Sunday, August 10, 2008


Weekend Observer

9 August 2008

To buy or not to buy votes - women ask

Whether to buy votes or not is a major debate among women nominated to stand for national elections.

Yesterday, women expressed worry that men in their various constituencies were already distributing foodstuffs and gifts ahead of the campaign period.

Speaking at the Tums George Hotel during a CANGO sensitisation programme under the ‘vote for a woman’ campaign, a number of women harped on the notion of honesty but were rather doubtful whether that would work in the face of rampant violations of the electoral law back in their constituencies.

A woman from Zombodze Emuva, who introduced herself as Myeni, said it was unfortunate that while she was at the workshop some of her competitors were distributing truckload of food stuffs to voters.

“But I’m here and do not have anything to offer to voters. How then am I going to be voted for? How can CANGO assist me?”

She further requested CANGO to decentralise the sensitisation exercise by going to the various constituencies to educate voters about the importance of the rules of the election process.

They were, however, told that it was the duty of the Elections and Boundary Commission (EBC) to provide the answers. However, there was no EBC official despite an invitation to the event that was attended by women from the four regions of the country. There were about 200 women in attendance.

Bongiwe Zwane of CANGO said she had budgeted for about 70 participants but was overwhelmed and pleased by the attendance that later developed into a hot debate.

The women were divided on whether to join the ‘cash for a vote’ spree allegedly taking place in a number of the constituencies already.

Others felt there has to be some from of enticement or else those splashing money would win their way to parliament. This was against a background of long teachings by former Prime Minister Obed Dlamini and former Cabinet Minister Stella Lukhele who tried to instill virtues of honesty and fair-play.

There were other examples of crowd pullers who buy loads of alcohol for mainly the youth to get them to vote in their favour. A young woman said there were elder women in her constituency who were driving around with young boys buying them liquor and offering them money much to the detriment of other women.

She said it was a pity that the women were looking for support from men by giving them money instead of joining hands with other women in order to realise the ideal of the campaign and the wishes of all women.

Mumcy Dlamini of Kwaluseni said she would never bow down to sacrifice whatsoever she has in order to please men so she could be voted for.

She complained that other male voters on nomination day tried to discourage her that she was single and, therefore, could not ably represent institutions of the family and the entire community. She said it did not take marriage to acquire leadership skills and the capacity to deliver what is required of each candidate. There was then a barrage of condemnation of certain men who tried to discourage women by reminding them they are inferior and subjected to male authority.

Queen Shongwe, the celebrated blabbermouth who frequently calls the radio station offering free opinions in just about every subject, almost earned herself the wrath of the organisers as she time and again engaged other women from the back in rowdy discussions, thus disturbing the workshop.

However, she made her point when she requested the women to approach the national radio station SBIS to lift the ban on all nominees who want to air their views.

She told the other women that other candidates were given unfair advantage in that they were allowed airtime yet they also contest in the election.

She made an explicit example of Minister of Public Service and Information Elijah Shongwe who was on air on Thursday morning announcing that he would be touring bridges at a certain constituency.

She won the sympathy of other women and CANGO was tasked with negotiating with the national broadcaster with a view to allow all citizens equal access under democratic rules.

There are other organisations tasked with civic education currently going on around the country to assist with answers to questions left unanswered by the EBC, which never ran a comprehensive civic education exercise before running to the nomination stage.

This was after a number of women expressed concern that they were blank about the processes involved this time around yet they wanted to take up the leadership roles envisaged for them by the voters.



Weekend Observer

9 August 2008

Women nominees divided over civil servants' participation in elections

Stories by Ackel Zwane

There is confusion on the status of civil servants regarding their participation in the upcoming national elections.

Meeting yesterday at the Tum’s George Hotel, the women said the confusion on whether civil servants should participate or not was a stumbling block on what is to be done next now that the nomination stage is over. The senstisation meeting was organised by the Coordinating Assembly of Non-governmental Organisations (CANGO) under the ‘vote for a woman’ campaign.

Portia Simelane, a civil servant from Tikhuba North, was first to declare that she was a civil servant who was nominated yet she did not have the permission from her employer granting her leave of absence for the five year period she would be away if elected for the parliamentary seat. She made her declarations after strong condemnation from other women that the civil servants were disturbing the process because the law barred them from participation if they did not have the permission. She said she went to her polling station as other registered voters but did not know that she would be nominated. She said she accepted the nomination voluntarily mainly because the constitution also allows that she may be nominated without the permission condition. But Stella Lukhele, a former MP and former cabinet minister, clarified that in terms of the law the permission must be presented at nomination.

“The problem is when were we to get permission, before the nomination or after given that the process started at very short notice. The employer forces the employee to take the five years at once and disappears for the five years,” said Simelane.

Mamane Sukati from Mphembekati said it was important to begin now to resolve the impasse ahead of the next election in 2013, a suggestion met with reservations.

“Let's get the permission now for the 2013 election. It is unfortunate that my sister here (Simelane) was caught off guard.”

On the other hand, Duduzile Dube of Luhlangotsini came in defence of civil servants and said they were discriminated against. She said it was important that elections should be free and fair.

“If civil servants are to take a five year leave of absence and lose the election this would definitely lead to poverty and suffering for the civil servant and his/her family,”

Lukhele suggested that CANGO should rush to the Elctions and Boundary Commission to appeal that all the candidates who have been nominated be given the permission. This suggestion was met with unwavering opposition because other women felt that would allow civil servants unfair advantage over those who were nominated on a clean slate. This was also because that would open floodgates to those who did not go for the nominations because they feared they did not have the permission from their employer.

“That would cause confusion in the entire country.

"Let us go to parliament and attend to the problem once inside,” said a participant.

Iris Mamba from Ngculwini got hot under the collar and cited the case of a Regional Education Officer who was allowed into the nomination even though he did not have the letter granting him leave of absence. This was after the presiding officer requested the letter. The residing officer called the EBC and was allegedly instructed to go ahead and register the REO much to the chagrin of other nominees.

CANGO registered the concerns and was to submit them to EBC with immediate effect.



Weekend Observer

9 August 2008

Commonwealth election observers coming

By Sisho Magagula

The Commonwealth will send a team of Election Observers to monitor the country’s parliamentary elections, Commonwealth Deputy Secretary Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba has disclosed.

Speaking exclusively to the Weekend Observer yesterday afternoon before jetting out of the country Esibayeni Lodge, Mwamba said the Commonwealth has taken interest in the country’s first parliamentary elections under the constitutional dispensation.

“This morning, I met with the Elections and Boundaries Commission and discussed a lot of pertinent issues, including the importance of conducting free and fair elections. We sent observers to monitor the registration process and we will be sending more observers for both the primary and secondary elections,” she said, in the presence of Justice Minister Prince David.

