KIGALI - Drama ensued at Parliament yesterday when Members of Parliament openly criticized the Speaker and her two deputies (the Bureau) of misguiding the Minister of Public Service, Anastase Murekezi, on issues they had raised concerning the work of the Public Service Commission.
According to the lawmakers, the House had come up with a list of questions regarding several setbacks within the commission and sent them to the Minister through the parliamentary Bureau.
However, the minister was only given a list of questions concerning policies of the Public Sector.
The Parliamentary Bureau is made of the Speaker and her two deputies.
The lawmakers claimed that the questions they submitted during the October 20 session, were not the ones that were forwarded to the minister by the Bureau.
Hon. Charles Kamanda was the first to take the floor and could not hold back his disappointment accusing the Bureau of transmitting to the minister a different list of questions.
“Our concerns are about the autonomy of the Public Service Commission and some public agencies which violate the procedures of recruiting through the commission,” he said.
“I request that the minister returns in another session to answer what we want to know and not the policies.”
His intervention was immediately backed by the vocal Juliana Kantengwa who accused the Speaker and her deputies of misleading the minister.
“What we wanted to ask the Minister is not what the Bureau gave him. We are here as MPs to hold the government accountable on its duties, so, the Bureau should not stand in our way,” she angrily said.
But before all MPs made their submissions, Speaker Rose Mukantabana intervened by reading out the questions that were sent to her office by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Population and what was sent to the Minister.
The situation instead got worse as MPs murmured in protest to the Speaker’s intervention. MP Kantengwa took the flow again and requested at the House business goes on hold as MPs consult each other.
Her idea was voted for and passed. Immediately, the lawmakers walked out of the building protesting on top of their voices. 30 minutes later, they were called back and out of the 54 present MPs, 30 voted for the rescheduling of the meeting while 18 voted in favour of proceeding with the agenda of the day. Others abstained.
The Parliament will now have to resend the questions to the Minister and summon him.