Parliament has announced plans to set up a radio station before the end of next month, with the objective of increasing interaction between the legislators and the public.
Lawmakers, as representatives of the people, need feedback from the public on the official business they conduct, and live radio broadcasts would be one of the appropriate avenues through which that can happen.
Although the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies plenary sessions are both open to the public, only a handful of ordinary people attend the proceedings, leaving out meaningful contributions from the Rwandan people.
The majority of the citizens still view the Parliament as an elitist place and only interact with MPs when they go on field visits.
However, being a largely radio population, Rwandans will no doubt seize the opportunity to air out their views on parliamentary affairs.
They have, over the years, impressively engaged leaders via the airwaves and will surely do the same when Parliament’s radio opens.
But public views will flow in only if parliament gives their radio listeners a chance to talk back. They should be allowed to express themselves on anything that affects their livelihood, and freely criticise or give credit, to their representatives, as they case may be.
Most importantly, Parliament should always follow up on all public queries and opinions, with a view to finding solutions to each one of them within a reasonable time frame. And, lawmakers should be ready to feature on the programmes in person and interact with listeners in real time.
That way, the radio station will give a massive boost to the operations of the bicameral Parliament since both the Senators and Deputies will be able to appreciate the concerns and views of the people on a daily basis.