Parliamentary babelism and the future of democracy in disasters: The case of Zimbabwe

Proceedings of The 4th International Conference on Modern Approach in Humanities and Social Sciences

Year: 2021


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Parliamentary babelism and the future of democracy in disasters: The case of Zimbabwe

Albert Maipisi, Edmond Mkaratigwa ,Christopher Mabeza



Disasters are a good test for global operationalisability of the concept and practice of democracy as well as the relationship between state institutions and the constituency. During those moments traditionally known for fog and friction, suppression of deontological ethics by governments and its partial replacement by the teleological ethic branch called consequentialism is witnessed globally. Modern states and in particular parliamentary democracies have accountability mechanisms for checking, balancing and harnessing negative forms of abuse of power especially by the executive in order to maintain state efficiency for the public good. There are new challenges coming with the rise of incidences of disasters including pandemics that collapse whole of society. These include cases of human rights violation often heard from the public and civil societies as well as through social and mainstream media while the role and voice of parliament is to a lager extent drowning. The crux of this paper is to answer whether and why the notion of parliamentarianism is being relegated to players other than parliament during abnormal and uncertain times like disasters while the august institution degenerates into mere babelism. This paper is guided by the Agency Theory. In coming up with the paper, an explanatory research design was adopted and review of existing literature, conduction of structured interviews and ethnographic observations were also employed. It was found that parliament is increasingly degenerating into a muzzled third cousin with its membership mostly reduced to philanthropies during disasters, due to excessive bounded rationality among others. That is making parliament less impactful in practice. Reversal of the anomaly is possible through expansion of their rationality in public choice representation to a greater extent being curtailed by the membership’s ‘insecure’ personal interests.

keywords: parliamentarianism, agency, accountability, democracy, state.