Calls for basic computer training for parliamentarians

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…as parliament adopts virtual sessions to curb the spread of Covid-19

By Mamello Mosaefane

Qoaling constituency legislator Chalane Phori has called for Parliament to organise basic computer skills training for Members of parliament after the introduction of virtual sessions of the National Assembly of Lesotho were introduced.

This august house has adopted the usage of virtual meetings as a means to avoid large gatherings of the members of the house in order to adhere to the covid-19 regulations that have declared that large meetings to be super-spreaders of the deadly virus.

But Phori has this week argued that there was no training done for members of parliament on internet navigation amid the expectation that attendance shall be virtual.

According to Phori, the virtual attendance should have been prepared for in a form of training on how to attend virtually before it was implemented.

“You cannot introduce people to new things without showing them how they work. There should have been a course on how to use the internet before introducing the idea of virtual attendance,” Phori said.

He, however, told KDNews that even if the training was done, he would still reject the idea of virtual attendance.

He argued some members of parliament represent very remote constituencies of the country where internet connection is unstable.

Phori emphasised virtual attendance will exclude members from remote areas of the country and that is tantamount to excluding a large fraction of the country.

Furthermore, Phori said some of the members have Ipads tablets that they do not even know how to operate, let alone surfing the internet.

“This might exclude members on important issues like voting for or against a motion.” He added.

Speaking on ABC’s divisions, Phori said the criteria used in selecting who should physically be in parliament, has compromised the other part.

According to him, the part of ABC that is against the Prime Minister has fewer people on the list of people who should be physically in parliament.

The parliament has allowed a certain number of members to attend physically, as a way to minimise physical contact as per Covid-19 regulations.

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