wrong message.
EALA members should set the accountability bar high so that the people they represent take the cue from good examples.
In fact, EALA should legislate the minimum attendance rate and request respective appointing authorities to replace those who flout the rule. The threat of packing their bags would make EALA members think twice before skipping Assembly business for no good reason.