THERE has been much debate about the amendment of the Leadership Code.
One of the provisions that the Parliament wants to amend is section 27(4) of the Constitution.
Section 27(4) of the Constitution states: The Ombudsman Commission or other authority prescribed for the purpose under Section 28 (further provisions) may, subject to this Division and to any Organic Law made for the purposes of this Division, give directions, either generally or in a particular case, to ensure the attainment of the objects of this section.
Section 27(4) of the Constitution is the pillar provision in the Leadership Code.
It is the provision that epitomises the idiom “prevention is better than cure” in the code.
Section 27(4) authorises the Ombudsman Commission to issue directions to prevent misconduct by leaders of this country and to prevent wrong conduct by governmental bodies, their servants and agents.
By extension this provision, in foresight, also prevents criminal conduct and corrupt conduct.
The provision is an umbrella provision to leaders, governmental bodies, their servants and agents.
Section 27(4) is a preventive provision.
It is also a protection provision.
It preserves the integrity of leaders, governmental bodies, their servants and agents.
Section 27(4) is like a big tree in the jungle.
Leaders, governmental bodies, their servants and agents including those whom we co-exist with are like the animals, birds, trees, other plants, and insects that take shelter under the big tree.
The big tree protects the lives under it from rain, wind, sunshine, natural disasters and predators.
If the big tree is cut down, there will not be any shelter and protection to these lives from the elements and predators.
Members of Parliament are only a minority group that come under the protection of section 27(4) –
the big tree in the jungle.
But they are a very powerful minority as they make laws and change laws that govern all others (including themselves) that come under the big tree.
The questions to ask therefore are:
1. For whose benefit is it that this minority group is advancing in proposing to cut the tree down?
2. What is going to happen to the others (other than the MPs) once the tree is cut down?
3. Will the MPs survive out in the open?
4. Will the others survive out in the open?
5. Do the MPs have an obligation to the others not to cut the tree down?
6. Do the MPs have an obligation to themselves and future leaders to not cut the tree down?
Once these questions are answered truthfully and honestly, only then will better solutions be found in the amendments sought.