Swaziland
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GIFT NO LONGER OUR MEMBER – SFDF

MBABANE – The Swazis First Democratic Front (SFDF) has clarified that former Secretary General (SG) Gift Mandlenkosi Dlamini was not their member anymore.

The political party made the clarification after Dlamini went on social media to declare that he was still a member and had not left the party but took an early release from the position of SG. This was after both SFDF and Dlamini, through a media statement, announced that they parted ways. SFDF released another statement to clarify that Dlamini was released as a member not just as SG. ‘‘Due to the media interest that the statement of the early release of our former Secretary General has attracted, SFDF wishes to clarify and reaffirm that the organisation and Gift Dlamini agreed to part ways. What this means is that Gift ceased to be a member of the organisation through mutual consent and, therefore, does not serve and cannot serve in any structure or structures of the organisation, now and into the future,” reads the statement by SFDF.

The organisation further clarified that at its formation, Dlamini made it known that he could only serve for a period of six months as he was no longer interested in politics and had other future aspirations he wished to pursue. SFDF further clarified that they agreed on the six-month period because Dlamini was well known to them and his expertise was needed, hence the mutual arrangement and stipulated period. “Members of the media and the public at large may wish to note that the clarification statement and SFDF reaffirms that Gift is no longer a member of the organisation. He does not and cannot serve in any capacity whatsoever.

reiterated

This was communicated effectively to the comrade and what he has now communicated in the public gallery, is gross miscommunication and is devoid of the truth, pertaining to his alleged continuing membership at SFDF, hence the clarification and reaffirmation of the correct position in this statement,” they reiterated. Dlamini informed our sister publication, The Times of Eswatini, that he resigned from active politics. He announced his resignation from active politics after he was given an early release by the political party, SFDF. SFDF further explained that they gave Dlamini an early release because they wanted people who were able to commit to the long-term plan of the political party. “In alignment with the organisations future plans, we again through mutual consent then deemed it fit to invoke the early release clause. We did this because there was need for certainty in the organisation’s leaders to achieve sustainability and build institutional memory. We need leaders that will fully commit to the party’s long term political agenda and programmes. Gift’s commitment into the future was not guaranteed and his involvement as a member in the party’s programs of action was futile as he had plans post the (six) months stipulated period,” further stated SFDF.

Contacted to give clarity in his future plans, Dlamini said the circulating news that he ‘abandoned’ the struggle was meant to tarnish his legacy. He stated that he was not recruited by any political party to join the struggle. “As articulated so well in the media statement, no political party requested me to join the struggle and there is no organisation or individual that can dictate to me to stop being in the struggle.  It is true that I have resolved to take a back seat from active politics in terms of holding political office. However, that does not mean I have ceased my participation in the struggle. For one to qualify to be in the struggle does not demand that he or she holds a political office,” said Dlamini.  He said there were business projects that he was involved with that were directly and indirectly contributing to the struggle. He emphasised that holding a political office was limiting him to political organisation. “In my opinion, that is the mistake that was committed by a lot of us post June 2021, we should have maintained the political organisations already formed and focused on the goal of the revolution, before forming whatsoever political organisation. The struggle is not about us, it is not our shine but there is a bigger goal, that of liberating emaSwati,” he said.

benefitting

Dlamini said he was going to launch new social entrepreneurship projects aimed at benefitting the youth. He said the projects were not going to be launched in Eswatini only but other African countries would benefit too. He declined to give details of the projects but stated that he was not going to be completely lost to the struggle but was going to use a different angle of social and economic transformation through ideas, initiatives, and innovations. He joined SFDF from the Swaziland Liberation Movement (SWALIMO), where he was deputy secretary general (DSG). He left SWALIMO at the height of a controversy involving Mayisela, who was National Chairperson of the movement and Dr Siphetfo Dlamini, who was the SG. The two leaders took a voluntary exit after a resolution to fire them for allegedly conspiring against SWALIMO President Mduduzi ‘Gawuzela’ Simelane. The two leaders then formed SFDF and Dlamini agreed to join their leadership structure for half a year. He served as SG of the four months old political party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) led by former Pam Golding Managing Director Busi Mayisela.

forefront

Dlamini served for eight years under former Member of Parliament Jan Sithole as SG of the Swaziland Democratic Party (SWADEPA) before joining Simelane, another former MP, as DSG of SWALIMO. Dlamini crossed political party floors three times in his career spanning almost 10 years and has been at the forefront of the 2021 political unrest. He is the only political leader alive in the current dispensation to be credited with the formation policies of two opposing parties in SWALIMO and SFDF. While SWALIMO embraces the national election process, SFDF has openly denounced it and Dlamini has penned both political ideologies as secretary of the two parties. It is worth mentioning that in July 2022, Malaysia passed into law a Bill against ‘party-hopping,’ which was aimed to discourage switching political parties which they said destabilised the country’s politics.