The Secretary General also mentioned that her organisation will be providing more support for the country’s judiciary.

She said the main objectives of her visit to the country was to familiarise herself with activities carried out by the country through the assistance of the Commonwealth.

“We were on a fact-finding mission and I’m pleased that Swaziland has made great strides in areas of democracy and development. The Commonwealth will continue lending support in areas such as social development and investment,” she said.

Mwamba was accompanied by Commonwealth’s Special Advisor, Head of African Section Political Affairs, Amb. Ayo Oke.



Weekend Observer

9 August 2008


By Bheki Gama

The race to Parliament is getting rather messy and dangerous, it has been revealed.

A group of men who were nominated to stand for the election in one of the constituencies in the Lubombo region have ganged up to eliminate the area’s former member of parliament, who is believed to be the people’s obvious choice.

In their quest for power, the group, which includes a well-known church leader and pastor of a local church, has already planned and listed possible means to have the ex-MP move out of their way by hook or crook.

Amongst other things, the group has been to several muti men.

On Thursday, they drove an Isuzu van 3L (registration numbers also known to the Weekend Observer) hundreds of kilometres away to Nsenga, near Maphalaleni, to consult a popular fortune teller.

Inside sources say the main motive was to get advice on how best to get rid of their competitor.

When the ex-MP was approached on the matter, he confirmed having been warned about the group and said they could do anything to get rid of him.

“They have tried several times in the past to undermine me without success and this time, they have resorted to desperate means. I cannot help them, because it's the people who want me in and I cannot let them down,” the former MP said.

Minah Khumalo (nee Vilakati) confirmed that she has been consulted by several aspiring MPs who come looking for all sorts of solutions.

Khumalo said on Thursday alone, she could recall having seen three aspiring MPs who wanted to thwart their competitors on election day.

She also confirmed that most were looking for powers to subdue and overcome their competitors during the coming elections.

“I always advise them that I do not provide such services,” she said mentioning that she only helped to identify whomsoever could assist them meet their objectives.

“I only throw the bones and tell people what I see,” she said, adding that often her clients act upon what she has told them.

She said the next step is entirely the decision of the client.

Khumalo also added that clients are the ones who say the names of those whom they trust have the right solution to the problems she has identified for them during consultation and “I throw the bones to find out it the inyanga, prophet or healer is the right choice,” she said.

When the Weekend Observer left a one-time popular Ludzidzini governor was being ushered into the indumba, the healer’s operating theatre.

The ex-Indvuna, who was chauffeured inside a white Toyota van with the army registration numbers, could hardly conceal his displeasure upon seeing the Weekend Observer team.


Friday, August 8, 2008


Times of Swaziland

8 August 2008

SD general elections



LOZITHA – The South African government has thrown its full weight in support of Swaziland’s 2008 general elections.

Newly appointed South African High Commissioner to the Kingdom Reddy Mampane yesterday assured His Majesty King Mswati III "of South Africa’s support regarding the forthcoming general elections in Swaziland".

This comes in the wake of civil organisations challenging the election process in court for being against constitutional dictates.

Presenting his credentials to the King, Mampane said South Africa, SADC and the AU as well as the International Community are keenly following the political reforms in Swaziland as embodied in the new constitution. "Since the independence of Swaziland in 1968, the country has had to meet and face a number of political and economic challenges. The Kingdom has however made progress towards the constitution," the envoy stated.

The South African envoy also passed his country’s wishes to His Majesty and the nation for a successful 40/40 celebration.

In response the king said a lot of enthusiasm has been shown by the country’s citizens towards the elections as exhibited during the nomination process.



Times of Swaziland

8 August

Secret nominations exposed!


PIGG’S PEAK – While the nominations for this year’s elections were conducted this past weekend in constituencies, some people were nominated on Wednesday.

The Luhhumaneni nominations had earlier on Sunday been stopped due to a chieftaincy dispute and the residents were not told when they would be conducted again that day.

Luhhumaneni is situated in the Northern Hhohho region near Pigg’s Peak.

Information gathered is that residents were only informed the previous day (Tuesday) about the nominations. The nominations were never publicised but instead certain individuals spread the information.

Some of the residents missed the nominations because they were at work.

They woke up on Thursday only to find candidates whom they had to vote for in the upcoming elections.

The nomination started around 10am with only less than 150 people.


Present during the nominations were Pigg’s Peak DC Robert Dlamini, Magistrate Leo Dlamini, EBC’s Ncumbi Maziya and the preceding officer here Gugu Malinga, who was conducting the exercise.

According to some elders, who preferred to speak on condition of anonymity, Luhhumaneni has been hit hard by a long standing dispute.

"We are composed of two chiefs here and thus we have two codes. So how can we nominate candidates if this issue has not been resolved? We had thought the EBC would help us resolve the squabble over the rightful ownership of land here but instead the matter has been perpetrated to extent that illegal ways had to been done for the sake of the nomination exercise," said an elderly man.

At the time of compiling this report, it could not be established who were nominated. was a correction of an error – EBC

PIGG’S PEAK – Mzwandile Fakudze, vice chairman of the Elections and Boundaries Commission, has said the nomination was just a correction of an error.

He said this error had been caused by the tension which was created by the residents during the first nomination.

In a telephonic interview yesterday, the vice chairman said it was the community’s decision to go for another nomination exercise despite that they had already nominated in the previous nominations. "Sunday’s scuffle forced us to defer nominations here," he said.

He said when a team has 11 players and the other has seven, the game should be cancelled to give space for the other team to reorganise itself. When further probed if the community was informed about Wednesday’s nomination, Fakudze said the community members should have been responsible in informing the residents here about the exercise.



Swazi Observer

8 August 2008

AG says multi-partism is no democracy

By Sabelo Mamba

ATTORNEY General Majahenkhaba Dlamini has said multi-partism does not provide a democratic system.

The AG was making his submissions during a full bench case at the High Court where political parties and trade unions are challenging the legitimacy of the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) and its individual members.

He said, as result, political parties did not fit the present system of government.

"At nomination stage, a person nominated has to be supported by 10 people to stand as a candidate," he said.

"Individual members are stakeholders of the Tinkhundla system of governance, but political parties are not to the elections. Multi-partism does not mean there is democracy."

He said in a multi-party state the opposition often does not stage, a reasonable chance of winning.

"Democracy is not based on the political party system," Dlamini said.

“If two people agree, they do not have to form a political party. The party system is not an agreeable concept on the ground. Multi-partism does not provide a democratic system.”

The full bench comprised Justices Stanley Maphalala, Jacobus Annandale and Mbutfo Mamba, who reserved judgement.

