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SITEKI – Lubombo RA Themba Msibi is said to have stopped a roadshow meant to be the final campaign strategy for Siphofaneni MP candidate Nomalungelo LaZwide Simelane.

The roadshow was supposed to be held at the Siphofaneni Bus Rank today. The event, dubbed the Siphofaneni Gcibe-Gcibe Roadshow, was stopped by the Regional Administrator (RA)amid concerns by some vendors at the Siphofaneni Market, that they lost revenue during a previous thanksgiving show hosted by the outgoing Siphofaneni Member of Parliament (MP) LaZwide after winning the by-elections last year. According to LaZwide’s husband, former Siphofaneni MP Mduduzi ‘Gawuzela’ Simelane, his wife held a meeting with the vendors’ committee on Monday to attend to their concerns.

The Swaziland Liberation Movement (SWALIMO) president said the vendors openly told his wife that they did not want the show to be held at the bus rank as most customers failed to buy their wares due to the congestion and the fact that public transport was not allowed within the perimeters of the rank. The event has since been shifted to the Siphofaneni Sports ground, situated next to the Siphofaneni Police Station. It was also established that the office of the RA further instructed the police to ensure compliance with the order not to host the event at the bus rank. “I received a call from my wife informing me that the RA has called and instructed her not to host the event at the bus rank. This happens at a time when my wife had held a meeting with the vendors committee. The venue is now Siphofaneni Sports Ground,” he said. Lubombo RA Msibi dropped calls when sought for comment on the matter. This newspaper wanted to find out the reasons that prompted him to stop the event at the bus rank. Lubombo Regional Secretary Nozizwe Masuku said she had retired, hence issues of the RA’s office should be directed to Msibi.


Deputy Chief Information and Communications Officer Inspector Nosipho Mnguni said the police service had not received communication to ensure that the event was not hosted at the rank. Meanwhile, the Siphofaneni Market vendors demanded a two-hour performance of LaZwide and her guest artists today during the Siphofaneni Gcibe-Gcibe roadshow or take it elsewhere, citing that they lost revenue during her last show after winning the by-elections. The vendors also claimed that the outgoing Siphofaneni MP had also failed to seek permission to host the event at the Siphofaneni Bus Rank as the rank fell within the boundaries of the Madlenya Umphakatsi. The event is set to kick-off at 11am, ending at 4:30pm. Artists lined-up for the show are South Africa’s renowned Kwaito artist Bonginkosi ‘Zola 7’ Dlamini, Shongwe and Khuphuka Saved Group, Shiba and the Travellers and LaZwide, to mention a few.
The vendors also mentioned that they were loyal to the traditional leaders and the country’s authorities and were against the alleged unpalatable insults hurled by members of SWALIMO during the former legislator’s thanksgiving event. The market vendors’ committee member, Nkhomotabo Mamba, stated that vendors had taken a decision that they would not allow the show to last for over two hours at the rank.


She stated that they only received customers alighting from buses and kombis from the different destinations at the rank but on the day of the thanksgiving, they noted that the public transport could not make its way into the rank but parked far from their market stalls, which cost them business. Mamba claimed that she met LaZwide on Monday and told her that she would only be allowed to host her show for two hours at the bus rank, or seek an alternative venue. “As Siphofaneni Market vendors, we told her that she must perform for two hours so that we can continue with our businesses,” she said. Echoing her assertions was Make Gwebu, also a member of the committee, who shared that as vendors, they had collectively resolved to stop the show if the organisers did not agree on the two-hour performance by the MP candidate and her guest artists. “Our customers are the people who come on board public transport and during her show, buses and kombis were parked far from the bus rank hence we lose revenue,” she said.

Responding to the vendors’ stance ahead of her show today, LaZwide said she reported the event to all relevant stakeholders. The outgoing legislator said more vendors from outside Siphofaneni were calling and requesting to rent stalls so that they could make some money during the event. LaZwide stated that she declined the vendors, request on the basis that the event was meant to benefit those doing business in Siphofaneni, so that they could realise profit from selling their wares to the masses. “It has never been heard of that having many people for a long time makes one to lose sales. The longer the people are there is the more they get hungry and buy or spend money. We are very sure that this event will boost Siphofaneni’s economic activity tomorrow (today). One doesn’t need to be a rocket scientist to note that these people are acting on a certain agenda. We know the faces hiding behind them and with humility; we beg not to have time for them. Ababeketele (let them be patient) as September 27, is just few hours away,” she said.


Moreover, she shared that there was an existing chieftaincy dispute about the jurisdiction of the Siphofaneni Inkhundla. She mentioned that she did not want to be dragged into the chieftaincy dispute, hence she had to report any activity and events taking place at the Siphofaneni DC office as per an arrangement she found when she assumed the MP position after winning the by-elections. The MP candidate said the Siphofaneni town was under the office of the Lubombo Regional Administration (RA), headed by Msibi. “Whatever one sees at Siphofaneni town is reported at the office of DC, not chiefs because of the chieftaincy disputes and I found this arrangement at the Siphofaneni Inkhundla when I assumed office in the previous Parliament,” LaZwide said.

Madlenya Umphakatsi Indvuna Mfanyana Ngcamphalala acknowledged that the Siphofaneni town was under the chiefdom’s jurisdiction but indicated that LaZwide had not reported the event. “It’s unfortunate that the market vendors were against her event but if she had come to report it, we could have found a solution between her and the aggrieved party. She was supposed to come to the chiefdom to report the event to avoid such an unnecessary feud,” Ngcamphalala said. SWALIMO Spokesperson Thantaza Silolo said it was unfortunate that vendors who were usually frustrated by the country’s socio-economic challenges had chosen to abet injustice. Silolo said the town belonged to everyone and LaZwide had the right to host an event. “It is actually a public place and Simelane’s roadshow is not a SWALIMO activity in anyway,” he briefly said.

LaZwide in disbelief, shocked on last minute change

SITEKI – Siphofaneni Member of Parliament (MP) candidate Nomalungelo LaZwide Simelane says she was in disbelief and shock when informed about the ban of her show. Simelane alleged that she was informed by Lubombo Regional Administrator (RA) Themba Msibi that her show would not be held at the Siphofaneni Bus Rank. Simelane said proper consultations were done as per the procedure and the green light was granted by the relevant structures and stakeholders of the area where the bus rank is situated. However, she noted that due to chieftaincy disputes and other interested forces, there were qualms, hence the banning of the event from the bus rank.

Adding, the outgoing legislator stated that she had since been informed about the complaints by the vendors at the rank, citing that the roadshow might deny them profit on the day, hence the interference and banning of the event. “We wish to alert all members of the public that an alternative venue has been sought at Siphofaneni Sports ground, a site adjacent to the Siphofaneni police station. All the inconvenience is regretted, but we assure the people that it shall be a memorable day regardless the disturbances, “ she said.