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MBABANE – Senate President Lindiwe Dlamini has reacted on the issue of Bills being delayed in Senate as alleged by some Members of Parliament (MPs) in recent times.

The issue of delayed Bills in Senate was first raised by Motshane MP Robert Magongo while making remarks at an event at Lobamba Lomdzala Inkhundla, hosted MP Marwick Khumalo, where the former said there were nine Bills which were with Senate, some dating back to 2019, having been deliberated on in the House of Assembly and waiting the green light from Senate. Magongo highlighted the Farm Dwellers Control (Amendment) Bill No.19 of 2019 and the Roads Authority Bill No.5 of 2021, stating that these were very significant Bills that Senate should have prioritised for the betterment of emaSwati, but that has not been the case. Magongo said having so many Bills at their hands was enough to declare that they were actually a ‘sleepy Senate’ because it amounted to sleeping on the job. Magongo said his friend, in MP Marwick, told him that he was considering retiring from politics, but one option was to join Senate. He asserted that his advice to him was to quit the thinking of joining Senate because they were ‘sleepy’ and that was justified by the number of Bills that were with them currently.


On Monday, Ndzingeni MP Lutfo Dlamini also touched on the issue of Bills being delayed in Senate, stating that it would put them in bad light as parliamentarians if the Bills remained stuck in Senate. He requested the Speaker, Petros mavimbela, to do anything that he could to ensure that the Bills were pushed to reach their finality and become law so that emaSwati could work. He was making his submissions in relation to the Citizens Economic Empowerment Bill 2021, whose report of the portfolio committee of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade was adopted by the House of Assembly on Monday. In response to recent remarks about the Kingdom of Eswatini’s Senate, the Senate president said they would like to update the public on the extensive work the esteemed senators had undertaken and reaffirmed their commitment to a transparent, accountable, and diligent legislative process.

In the statement that was shared to the press, the Senate president said before the 2022 session ended, Finance Bills underwent workshops, and various Bills were at different stages of the legislative process. She said some were in committee stage, others awaited stakeholder consultation via advertisement, and the rest were at the Clause-by-Clause stage. She asserted that these Bills were revived using the appropriate standing order to ensure continuous progress. “The Senate prioritised the budget at the beginning of the current session, diligently working to conclude it in a timely manner despite House of Assembly delays. After the budget’s conclusion, the Senate developed an extensive programme to address the influx of pending Bills.
“It is essential to note that Bill progress depends not only on senators’ availability but also on the presence of relevant ministers piloting the Bill. Occasionally, scheduling conflicts have arisen, prompting the Senate to find a balance to effectively execute its mandate. “In the coming week, the Senate will concentrate on Finance Bills and the Roads Authority and Education Bills, scheduled for discussion on Thursday. The National Payment Systems Bill is slated for Friday. The Ministry will refresh senators on this Bill to ensure a well-informed discussion,” she said.


The Senate president said the Senate was dedicated to thoroughness and stakeholder engagement, involving representatives from diverse industries and sectors. She shared that they were committed to not rubber-stamping bills, but rather considering the interests of all emaSwati in their decision-making process. She added that transparency and accountability remained at the heart of their stakeholder engagement and that they documented and publicised all feedback received, enabling stakeholders to monitor Bill progress and hold the Senate accountable for its decisions. “In summary, the Kingdom of Eswatini’s Senate is deeply committed to the rigorous examination of Bills, active stakeholder engagement, and considering all citizens’ interests. We take our mandate seriously and prioritise enacting good laws through careful scrutiny instead of hastily passing legislation without proper evaluation. Our focus remains on serving emaSwati’s best interests and ensuring that the laws we enact are effective, inclusive, and address the needs and concerns of our citizens,” she said.