The applicants include People's United Democratic Movement, Ngwane National Liberatory Congress, Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions, Swaziland Federation of Labour and the Swaziland National Associations of Teachers.

The respondents are Prime Minister Themba Dlamini, Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Prince David, Parliament Speaker Prince Guduza and Senate President Gelani Simelane.



Swazi Observer

8 August 2008

Lawyer says political parties must co-exist with system

By Sabelo Mamba

LAWYER Thulani Maseko submitted that political parties has to co-exist with the present system of governance.

He said nobody should be restricted from contesting the current elections.

Maseko said a right to join political parties was an individual choice.

He argued that the country's constitution allows people to make that decision.

"No body should be forced to do anything under the political dispensation," he said.

"Political parties have to exist in a mixed bag or parliament should be composed of members with different opinions. People can stand as individuals or political parties."

He alleged that the Imbokodvo National Movement allowed Swaziland to be no party state whilst it still existed as a political party.

political parties

Maseko contended that there has to be a law allowing political parties to be registered, adding that such was based on Section 25 of the constitution.

He asked the court to read together Sections 25, 29 and 84 of the constitution and then harmonise them so that the bill of rights could be achieved.

Maseko denied allegations that the political parties or trade unions were asking the court to declare some of the sections in the constitution null and void.

"If that law protects the rights of the people, let it be so," Maseko submitted.

The High Court full bench has reserved judgement.



Times of Swaziland

6 August 2008

Deaf man’s remarkable challenge for Parly seat


MBABANE – At 38 years, Makhosini Makhubu is bracing himself for arguably his biggest challenge yet.

Makhubu is deaf but does not let this put him down—he has joined in the race to Parliament.

The father of five was this weekend nominated at Mangwaneni.

Makhubu has been deaf since he was eight years old after he fell sick and now requires the aid of an interpreter. He, however, has partial speech because by the time he turned eight he could speak and hear.

If he happens to qualify during the Secondary Elections, it will be the first of its kind in the country as no one amongst the disabled people had ever made in to Parliament.

Currently, Makhubu has his own interpreter who normally interprets for him when ever people talk to him.

When asked if he was ready to be an MP, he said he was more than ready and had confidence that he would make it to Parliament after being nominated under the Mbabane West Constituency.

"I had no intention of taking part in the elections, however, some people came and asked me to join the race to Parliament. Since the people have the trust in me, I could not decline," he said.

He said it was time disabled people were given the opportunity to be in Parliament in order for the people to understand that they were also human beings.

"We need to change the mindsets of many. My main intention is see the disabled being treated just like other people and also see their lives improving," he said.

Makhubu, who is amongst the founders of the Swaziland National Association of the Deaf said he would also play a major role in promoting his constituency.

"All in all, I am more than ready to serve my constituency and I believe that after not getting such an opportunity, we as the deaf people will make it this time around," he said.

When asked as to what would happen in terms of the interpretations in Parliament if he happens to become an MP, he said this was a challenge for government as the country had a few interpreters.

"Since this will be the first of its kind, government would have to hire an interpreter so one could understand the Parliament procedures. I am ready to serve the people and I will definitely be the people’s voice," he said. Makhubu is married.



Times of Swaziland

6 August 2008

MBABANE – Prince Guduza, the out-going Speaker, declined the nomination to be a Member of Parliament under the Lobamba Constituency.

The prince was nominated by Nhlonipho Dlamini.

This was during the nomination exercise held at Lobamba (Mahhulumbeni) on Saturday afternoon.

Dlamini, in an interview yesterday, confirmed to have had his sights firmly set on the prince to be an ambassador of the constituency in the august House.

"Prince Guduza turned down the nomination on grounds that he was not ready for it,"

Dlamini, a son to the late Prince Ndabenhle, said. "The prince admitted to have been caught off-guard, hence he declined to enter for the parliamentary race."


Dlamini said he nominated the retiring speaker after having consulted on the election laws regarding the princes and princesses.

Dlamini said there was no law in place that prevented princes and princesses from standing for the general elections.

"Prince Guduza assured me that he would stand for the next election sometime in 2013," Dlamini stated.

He said he was hoping that the prince would successfully succeed Marwick Khumalo in the lower chamber.

The quartet of Majah’odvwa Khumalo, Marazor Mavimbela, Reverend Ezrome Dlamini and Anthony Khephu Cindzi, were nominated to stand for the parliamentary race.

Efforts to get a comment from Prince Guduza drew a blank as his mobile phone was not available on the MTN network.

The prince, during the reign of erstwhile Prime Minister Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini, once served as minister in two ministries – Economic Planning and Development and Home Affairs.



Swazi Observer

6 August 2008

Desire to join election forces Saladin to retire

By Sisho Magagula

PRINCIPAL of Nyandza High School Saladin Magagula has retired from the teaching profession to join the national elections.

This follows the Teaching Service Commission’s refusal to grant him leave of absence as provided for by Section 97 of the national constitution.

The provision bars public officers from participating in the elections before being granted leave of absence by the employer.

Magagula, who was nominated over the weekend was asked why he stood for the elections when he did not have the letter indicating that he had been granted leave of absence.

“I applied for the leave of absence from the TSC and my application was turned down. I thought of taking the matter to the High Court but I decided against this idea because the case would have dragged well after the nomination stage, thus prejudicing me.”

“I opted for early retirement as envisaged by the law governing the teaching profession in this country; the Teaching Service Commission Act.”

Asked whether he was told the reason behind his application for leave of absence turned down, Magagula said the Teaching Service Commission (TSC) claimed that it would be difficult to replace him.

This is the same reason advanced to other teachers who applied for the leave of absence to stand for the elections.

Magagula is an executive member of the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) serving as recording secretary.

Comfort Dlamini, another executive member, has also joined the elections race.

This flies on the face of a statement made by SNAT earlier that the organisation does not recognise the entire election process as it is apparently ‘undemocratic’.

Magagula said he had exercised his constitutional right to stand for the elections.

“This is a right conferred upon me by the supreme law of the land. SNAT also recognises and respects fundamental human rights. I joined the elections in my capacity as Saladin Magagula, not as a SNAT member.



Swazi Observer

6 August 2008

Nominated scribes in conflict of interest?

By Observer Reporter

JOURNALISTS nominated for the parliamentary elections will not suffer any conflict of interest so long as they do not use the pen and paper to push their agendas.

However, they might also have to resign from the profession if they are to pursue a political career.

Both the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Swaziland as well as the Swaziland National Association of Journalists (SNAJ) said precedence had been set by members of the Fourth Estate who left the profession to join parliament.

