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LUDZIDZINI – Drama unfolded on the second day of Sibaya as a speaker had the microphone forcefully grabbed from him, while he was on the floor.

The speaker was Secretary General of the African United Democratic Party (AUDP) Sibusiso Dlamini. The microphone was grabbed from him while making a submission that motivated for the recognition of political parties in Eswatini. He was cut short before he could expand any further. The dramatic scene occurred when Dlamini was reacting and further posing questions to submissions that were made by Hhukwini Member of Parliament (MP) Alec Lushaba, who presented on three topics, being the country’s response to climate change, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and patriotism.

After his submission, some members of the public took turns to react to the panellist’s submission. One of the people who eventually got a chance to make a submission was Dlamini. He made his way to the front after several attempts to get the attention of the moderator. One of the tindvuna was heard saying ‘batsi mnike’, but the moderator, Lington Gule, stated that he was told not to give Dlamini a chance to speak. Eventually, he gave in and allowed Dlamini the chance to make his submission. Dlamini, who was in traditional regalia, presented on two issues before the microphone was grabbed from him. At first, he highlighted that it was high time Emalangeni stood up and ensured that the country was not lost to criminals. He said in order for the country to be peaceful, the prime minister (PM) should be recommended by Parliament, before the King appointed him/her.


“Parliament should give confidence and that is according to Section 68 (1) (e) of the Constitution. Parliament has the power to remove the PM if it doesn’t have confidence in him, hence Parliament should elect the PM, then the advisory council recommends him to the King for appointment,” he said. Dlamini said that would make the PM and Cabinet accountable to Parliament. He said if the PM was controlled by Parliament, it meant he was controlled by the people. He further stated that the laws of the country, budget and policies would then advance the wishes and aspirations of the people of Eswatini, thus eradicating poverty. He went on to state that Parliament should be controlling government. As he was within two minutes of his submission, the other moderator, Zodwa Dlamini, told him to wrap up his submission.

He them touched on the recognition of political parties within the Tinkhundla System of Government.  “Tinkhundla shouldn’t be used to block political parties. There are political parties and tinkhundla in most countries, including England. People should be elected through their political parties to Parliament and political parties should be registered and be recognised so that the country could…” As he was making his submission, most of the members of the public were cheering him on. Before he could finish his statement, one of the sound technicians came with so much force and grabbed the microphone from Dlamini. However, a section of the crowd could be heard shouting ‘chubeka ukhulume’ while others were laughing. Others were heard asking how were they expected to make meaningful submissions if the microphone would be grabbed from them in such a manner.


Noteworthy, the King on Monday urged the nation to use Sibaya as a platform to talk about all the thorny issues that they needed addressed. In 2021, in most of the petitions that were delivered to over 50 tinkhundla centres in Eswatini, the common submission was the call for an elected PM. When the Governor, Indvuna Mashampu Mafelenkhosini Khumalo, was asked what prompted the microphone grabbing incident, he said his time was up and his submission had nothing to do with the microphone being grabbed from him. He also emphasised to the public that they were each given three minutes to make their submission. Dlamini was not the only speaker who had to be cut short without completing their submissions. Another speaker had the microphone muted as she was making a submission. Ntombikayise Shabangu was cut short when she was addressing the issue of the unrest that occurred in 2021. As she was speaking, Khumalo cautioned her on time but she could be heard saying, ‘ngicela indvuna seyicolele’. She stated that structures were burnt in 2021 based on a motion that was moved in Parliament. As she tried to continue with her submission, Khumalo instructed that the microphone be taken from Shabangu. However, this time around, the microphone was muted but she continued making her submission for almost a minute.