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MBABANE –Government is not taking kindly to statements made by two emaSwati about the King, elections and Parliament.

As a result, Alpheous Nxumalo, the Government Spokesperson, said Mduduzi ‘Gawuzela’ Simelane was in a huge cage of political contradictions and dilemmas. He said he was all over the place when discussing issues of national importance (uyanhlanhlatsa). Simelane is the president of the Swaziland Liberation Movement (SWALIMO) and former Siphofaneni MP. He is presently in exile. The SWALIMO president was able to evade arrest for incidences related to the civil unrest that occurred in 2021.

mere chambers

The government press secretary said Simelane was offside when he alleged in an interview with the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) that Parliament was but mere chambers for the Head of the State. He said government followed the SABC1 Siswati channel interview that was conducted on the Wednesday of May 24, 2023, whereby Simelane and Mlungisi Makhanya, the President of the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) featured. He said the interviewing SABC journalist, as usual, never gave government the right and opportunity to respond to some of the unfounded and myopic allegations against Parliament’s composition and functions and Eswatini’s national general elections. He said government was looking forward to an interview with SABC tomorrow to react to the allegations. Nxumalo said, based on the content of interview, government immediately concluded that both gentlemen were lost in their own world of political fantasy and fanaticism.

squarely refuted

He squarely refuted the assertion that the upcoming national general elections belonged to the Head of State. “The man is in a huge cage of his political contradictions and dilemmas,” he said. He then explained why he thought the SWALIMO president was all over the place: “On one hand, he urges his dysfunctional and imploding political party SWALIMO to participate in the elections because it gives them an opportunity to hijack Parliament and turn it into a revolutionary forum. How will he do that if the chambers belong to another entity as he put it?”
“He claims to have stopped a certain Bill which was meant to benefit the Head of State if it were to be passed into law. Really! How could he have achieved that if Parliament was indeed ‘somebody’s chambers’?” The government press secretary said if truth were to be told as it had been witnessed on so many occasions in the past and present, the Parliament of the Kingdom of Eswatini ‘is the people’s Parliament’.

He explained that the people directly voted for their representatives without any hindrance or outside influence. Nxumalo mentioned that Simelane was ‘witness number one’ of this experience up until he allegedly offended the law. He said both himself and his wife Nomalungelo Simelane, popularly known as LaZwide, were directly elected by the people to Parliament. “Therefore, to assert otherwise, remains a political fallacy,” Nxumalo said. Nxumalo said national elections in Eswatini and the establishment of Parliament (House of Assembly/Senate) were a constitutional requirement and imposition of the national Constitution.

offended the law

“Magawugawu himself, before he offended the law and became a fugitive, he was duly elected by the owners of the chambers of Parliament (which is not the King’s chambers as Magawugawu alleges) but of all bona fide emaSwati who willingly and dutifully exercise their rights to chart their future by voting for their representatives to Parliament,” the government press secretary said. He said it was both a political fantasy and fanaticism to propagate a deceptive political agenda that emaSwati should elect political conduits to act and serve in Parliament as agents and activists of revolution. He said it was political fantasy and fanaticism to mislead emaSwati into electing people who will not faithfully serve their constituencies. He wondered how they should not serve them when they had earned seats through their votes. Nxumalo alleged that tendency was a false anticipation, which Simelane and company wanted to use to continue to getting unsuspecting donors for cash to sponsor their lavish lifestyles in London and Sandton City.

He mentioned that the least could be said about Makhanya because they had chosen to exercise their rights not to participate in the elections. However, he said Makhanya’s politics of ‘swords and spears’ remained antagonistic and backward. Hopefully, he said, he would take a few lessons from his comrade Mandla Hlatshwayo, who said that they should try to persuade, influence and convince. He suggested that it was time that every liSwati got acquainted with the Constitution of the Kingdom of Eswatini in order to differentiate facts from fiction. As it were, he said emaSwati continued to exercise their democratic right to register to vote.

Parliament is their chambers

“Remember Parliament is their chambers,” he said. Since this is a response to public statements already aired on television, Simelane and Makhanya could be contacted for comment.
Section 106 of the Constitution provides that the supreme legislative authority of Eswatini vests in the King-in-Parliament. It is stated in Section 106 (b) that the King and Parliament may make laws for the peace, order and good government of Swaziland (Eswatini). Section 107 provides that, subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the power of the King and Parliament to make laws shall be exercised by Bills -   
 (a) Passed by both chambers of Parliament;
(b) Passed by the House in the cases referred to in sections 112, 113, 114 and 116 (2);
(c) Passed at a joint sitting of the Senate and the House, in the cases referred to in sections 115(3), 116 (1) 117, and Chapter XVII;
(d) Passed by the Senate in the case referred to in section 115 (4), and assented to by the King under his hand.