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MBABANE – “Not participating in the national elections will not solve anything, because the current regime will elect a legitimate government to be in power for the next five years.” 

The above statement was made by Sive Siyinqaba. Publicity Secretary and Acting Secretary General (SG) Vusi Nxumalo, said by boycotting the elections, there would be nothing to benefit. Instead, he said by not participating in the national elections, the current regime would elect a legitimate government to be in power for the next five years. According to Nxumalo, the fundamental issue where some political parties stated that they would not participate, while others indicated that they would participate, was irrelevant because the crux of the matter was that when they started the Political Party Assembly (PPA), there were members who included Jan Sithole and Ngomuyayona Gamedze, who were in Parliament, elected through the same system. He said because there were people who were now showing up stating that elections should be boycotted, they had agreed that Sive Siyinqaba had a different manifesto. “This is dynamic of democracy to differ in opinion and exercise tolerance of one another,” he said.


Nxumalo said if the current regime changed and saw the need of democracy and multiparty elections, there was need to then engage in a most peaceful manner for the change to happen.
Furthermore, he stated that Sive Siyinqaba was very clear on that they wanted national elections, which were an outcome of the national dialogue. He said with the trend they were observing from the current regime, it had been clear that when the regime failed to call the national dialogue, they would, as an organisation, encourage their members to participate in the elections, because it was their constitutional right to do so. According to Nxumalo, it would be unfair for them to take away such a right from their members. “Our mandate is clear and from the onset, we participated with other organisations that were calling for dialogue,” stated the acting SG.

Nxumalo said they could not allow the current regime to do as it pleased, hence they would place their members strategically in political positions, which was why they encouraged their members who were politically minded to participate in the upcoming elections. This, he said, was with one motive, that if three Members of Parliament (MPs) were able to bring the outcome of what happened resulting in the political unrest, electing politically-minded people could bring about change and they could achieve what they wanted. According to Nxumalo, there was no way that the country could achieve multiparty democracy as there was no syllabus for such. He said other parties had been staying away from the elections and there was nothing achieved out of it.


Nxumalo stated that emaSwati needed each other collectively, even if the regime changed, there was a need to have MPs who would be able to put legislation in place, which would align with laws that would see them achieve the change that they required. Swaziland Liberation Movement (SWALIMO) Spokesperson Thantaza Silolo said their organisation was in a drive to encourage all democracy-loving emaSwati to register for the upcoming elections, for purposes of being eligible to nominate, vote and be voted into Parliament. Silolo said their members would vote for reliable candidates when elections time came. “We are also part of those calling for the national dialogue to address many issues, which also include the very election of MPs but we understand that we are dealing with a very irresponsible regime that is not pro-people and, therefore, does not take seriously what the nation wants and what the international community says,” he said.

Silolo said they wanted to now eat the stubborn elephant piece by piece through legislative participation. On the issue of whether they had a budget to assist their members who would participate in the elections and aspiring to become politicians, he said they practically and financially would support the candidates whom they wanted elected into the Legislature. This, he said, was the only way they would prove they really wanted freedom and democracy in Eswatini.