“It’s clear the constitution as a supreme document of the land says anyone is eligible to stand for elections, saves for public officers who are required to produce a leave of absence from their employer. This being nomination stage, it’s no issue that journalists are part of the process now.

“The only exception is that they cannot be politicians and journalists simultaneously; they would need to forego the other trade. This is at final stages (secondary elections),” said Timothy Simelane, Secretary General of SNAJ. He said the constitution gave the right of all citizens to participate in the elections.

The same was advanced by Michael Motsa, MISA Swaziland Information Officer.

“We’ve had journalists such as Mahlaba Mamba (former Dvokodvweni MP) who stood for elections and won, thus a precedence was set. We cannot condemn or restrict journalists from standing for elections they can participate but not serve as politicians at the same time. “They have to choose either they remain as journalists or become politicians. In addition, there is no document or authority ethically that prevents or bars journalists from participating in elections,” Motsa said.

However, it is of note that the choice on whether to join politics or not must be made early enough before adversaries become victims of the scribes competing in same constituencies for single positions.

There are already undertones to the effect that the scribes may indiscriminately get back at their adversaries without any restraint. In other societies, it is inscribed in the contracts of employment to protect editorial integrity of media houses. Some journalists were nominated last weekend in the 2008 parliamentary elections such as Mphikeleli Msibi running for the post of MP in Mbabane East constituency, Senzo Dlamini (Lobamba) and Israel Matsebula at Shiselweni II, Rogers Mamba, Qedusizi Ndlovu and others.


Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Times of Swaziland

5 August 2008

Qedusizi’s ‘party’ gets them talking


MBABANE – Aspiring Member of Parliament Qedusizi Ndlovu’s feast for Jet staff that had come to donate has since sent tongues wagging in his area.

The festivity was held on Sunday at Ndlovu’s homestead after he made it through to the nomination stage under the Nkonka chiefdom.

Some residents have dubbed the feast as a party and registered a complaint with this newspaper alleging that Ndluvu may have started an early campaign yet that is only legal after the primary elections.


Ndlovu said it was not a party but instead he had just agreed to have hosted a feast at his home on Sunday but says this was for Jet Stores employees who had come to donate clothing to members of his community.

"It was a small feast for the Jet staff which was a way of saying thank you to them for having made the donation to the people," Ndlovu clarified.

The area’s Indvuna Mthomtho Shiba also defended the party saying it was just a small feast for the Jet staff.

"I also attended the feast at Ndlovu’s home and it was all in good faith as you know that according to Swazi culture if someone visits your home you then cook for them," Shiba said.

Jet Stores Manager Nhlanhla Matsebula collaborated Ndlovu’s story by stating that indeed it was them that he hosted.


"We had the feeling that our visit to the area might be viewed as an illegal campaigning as it coincided with the nomination process but we could not shift it to an alternate date because we had long set the date for our visit," Matsebula said.

He stated that as Jet Stores they felt they had to help the people of Lavumisa after they were approached by Ndlovu and were touched as he related the level of poverty that his people live under.

Ndlovu was on Saturday unanimously nominated for the position of MP at Nkonka Inkhundla and is facing stiff competition from PUDEMO man Mandlak-ayise Matse.



Times of Swaziland

5 August 2008

Ex-Pirates star ‘Tototo’ joins hot parly race


MANZINI – Former Sihlangu goalkeeper Christopher ‘Tototo’ Khoza has dumped football for politics.

Khoza has been nominated to stand for elections as a member of parliament for the Manzini South inkhundla.

The aspiring politician was fired from the coaching seat by Moneni Pirates last week.

Coincidentally ‘Tototo’ was nominated at Moneni umphakatsi where he commands a lot of respect amongst the youth.

There were cheers when his name was raised and the youth gave him no chance as they made it clear that they expect him to stand. Khoza is a former Moneni Pirates player and coach; he shot to stardom in the early nineties when the Moneni buccaneers were at its peek.

He is well known for his outspoken nature and boldness in the field of play an element his supporters will be the right tonic in the august house.

The football loving Manzini South folks said he was their hope and will act as a spokesperson for the game of football.

Khoza said he was very much proud to be considered as one who can bring change to the society.

Khoza will however face stiff competition as he was nominated together with former senator Thandi Nxumalo and Ward 9 councillor Sthando Dlamini.

Other strong contenders who are for a parliament seat are Prince Mfanasibili and DJ Bling.



Times of Swaziland

5 August 2008

Widows, children key goals for aspiring MPs


MANZINI –Some of the aspiring parliamentarians have expressed some rather indifferent goals they want to achieve in parliament.

This was the case yesterday when the Times interviewed some of them at the Mavuso Trade and Exhibition Centre where they had gone for a standard photo shoot.

Once controversial former Deputy Sheriff and insurance consultant Doctor Myeni said his focus was on helping widows live a better life as they were prone to exploitation.

"I wish to help domestic workers improve their lives," he said. Myeni said it was difficult and painful to imagine that domestic workers were still paid paltry wages ranging from an average of E400, which was way below the living standards. Myeni has been nominated to stand for elections at Mtfongwaneni Constituency.

Another aspiring MP from Ntondozi Inkhundla Errol Kunene said his wish was to get to parliament to help children.

"Children from my constituency can all go to school despite challenges they may face in life," he said.

Gospel music artist Mandla ‘DJ Nice’ Dlamini said his wish was to help develop the standard of football in his constituency, solve the water crisis and construct a new fruit and vegetable market at Mahlanya. He has been nominated at Lobamba Lomdzala Constituency.

Others also promised to work hard towards facilitating structural developments in their constituencies.

The duty of a Member of Parliament is to facilitate the passing of legislations in parliament as development of constituencies is best reserved for other officers.

These include constituency headmen (tindvuna tetinkhundla) and bucopho betinkhundla.



Swazi Observer

5 August 2008

'Mental patient among officials at Simunye polling station’

By Nelsiwe Ndlangamandla

THE nominees of Lusoti and Ngomane villages in Simunye have accused one of the registration officers of not being mentally stable.

The nominees wrote a petition to the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) where they claimed the said officer had been in and out of a psychiatric centre.

They alleged that it was for this reason that the nomination at this centre did not go well.

In the petition they said a lot of mistakes were made during the registration process such that they had to go back to correct them.


They even want the nominations to be nullified, saying some of the nominees were not eligible to be nominated in the villages.

Part of the petition reads “The people involved in the registration process were not eligible or right people, because some of them were not of good mental conditions as they were in and out of the psychiatric centre.


Due to the reasons stated above we feel the whole process has not been run in the manner it was supposed to.”

The petitioners said they served the petition to the EBC yesterday morning.

Sabelo Dlamini EBC, Public Relations Officer said he was still going to find out if the letter had reached his office.



