Member of Parliament (MP) for Korle-Klottey constituency in the Greater Accra region, Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings is advocating for the possible inclusion of funeral attendance as part of the official duties of a Member of Parliament in Ghana.
Last week, it was reported how she lamented that in her two years as MP, she has attended more funerals than she has in her entire life, revealing that as an MP she values whatever her people value.
She said if funeral attendance is what will make the people happy as it is cultural, there is the need to make it an official duty of a lawmaker so he or she can make time.
According to her, within the period she attended more funerals than in her entire life taking into account how the locals place a premium on funerals.
“… There is the cultural aspect. Funerals are so important. If you underestimate the value of funerals to the community, you might actually find yourself wanting. I almost feel like though in talking about the role of an MP, we really need to add that officially. It is something you can’t run away from.” she explained why she thinks so.
“I think I have attended more funerals now than I have in my entire life which is an interesting experience because it is a whole cultural experience to actually get involved in the funerals and everything else. But by and large one wish one could do more”, she added.
On her whole experience as a lawmaker she stated “on paper as an MP your core functions are to be in parliament, making laws, playing the oversight role over the executive which doesn’t happen very well because in a hybrid situation like we have where you have a lot of government appointees coming from legislature becoming part of the executive which makes the oversight role to become difficult because it becomes a role solely of the minority to actually criticize issues where it should be a case of if there are issues which appear to be in the interest of the land, the entire legislature should be able to voice it out and it should not be based on the fact that you can’t say it because perhaps you have been given an appointment and for fear of losing your appointment you can’t speak up.
I think sometimes this hybrid system compromises our ability to take on to take on that role as an oversight over the executive. But with the culture of our cultural setting, the MP also ends up being an agent of development. Even though you have the local government you have the assemblies in you various districts and the various constituencies, you find out that the MP still have to do quite a lot to help with members of the community with some of the infrastructure programs and so on and so forth.” she stated.