24 May 2008
My Turn: The Beginning Has Just Ended
by Thulani Thwala
Let us pray; "I, together with the rest of us, humble ourselves before you, our creator, for an ear. I am fully aware that generally speaking ignorance is the night of the mind but what scares me is that the night in the minds of many a Swazi has no clear possibility of dawn.
I request you as I hereby do now to assure me dawn is on the way. I also request you to shower me with real knowledge because it would help gauge both the ignorance and stinking arrogance of our leaders in government, Amen".
Now, it's back to work. The outgoing week marked the end of beginning. In short, the beginning has ended. I know some are already confused, let me break it down.
The Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC), a body that will forever remain illegal to me launched what under normal circumstances should have been the beginning of the 2008 National Elections. As fate would have it, the beginning ended immediately.
Gija Dlamini and Mzwandile Fakudze are drivers of this illegal and thoroughly confused gravy train. Here, I am assuming you know how much they want as payment- above what most ministers get. Most of them are taking close to E50 000 a month save for a couple of sacred ones who are raking in close to E70 000.
Talk of sacred cows on two legs.
To me the EBC's salary demand remains ridiculous. It makes me even doubt the elections would be free and fair. The problem stems from the vast knowledge both Gija and Mzwandile have on the country's system of governance.
They are pretty much aware that in the positions they find themselves occupying today it is easy to bleed and suffocate the economy-'legitimately'.
They forget that too much knowledge is the source of all problems and it's not through arrogance and greed that we can solve them. Now, the broader picture is that the products of the elections are closely following the events and that would be their first stop when they take their seats in Parliament. They would demand huge pay citing this and that and further spend recklessly like the EBC.
I trusted young boys like Mzwandile who also took time from whatever schedule to visit school and beyond but he is changing colour rapidly and I wonder why. I had hoped Mzwandile's presence would ensure sanity and direction but I was very wrong.
Since Mzwandile is a man who adores famous quotes from famous people judging from his litany of press releases he has made to the media, I would like to share this one with him:
"Half of the world's misery comes from ignorance, the other half comes from intelligence.
However, a great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when need for illusion is deep".
I get worried when young boys like Mzwandile begin to speak like loose cannons when defending A-Grade idiocy. What is going on here? Why is the EBC parading ignorance at our expense?
Don't get me wrong, I am aware that stupidity belongs to everyone but I was of the view that the more we know the closer we get to feeling it. I was wrong.
In the EBC we also have a lecturer who should be calling for ceasefire where the money issues are concerned considering our ailing economy, she is quiet if not busy at UNISWA.
I personally regard education as a thoroughly good progression tool towards the discovery of our ignorance. It appears I am wrong. The more we get educated, the more we play silly.
I close this point by advising Finance PS Dumsani Masilela who is to look into the EBC pay demand to ignore any form of intimidation and do the right thing for the country. I have confidence in him as a young man but I will let him know when I feel he is missing the plot like Mzwandile.
I will not address the childish blunder by the EBC of ordering wrong picture papers, I expected that from a clueless bunch of loyalists heavily pre-occupied by the thought of how much they want per month and could make before going home. You cloud your mind with monetary thoughts you lose more money!
The big one for me is the close to E200 allowance to be paid to each of the police officers on a daily basis for literally sitting with the registration officers for which some (registration officers) are working from the comfort of their homes.
What type of elections that are run from people's houses? My answer is; Mickey Mouse game. Gija and Mzwandile insist they will be free and fair. Dream on, it is legal! Cops are now paid double for doing a single job. First of all I don't understand why they have to seat with the officers at registration time? Patrols would have been enough than to have cops turned to baby-sitters at an exorbitant fee. The money is too much for a country like us.
It would be wrong for the Prime Minister A. T Dlamini and Commissioner of Police Edgar Hillary to allow this lunacy to go on. We cannot allow them to appease a disgruntled force at our expense, expensively.
The PM and Edgar must address the cops' concerns and avoid involving our money in their cleansing ceremony. At times I wonder why we opt for the wrong methods of solving an equation.
If there had to be money paid out it should have been given as an incentive to the cops who would be remaining in the proper workstations than the sitting ducks at the registration centres. I also doubt the revelation that they would be rotated. We all know that within the police force there are blue-eyed boys.
One of these sitting ducks tried so hard this week to convince us why they are paid close to E200 a day by preventing journalists from doing their job. Listen to that gobbledegook. A cop getting carried away!
The cops back in the stations are faced with a heavy workload and I am sure their working shifts have been rearranged to accommodate the chosen few who are on board the EBC gravy train. I hope, and I hope, they will be rotated.
This is not fair Mr Hillary Sir. We have soldiers who are literally doing nothing that would have come in handy in such silly state duties. This is waste.
Coming to the elections' alleged civic education, why is the EBC confusing the people? Gija must know his team's duty is to educate us on elections, specifically, how to register, vote, what you vote for, how important for us to vote and other legal issues not to lecture people on how best Tinkhundla is.
To me the EBC's mere presence tells the whole story about Tinkhundla therefore it should not waste time and confuse the vulnerable electorate on the system, they know.
In some of the areas that have been graced by both the presence and rhetoric idiocy gospel by the EBC, people have been left confused. From what I hear people thought the EBC had come to educate them on logistics of elections but were taken aback when it turned out they are agents of the Tinkhundla System of Governance.
This then makes me understand better why Gija had to be appointed into this position and it explains why he needs more money. Agents come at a high fee and at times they charge an arm and a leg.
This then brings me to my final point of what we need to expect in the next Parliament. It is not different from what we today refer to as outgoing government. The difference would generally be the same.
In Swaziland to be a politician takes nothing-literally. If you don't know, this is what it takes, the ability to lunatically foretell what is likely to happen tomorrow, next week, next month and next year but you must be in a position to explain to your gullible audience afterwards (say after five years) why it didn't happen without blinking. You are done.
TO ALL VOTERS
I say, from what I have observed starting with the childish blunders of the EBC and the early deployment of cops ata high fee I am seriously convinced that the votes you will cast will decide nothing but it would be those who will count them who will decide everything. Butthat said, tryyour luck, vote or be voted for. I thank you.