By: Pa Alhagie Musa Kassama (The New Pen)
The issue of hypocrisy among parliamentarians is not unique to The Gambia but is prevalent in political systems around the world. Hypocrisy refers to the act of saying one thing and doing another or holding double standards. Unfortunately, it is an all-too-common phenomenon that undermines the integrity and credibility of elected officials. Following the purchase of vehicles at an estimated exorbitant cost of US$ 60,000 equivalent to a whopping D3.9million in the midst of economic hardship and human-induced poverty, I found it necessary to express my total dismay and utter disappointment at the dishonest behaviours of our so-called constituency self-representatives.
Below is an independent view and/or opinion of how hypocritical and myopic our sixth National Assembly Members have turned into.
In the context of Gambian parliamentarians, there have been instances where their actions have been contradictory to their stated principles or promises. One area where hypocrisy has been observed is in the realm of corruption. Many parliamentarians have pledged to fight corruption and promote transparency, yet some have been implicated in corrupt practices themselves. Such actions not only betray the trust of the people who elected them but also perpetuate the cycle of graft and unethical behaviour within the political system.
Another aspect where hypocrisy is evident is in the behaviour of parliamentarians towards the rule of law. They often champion the importance of upholding the law and ensuring justice for all citizens. However, there have been cases where parliamentarians themselves have been accused of violating the law or interfering with judicial processes. This kind of behaviour undermines the credibility of the entire legislative institution and erodes public confidence in the justice system.
Furthermore, there have been instances of parliamentarians engaging in divisive rhetoric and political manoeuvring for personal gain. They may publicly advocate for unity and national development, but their actions behind closed doors often reveal a different agenda. This kind of hypocrisy not only hampers the progress of the nation but also deepens societal divisions and fosters a climate of mistrust.
It is important to note that not all Gambian parliamentarians engage in hypocritical behaviour. There are undoubtedly dedicated and principled individuals who genuinely strive to serve the best interests of their constituents. However, the actions of a few can tarnish the reputation of the entire institution and breed public disillusionment.
Addressing the issue of hypocrisy among Gambian parliamentarians requires a multifaceted approach. First and foremost, there should be mechanisms in place to hold elected officials accountable for their actions. This includes robust oversight, transparency in financial matters, and an independent judiciary that can investigate and prosecute cases of corruption or misconduct.
Additionally, there needs to be a culture of ethics and integrity within the political system. This can be fostered through education, training, and the establishment of codes of conduct for parliamentarians. Political parties also play a crucial role in ensuring that their members adhere to ethical standards and are held accountable for any hypocritical behaviour.
Lastly, the public has a vital role to play in combating hypocrisy. Citizens must remain vigilant, informed, and engaged in the political process. By demanding transparency, questioning inconsistencies, and holding their elected representatives accountable, the people of The Gambia can contribute to a more honest and accountable political culture.
In conclusion, the issue of hypocrisy among Gambian parliamentarians is a significant challenge that needs to be addressed. By promoting accountability, fostering a culture of ethics, and encouraging active citizenship, it is possible to mitigate the impact of hypocrisy and ensure that elected officials act in the best interests of the nation and its people.