From The House of Falament, a new column by ERNEST BAZANYE
What happens in the lawmaking chambers of a chaotic nation? One can only imagine, so here is that imagined account. Presenting, The House Of Falament, as they discuss fiscal policies to rein in inflation.
Speaker: Now, it has come to the attention of the house that certain members of this Legislature do not know what fiscal policies are.
Member from Alipepe: We know what physical politics are. The whole internet saw us fighting in that viral clip.
Speaker: Oh dear, how many jokes are we going to squeeze in about the similarity between the words “fiscal” and “physical”?
Member from Bwagobwa: I would like to submit that members of my constituency which has the highest population growth rate in the nation is fully conversant in all physical policies.
Speaker: Okay, stop now.
Member From Lanyan’weng: Madam Speaker, there is one more. You have forgotten the FDC members.
Speaker: Spare me…
Member From Lanyan’weng: Madam speaker sir, last time there was rapidly rising inflation, us members of FDC started walk to work. That was our physical policy.
Speaker: Anyone else who tries to use that joke is going to be held in contempt.
Now, I have brought in a specialist from a local university to lecture you low-life arthropods on Fiscal Policy. Professor Kabalafeeza, please take the floor.
Dr Kabalafeeza Ph.D (Econ): Madam speaker and the house at large, let me explain. Fiscal policy refers to the use of taxation to respond to increases or decreases in inflation, and is one of a number of methods governments use to keep economies in check.
Member of Ddriput: In that case, madam speaker, may I excuse myself from this debate? I am so in debt that my income is in negatives. URA is actually pays me tax instead of the other way round.
Member of Ggwa South: You mean that when there is inflation, you add on more taxes. I move that the professor be checked for infections in the medulla, madam speaker.
Dr Kabalafeeza Ph.D (Econ): If you let me explain, inflation is caused by excess money supply in circulation, so reducing the amount of money in circulation reduces inflationary pressure.
Member of Ggwa South: Point of disorder, madam speaker, I request permission to throw a chair.
Member of Ssessetula: I second that motion. How dare this so-called professor come here with such lies? There is no such thing as excess money. That is why we are so corrupt. For example, when a certain member who shall remain anonymous was offered a bribe of 45 million, I even told them to add five million more so I can build two swimming pools instead of one.
Member from Ggwa South: You built two?
Member of Ssessetula: Yeah. I told them to put a small extra swimming pool inside the big one.
Speaker: Order. Order. It is becoming clear that inflation, fiscal policy and the means to address it are complicated matters. If you followed the cases of Venezuela and Zimbabwe you would know that even the most highly-informed experts were unable to come up with perfect solutions.
Member of Pimkwan: So now what are we going to do? Me I am confused.
Member from Mbocwa: Members, if I may, we are members of parliament, not staff of the Central Bank. Our role in democracy is not to fix the problems; we are here to monitor, supervise and demand accountability.
Member from Pimkwan: Please, say it in simpler terms for the member from Bwagobwa. You know his problem. His is the only district where the local university still sits for UPE.
Member from Mbocwa: To put it simply, MPs are like the noisy customer with lugezi-gezi in the taxi. When the vehicle hits a hump our role is to shout on behalf of all the customers, “Gwe! We are not potatoes. Drive us properly.” It is not up to us to fix the carburetor.
Dr Kabalafeeza Ph.D (Econ): Actually, it is the shock absorbers.
Member from Mbocwa: Exactly. We don’t have to know the details. We just have to identify the problems and ensure that the public servants in the executive are doing their job of fixing it.
Speaker: So where do we stand, members? Are we going to pass a motion to learn who, what, how and when Fiscal policy is so that next time Kamara interviews us we don’t end up viral or what shall we do?
Member from Pimkwan: It’s lunch time. I think we just go and eat.