Swazi Observer

5 August 2008

Winile Mamba nominated in Dlangeni

By Nombulelo Matsebula

Miss Swaziland finalist, Winile Mamba has been nominated by the Edlangeni Umphakatsi for the position of Member of Parliament. Mamba was among the 10 nominees on the day and notably the only woman and the youngest.

The finalist, who was born and bred in Edlangeni is excited by the nomination and says she was not aware that her community had so much faith in her.

“ being nominated is an honour and if I am chosen as MP, there is a lot of change I can bring to my community,” Mamba said

She believes she can make it to parliament as her age allows her. At only 21 years, she is sure to make a difference in the country. She is inspired by MP Hlobisile Ndlovu.

The fact that she is a rose among nine thorns is not a problem to her and promises to do her best should she make it to parliament.

Mamba recently made a donation of clothes worth over E10 000 to the Edlangeni orphaned and vulnerable children, where she said her dream was to build a neighbourhood care point for the children.

Mr Bread came on board and promised to give out over 70 loaves of bread to the carepoint to enable the children to go to school having had something to eat and come back to a decent meal.

Though she failed to make it to the finals of the Miss Swaziland pageant, she has big dreams, and as promised, she will continue with charity work.



Swazi Observer

5 August 2008

Chiefs want EBC to re-draw boundaries

By Njabulo Dlamini

CHIEFS under Mankayane sub-region have urged the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) to review boundaries for the Ngwemphisi constituency.

Representatives from the various chiefdoms under the constituency last Friday met Chairman of the Commission Chief Gija and some of the members where the issue was deliberated at length.

At least 10 chiefdoms make up Ngwemphisi and the chiefs want the number halved, to be manageable for even distribution of resources to be realised.

A delegation of 12 persons attended the meeting together with Vulindlela Msibi, former MP for the constituency.

The EBC was represented by the Chairman, Gloria Mamba and Information Officer Sabelo Dlamini.

Dladleni chiefdom Indvuna Vusi Ndlangamandla confirmed the meeting adding they were happy that at least the EBC acknowledged the concerns.

“The EBC conceded the constituency was not manageable as big as it was with the 10 chiefdoms under it. Constituency allocations such as Empowerment Fund are insufficient to meet our needs due to the size of Ngwempisi; a review of boundaries is thus an urgent issue with us,” Ndlangamandla said.

Ngcoseni Indvuna Fanyana Msibi was equally concerned about the size of Ngwemphisi also alluding the proposal was for the chiefdoms to be halved.

“In addition, we proposed that a new constituency be built at Sidzakeni - Musi so that five chiefdoms would be accommodated there and the remaining ones fall under the present site.

“However, the EBC Chairman informed us the matter was to be considered after the elections.

He conceded they were equally concerned about it,” Msibi said.

Meanwhile, the EBC Chairman also confirmed the meeting with the Ngwemphisi constituency delegation.

“Not only Ngwemphisi, Kukhanyeni and Siphofaneni are amongst several chiefdoms whose boundaries need to be reviewed. Some chiefdoms are themselves big on their right and thus having many chiefdoms under the constituency, comprises delivery of services,” he said.

Dlamini said the boundaries issue would be dealt with after the elections by his team.

The representatives were from chiefdoms; Dladleni, Bhadzeni 1 & 2, Khabonina, Lushikishini, Ngcoseni, Macudvulwini, Mahhashini, Mgazini and Velezizweni.

The matter had been dealt with by Chief Gija’s predecessor, Robert Thwala - who was the Chief Electoral Officer.

Said former MP Msibi; “The Constitution does not allow an inkhundla’s boundaries to extend over more than one region- Section 91(4).

Ngwempisi [at Ngcoseni and Mgazini] under Manzini Region spreads to Gege; under Shiselweni.

“We are very grateful to the EBC for listening to our case which has been before our authorities for a long time.

The Chairman assured us the exercise (reviewing of boundaries) will be embarked upon immediately after elections and it will encompass other tinkhundla with a similar problem”.

Others in attendance included; Mduduzi Dlamini- Velezizweni, December Dlamini- Bhadzeni I, David Motsa- Macudvulwini, Mehlobhunu Mavuso- Mahhashini Indvuna and Peter Mtetwa Mahhashini.



Swazi Observer

5 August 2008

Nash's son S'khumbuzo pulls out of election race

By Nelsiwe Ndlangamandla

BISHOP Nash Shongwe's son, Sikhumbuzo, who was nominated over the weekend has pulled out.

He said he was giving a chance to his brother Bongani with whom they were competing for the same seat of Member of Parliament for Fairview North constituency in Manzini.

His withdrawal from the race has raised suspicions that it could be connected to his alleged wayward past.

There have been suspicions that he could have failed to produce a clean police clearance after submitting his finger prints to be checked for criminal records as is required by the law.

He has, however, denied that his withdrawal has anything to do with his behaviour or results of police finger printing.

S'khumbuzo said his father called them immediately after being nominated and said he was not happy to see them compete against each other.

He said he did not go to take the fingerprints and the photos yesterday as was expected with all the other nominees. He said he would focus on his business for now and make sure that he supports his brother in the political race.

S'khumbuzo was once wanted by the police for crime related instances in which he alleged stabbed someone in Manzini. He allegedly had an altercation with the person who had bad mouthed Bishop Shongwe.

He was on the police wanted list before he was handed over by his father.

He insisted that his withdrawal was strategic and a family decision.

He said even though he had a criminal record, he would not have pulled out if it was not to give his brother a better chance.



Swazi Media Commentary

5 August 2008


Swaziland newspapers have attacked the kingdom’s forthcoming elections as ‘a mockery’.

In separate comment articles the editors of the Swazi News and the Times Sunday both used the term ‘mockery’ to describe the way in which the elections have been run. This past weekend saw nominations for candidates open and close, but people were only given three days notice to prepare for them.

Meanwhile, the Swazi High Court was asked to rule whether the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC), the organisation tasked with overseeing the election, was legal under the Swazi constitution. The High Court dismissed the application and reserved judgment.

The editor of the Times Sunday Mbongeni Mbingo, writing in his own newspaper (3 August 2008), said, ‘The elections have always been presented as a mockery, since the day Chief Gija [chair of the EBC] and his commissioners were handed to us.’

He went on, ‘Right now, I am convinced they cannot do the job and they are an embarrassment. I hope they know this, because we cannot disguise it anymore.’

Mbingo went on to say, ‘My frustration today has a lot to do with why the elections are made to be such a mess. I am wondering if people are deliberately doing things to embarrass our king and country and to make sure that the elections flop. I wonder what is there for them when they achieve their goal, but it is perfectly clear right now that there are dark forces pulling this country back.

