Swaziland
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VOTING FOR MP SIMOSAKHE A MISTAKE I REGRET - CHIEF MAKHOSIKHOSI

NHLANGANO – Chief Makhosikhosi of Ekwendzeni Chiefdom, has described his vote for current Mtsambama Member of Parliament (MP) Simosakhe Shongwe as a mistake he greatly regrets.

He said this in a meeting held at Shiselweni II Constituency Centre, which is situated around Mbangweni, in the Shiselweni Region. The meeting was attended by Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Themba Masuku and three MPs, including Shiselweni II representative Strydom Mpanza. Chief Makhosikhosi had attended the Shiselweni II end-of-term dissemination report and sensitisation on fire outbreaks and timber theft hosted by Shiselweni Forestry Company (SFC). The chief doubles as a member of the SFC committee. Before the chief addressed the meeting, MP Mpanza had just finished delivering a report of projects that were started and completed during his term of office. When his turn to address the community came, Chief Makhosikhosi said he was encouraging people to vote. He stated that MP Mpanza had mentioned that a lot of money had been used to assist emaSwati under Shiselweni II, emphasising that the money came from government.  

He even looked towards Mpanza’s direction and asked him to state the government that he said was responsible for giving out the money he was talking about and in response, Mpanza said it was the Tinkhundla System of Government. The chief then proceeded to the DPM and asked him who the leader of the government was and the DPM responded by stating that the government was led by Ingwenyama. He stated that the same government was viewed not working by other people, yet it was pumping billions into projects in the country. The chief then narrated that he had a conversation with both Sigwe MP David ‘Cruiser’ Ngcamphalala and Mpanza in different intervals, wherein he told them that he (Chief Makhosikhosi) was walking testimony of voting wrongly.

Voted

The chief said he voted for a person who, when he got to Parliament, changed and wanted to ‘ride another horse’. He said this was evident by the fact that none of the development projects Mpanza mentioned had been achieved by his constituency (Mtsambama Constituency). “Wafika MP wetfu wayigucula yonkhe lentfo wayenta yaba ngema siliva, watsi ‘mine hulumemde wetinkhundla ngeke ngihambe naye’; wakhohlwa kutsi ungene ngaye. Wafike watsi ‘Ngwenyama ugcilata bantfu’, yena ngeke ayimele lentfo le,” he said in vernacular. This can be translated to mean that; “Our MP got to Parliament and changed tune, wherein he deserted the Tinkhundla System of Government and forgot he was in Parliament because of the same system. He said the King was abusing the people and he was not going to stand for that.”

Chief Makhosikhosi said they never got any development thereafter, which was the reason he was telling people not to make the mistake of choosing people whom they thought would bring change yet they had other intentions.  He said choosing the wrong people would be an application for poverty. He said people were supposed to vote for people who had direction and purpose, adding that everyone was clear at this point as to which side they were backing. He said different members of the national security forces had lost their lives as a result of the unrest and fires that were experienced in the country.

“You should know that in the event you choose someone who will cause unrest; the lives that will be lost will be in your (electorate) hands,” added Chief Makhosikhosi. He said the electorate would have had a hand in the death of those people. He said he wished the people would choose someone who had love for the communities and the country, so that the kingdom would develop. It should be noted that MP Shongwe has not been shy in his stance for advocating for a prime minister (PM) chosen by the people. He was also in full support of the incarcerated MPs, as he used to attend their court appearances.  He was once quoted stating that he would rather stop getting his salary for the liberation of the people.

I was chosen by the people - MP

MBABANE - When called for comment, MP Simosakhe Shongwe said he was chosen by the people, not the chief. He said he was siding with the people through everything they were going through. “I stand my ground on what I said and he can stay with his vote. I always speak my mind, which I will stand for and I cannot be stopped by him,” he said.  Shongwe said he would not compromise with people’s lives just to stay in Parliament. When asked if he did change ‘camps’ as per the allegations by the chief; Shongwe said if that was what the chief concluded, he was fine with it. He said they never changed tune, but only spoke what would make people’s lives better.  He said they wanted a prime minister who would be elected by the people and if that was what the chief meant by changing tune, so be it.

Chief didn’t break law - EBC

NHLANGANO – The Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) says there is no law that regulates the way the chief spoke. EBC Communications Officer Mbonisi Bhembe was asked if the chief’s comment would not be interpreted as de-campaigning Mtsambama Member of Parliament Simosakhe Shongwe. Bhembe said they were dealing with the elections and its processes. Their laws, he said, regulated how an electorate, a nominated candidate was supposed to carry themselves among other things. “This is more on the national laws, than it is on ours. Ours look into when one is breaking the law when campaigning and when to campaign,” he said.