‘I can’t fathom how we could get things this wrong—so embarrassingly wrong! This week, our EBC decided—or should we say they realised—that there needed to be the nominations, the first step toward the elections. The people were not given enough time to prepare, and shockingly, the EBC, its polling officers and everyone else expected to help, were not ready.

‘It was like we were all caught off guard. This shocked me. Who decided that this weekend should be the beginning of the elections, and when was this decision taken? Why was it not communicated to the public in time?

‘I am assuming this latest comedy of errors goes to show that people were right to question Chief Gija’s leadership qualities.’

Mbingo went on, ‘This is frustrating because it gives the world the idea that we are not capable of putting our house in order, or in fact of getting people who could run things properly and efficiently. The world always has to look at us as the laughing stock, people who couldn’t be serious, and a country lacking in leadership.’

Thulani Thwala, editor of the Swazi News, writing in his own newspaper (2 August 2008), said, ‘The elections have become a mockery before they begin.’

He went on, ‘... no one is certain on whether these elections are legal or illegal. My immediate thinking is that they are illegal. We go to nominations today without the voter’s roll. We begin the nomination with a certain section of people still firmly occupying public office and they might be nominated. Some law-abiding citizens have already taken leave of absence from their respective work places to contest the elections but we still have a group of men and women who still call themselves Cabinet ministers. Why are they still in office? Should they be in office really?’

In a direct plea to Swaziland’s King Mswati III, Thwala wrote, ‘We go to the nominations today Your Majesty a confused lot. As you read this letter we are not sure whether we are going or coming or both. We do not know whether what we are doing is right or wrong. Your country needs direction now and it can only be you to lead us. The people you entrusted with such a task have failed.’

In a news report headed Confusion, chaos, controversy, the Times Sunday reported (3 August 2008) on the first day of nominations, ‘Some of the problems that elections officers had to surmount were rowdy voters who learnt on the day that they were “not eligible” to vote.

'They were later allowed after the EBC allegedly admitted it made a blunder. In other areas, such as Kwaluseni, land or chieftaincy disputes delayed the nomination process, while in some cases, elections officers were forced to postpone. In Northern Hhohho, a number of nominating venues had to cancel due to problems that came to the fore just before starting time, while some delayed but proceeded later.

‘The EBC offices at Nkhanini were inundated with calls from elections officers and returning officers who came across different kinds of problems, some of which forced them to postpone.’

The report went on, ‘While some of the people were rejected as nominees because they were currently employed in public office some who are in similar positions were nominated without a fuss. Although some had to show proof that they had resigned from employment, one teacher from Nhlangano lied to election officers, claiming that he is employed in a shop in Nhlangano. His name was not immediately revealed, however, he is currently being probed for fraud.’

The Times of Swaziland yesterday (4 August 2008) in a report headed Shock, surprise, chaos at nominations said, ‘Though preliminary reports from the EBC show that it has so far been smooth, various reports from across the country show otherwise.’

It went on, ‘While many ended the weekend on a good note, toasting to a possible seat in the august house, television star Themba Xaba saw his dream up in smoke after he was disqualified, while numerous other civil servants with no leave forms were also turned back.’

The report added, ‘At Butfongweni area, residents were, however, stunned when a chief’s daughter allegedly tried to use her connections to get nominated.’

A separate report in the Times (4 August 2008) gave details of the incident, ‘According to the polling station’s presiding officer, identified as Mrs Mthupha, people had to be dragged from their homesteads in order for them to “second” the princess’ supposed nomination.

‘“She came here with instructions, which she said were from the Elections and Boundaries Commission. The instruction was to the effect that we should include her name in the list of nominated candidates,” she alleged.

‘The presiding officer said the incident caused a temporary halt to the election process as the polling officers would hear none of what the chief’s daughter was saying.

‘Mthupha disclosed that the “Princess” first arrived at the polling station on Saturday but was turned back by the polling officers because she had no proof of registration with her.

‘“On Saturday her name was raised but it was later discovered that she was not eligible to participate here since she was registered under Mbekelweni,” she explained.

‘The action by the polling officers did not go down well with the royal family member who then took up the matter with the EBC, which later sent word that she must be allowed to participate in the election. The message was communicated through Returning Officer Driven Nkhambule.’


Monday, August 4, 2008


Times of Swaziland

4 August 2008

PM Themba Dlamini not running for elections


MBABANE – The Prime Minister, Absalom Themba Dlamini, is not running for the legislative elections which got underway over the weekend.

"He said he was only prepared to cast the vote for other people, but showed no interest in running for the polls," said Government Spokesperson Percy Simelane.

A section of the curious public had already raised concerns over the timing of the recent trip to Zambia by the Prime Minister, saying it worked to the detriment of the out-going government leader.

Dlamini only jetted into the country on Saturday morning after representing His Majesty King Mswati 111 in the recent Smart Partnership dialogue that was held in Lusaka, Zambia, while the date of the nominations for the legislature were held over the weekend.

An aspiring candidate for the polls is not allowed to be nominated in absentia.

Simelane said the PM’s stance on the elections should not, however, be interpreted to mean that he is no longer interested in politics.

"He only showed a lack of interest in running for the elections at constituency level, but that does not mean he is retiring from politics. He never said anything to that effect," he said.

Even during the last polls in 2003, the prime minister did not contest the elections but was only appointed by the king.

At the time of his appointment, he was the Managing Director of Tibiyo Taka Ngwane, a parastatal that is held by the king in trust for the Swazi nation.

Dlamini is also a businessman and a farmer of repute.

He runs two petrol filling stations situated in Manzini and Matsapha.

He is also the only prime minister in the country to run the state’s affairs from his own house, situated in the gated Suburb of Honey Crescent, Mbabane.



Times of Swaziland

4 August 2008

Shock, surprise, chaos at nominations


imageMBABANE – The nominations weekend has ended amid a lot of drama.

Though preliminary reports from the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) show that it has so far been smooth, various reports from across the country show otherwise.

Some of these problems have been caused by the short notice given to aspiring candidates to prepare for the nominations as well as the delayed Voters Roll.

In the North of the country Deputy Minister Hlobsile Ndlovu was stunned when she found her name mysteriously missing on the ‘draft’ Voters Roll, while in the South police had a tough time handling Titus Thwala’s supporters as he re-ignited his contest with Johannes Ndlangamandla.


While many ended the weekend on a good note, toasting to a possible seat in the august house, television star Themba Xaba saw his dream up in smoke after he was disqualified, while numerous other civil servants with no leave forms were also turned back.

Thousands of people this weekend flocked to nominate a variety of personalities they believe will change their lives for the better.

At Butfongweni area, residents were, however, stunned when a chief’s daughter allegedly tried to use her connections to get nominated.

And living up to the billing of surprises, the last day of the nominations saw SBIS soccer commentator Rodgers Mamba getting the nod to seek a career path similar to S’gayoyo Magongo, who went from commentator to MP and later minister.

One time musician and former soccer star Cosmo Mthethwa has also been nominated, as well as Robert Magongo.

The next stage is primary elections billed for August 23.


Times of Swaziland

4 August 2008

Hlobsile’s name disappears from voter’s roll

MBABANE – The heated nominations battle took a shocking twist when Deputy Minister Hlobsile Ndlovu’s name disappeared from the voter’s roll.

This is despite that the Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Youth Affairs registered and has a Voter’s Card making her eligible to vote or be voted for in the Pigg’s Peak inkhundla.

The Times has reliably gathered that the incident almost saw the popular personality missing out altogether but she was saved by the fact that she had her card with her. When reached for comment, Ndlovu said she was surprised by what happened.

"How does this happen? Had I not had my card and known my ID number I may have been excluded!" she said.

When the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) Communications Officer Sabelo Dlamini was reached for comment last night, he said the officers acted accordingly.

"At the moment, the Voters roll is a draft, so if you do not appear on it but have a card then you can proceed to participate. However, you then have to raise a concern so that in the final one you are not excluded. If Ndlovu had been excluded in the final roll then it would be another issue," he said.

He said there were many reasons that may have led to her name going missing. He said she may have been placed in another area or it was genuinely forgotten.

Ndlovu, a former Marketing Manager, could be going in for a second term in parliament if she is eventually voted for.

She is competing with Reggie Lukhele and Dumsile Ndlovu, amongst others.


Times of Swaziland

4 August 2008

NKAMANZI – Drama unfolded yesterday here when residents looted a bucket of fat cakes that was bought by Enterprise Minister Lutfo Dlamini.

The minister had bought the fatcakes as a gift to his supporters during the nomination exercise.

The five minutes drama happened at the Nkamanzi umphakatsi.

It was gathered that a faction of people had gone to the minister to request that he buy them these cakes.

However, when the minister had agreed the residents suddenly rushed to the vendor in anticipation to get one.

This resulted to a wrangle over the fatcakes.

When drawn for comment, the Enterprise and Employment minister said there was nothing sinister regarding his gift to the people.

"The panic was caused by the fact that the fatcakes were not enough for everyone to have one," said the minister.

On another note, the minister was nominated to participate in the race to Parliament. When his name was called, most people rushed to support the minister.

It took the presiding officer to help restrict jubilant residents from having their way to the minister.

The minister will face five other aspiring MPs. These are Njabulo Mamba, Dumsani Gule, Sarah Dlamini and Ntombenkulu Mhlanga


Times of Swaziland

4 August 2008

Hlobsile to compete with brother’s wife


PIGG’S PEAK – Women have come out in support of Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Youth Affairs Hlobsile Ndlovu.

Ndlovu, and three others, were nominated and further supported by a faction of women in yesterday’s nomination exercise here.

However, she will have to battle it out with her sister-in-law Dumsile Ndlovu, who is a Pigg’s Peak councillor and wife to Lucky Save Supermarket owner. Overjoyed residents screamed their lungs out in support of the former Pigg’s Peak MP, who made her name in entertainment circles, while she was still an official at PSI.

Jubilant supporters flocked around the minister, while applauding and celebrating her nomination to participate in the race to parliament.

The deputy minister, who was in the company of her mother, was nominated by Sibongile Dlamini.

However, it seems the race has begun again as Ndlovu will have to compete with the town’s mayor Reggie Lukhele and others in the race to parliament.

Notable, the mayor also got a huge support from his supporters when his name was nominated.

In a similar scenario to that of the deputy minister, scores of women and youth supported the mayor immediately he was nominated.


Times of Swaziland

4 August 2008

MBABANE – A daughter to a chief is alleged to have tried to use her connections to force her way into the list of nominated candidates yesterday.

The incident unfolded at Butfongweni Umphakatsi, under Ekukhanyeni Inkhundla.

According to the polling station’s presiding officer, identified as Mrs Mthupha, people had to be dragged from their homesteads in order for them to ‘second’ the princess’ supposed nomination.

"She came here with instructions, which she said were from the Elections and Boundaries Commission. The instruction was to the effect that we should include her name in the list of nominated candidates," she alleged.

The presiding officer said the incident caused a temporary halt to the election process as the polling officers would hear none of what the chief’s daughter was saying.

Mthupha disclosed that the ‘Princess’ first arrived at the polling station on Saturday but was turned back by the polling officers because she had no proof of registration with her.

"On Saturday her name was raised but it was later discovered that she was not eligible to participate here since she was registered under Mbekelweni," she explained.

The action by the polling officers did not go down well with the royal family member who then took up the matter with the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC), which later sent word that she must be allowed to participate in the election. The message was communicated through Returning Officer Driven Nkhambule.

When sought for comment, Nkhambule confirmed that there was such an incident but preferred not to commit himself on the issue, referring this reporter to the EBC office.

Chairman of the EBC Chief Gija said the issue was not reported to him. He however, said such things could happen because the voters’ roll that is currently displayed at the chiefdoms was preliminary and also bound to have a lot of mistakes.

"But such things will be sorted out before the primary elections," he said.

The chairman said it could happen that the matter was handled by other officials from his office.

The issue might not go down well with certain civic organisations that are challenging the existence of the electoral commission, saying its composition has a potential to interfere with its independence.

The case is pending before the High Court.


Times of Swaziland

4 August 2008

Njabulo Mabuza nominated but …


imageKHUBUTHA – Minister of Health and Social Welfare Njabulo Mabuza was yesterday nominated for national elections.

This is despite ill-feelings from certain quarters within his constituency.

Mabuza was nominated at Nhlalabantfu Royal Kraal with five other aspiring candidates.

The others who joined Mabuza in the race include Mbongeni Nkambule, Brian Zwane, Sithembiso Dlamini, Percival Nhlabatsi and Mkhawuleni Nhleko.

Mabuza, who served in the Eighth Parliament as a Member of Parliament for the Khubutha Constituency, will face a stiff competition not only from these candidates but also from four other nominees from Ngobelweni Umphakatsi.

The quartet includes Nhlanhla Simelane, Lazarus Sambo, Elizabeth Lukhele and businessman Bernard Zwane.Some of the voters who were interviewed at the two polling stations said they were keenly awaiting the election date but minced no words in saying they wanted to vote fresh blood to Parliament.


"The problem we faced here was that our previous MP (Mabuza) was very busy and he could not help us in developing the area. We want someone who is not too occupied because we have seen that it is difficult to elect someone who has a lot to do," said one vocal lady, who pleaded for anonymity in fear of victimisation. Another elderly woman said she would vote for a young person who is focused and keen to develop the area. She noted that the previous MP had too much to do and found himself forgetting that the people wanted to see development.

The woman, who said she had to travel for over three kilometres to the polling station, said her wish was to see the area’s MP being a young man who did not have too many commitments.

Besides being the country’s health minister, Mabuza is also a businessman, who runs a transport business.

Immediately after his nomination, Mabuza quickly left the umphakatsi probably to attend to other important duties.

The nominees were then taken to the Kaphunga Police Station, where their fingerprints were taken for screening.

Nominations at this constituency were as follows;

Nhlalabatfu Umphakatsi Member of Parliament

1. Mbongeni Nkabinde

2. Njabulo Mabuza

3. Brian Zwane

4. Sithembiso Dlamini

5. Percival Nhlabatsi

6. Mkhawuleni Nhleko

Indvuna Yenkhundla

1. Nonhlanhla Dlamini

2. Michael Dlamini

3. Nkingo Lukhele

4. Sithembiso Simelane

5. Florence Manana

6. Job Kunene

7. Meshack Mdluli

8. Happy Nkambule

9. Salebona Nhleko

Bucopho Benkhundla

1. Majaheni Nkabinde

2. Siphiwe Nkambule

3. Mandla Tshabalala

4. Sandile Ndwandwe

5. Mndeni Mathabela

Ngobelweni Umphakatsi Member of Parliament

1. Nhlanhla Simelane

2. Bernard Zwane

3. Lazarus Sambo

4. Elizabeth Lukhele



Times Sunday

3 August 2008


By Mbongeni Mbingo (Editor, Times Sunday)

Mara Why?


I am frustrated. I love my country, and am a patriot. I know also that people expect us to always defend the system, defend the actions of our leaders, and sometimes this is impossible. Like what has happened this week—how do we defend this? How do we make sense of this?

The elections have always been presented as a mockery, since the day Chief Gija and his commissioners were handed to us, but I do not see the leadership—or the EBC itself trying to prove that this was a masterstroke, or that these people are capable of doing the job at hand.

Right now, I am convinced they cannot do the job and they are an embarrassment. I hope they know this, because we cannot disguise it any more.

My frustration today has a lot to do with why the elections are made to be such a mess. I am wondering if people are deliberately doing things to embarrass our king and country and to make sure that the elections flop. I wonder what is there for them when they achieve their goal, but it is perfectly clear right now that there are dark forces pulling this country back.

I can’t fathom how we could get things this wrong—so embarrassingly wrong! This week, our EBC decided—or should we say they realised—that there needed to be the nominations, the first step toward the elections. The people were not given enough time to prepare, and shockingly, the EBC, its polling officers and everyone else expected to help, were not ready.

It was like we were all caught off guard. This shocked me. Who decided that this weekend should be the beginning of the elections, and when was this decision taken? Why was it not communicated to the public in time?


I am assuming this latest comedy of errors goes to show that people were right to question Chief Gija’s leadership qualities. It goes to show too that people were right to question the commission’s qualities in pulling this off. It also is proof enough that people do not know what it is they are supposed to do, no matter how much they are paid.

The EBC is obviously clueless of what it really must do, and what it needs to pull things off. It’s like someone has to tell them when to do things, obviously that person expecting that by then certain things would have been prepared to ensure that what needs to be done will be executed. For Gija and his team, they are giving us the impression they too are taken by surprise.

So, how do they justify their hefty pay packages? How do they justify being in office, by the number of blunders they make?

This is frustrating because it gives the world the idea that we are not capable of putting our house in order, or in fact of getting people who could run things properly and efficiently. The world always has to look at us as the laughing stock, people who couldn’t be serious, and a country lacking in leadership. Yet, this is not true. This country has a lot of men and women who can do far better than what we are being given by such people as the commissioners in the EBC. This is shocking, to say the least, and in other countries—where there is perfect democracies, or where those in power are accountable to the people—this is a fireable offence.


Right now, as Gija reads this, he would have been asked to go back and play with his kids, or indeed, take up his job at the Water Services Corporation. He would have been told that he had flopped. He would have been told the people deserve better.

The problem with this country, however, is that we do not have such people even in our leadership, people who will worry what the people will say. Instead, we have people who only want to say it is okay, we will mess up some other time.

Chief Gija was never the right candidate for this job. He was never the man to be given such a task. And it shows, since he took over, he has presided over what has been a mockery of the whole process. He has made this a shambles, and has succeeded in proving that this system of governance either needs an overhaul, or is simply tired.

He can’t be blamed alone of course, but he is the man bearing the brunt, and therefore the buck stops with him.

I was shocked that he would expect that the nomination process would progress smoothly, with just a few days notice. It was evident in the manner that this was handled that he was ill prepared, from the announcements suddenly being run on the radio, to the poling officers being suddenly called up to meetings (they were given too little time) that this was going to be a disaster.


And so it has been, and what will we get? We won’t even get an explanation. We won’t even get the sacking this demands.

I have to say, however, that this reminds me of the mess that is at Miss Swaziland. It has to begin with the way the small things are allowed to go on that we cannot expect the bigger ones to fall into place. While I always imagine that this country operates like it leaves everything to either miracle, prayer or chance, I believe that this thinking must be discouraged.

Last weekend, for instance, Vinah Mamba-Gray put together a fantastic show to crown this country’s most beautiful girl.

She had known since early this year that she would stage the finals at the Convention Centre, and immediately started planning. Her planning was not up to scratch, the event started late, and really late. People were scurrying around looking for one piece to fall, before the event could take off. It was like she too had been taken by surprise, yet she knew all along the Miss Swaziland finals were coming.

Of course, they always say there is no hurry in Swaziland, but my this is what holds this country back. It appears it is contagious, although in the case of the EBC, this was poor planning of shocking levels.

Speaking of the Miss Swaziland pageant, I also have to say I am disappointed that the public has found issue with the picture of the former beauty queen than what the real issue was here. Yes, the picture has caught everyone’s eye—and rightly so, I might add—but it appears the public has forgotten what the matter at hand was.

The former queen gave an insight into what happens in the life of a beauty queen, and in her case with the people supposedly the sponsors of the pageant. This is a national concern and it cannot be ignored. The queen was telling us of problem that if it goes unnoticed will spread to the level where people simply expect it to happen.

I would have expected the nation to have responded to this with shock, that the pretty girls are asked to parade in men’s bedrooms for some lousy sponsorships. But no, that is totally ignored, and all people cared about what a picture they found to be too much for them to handle.


The supposed sponsor will be let off the hook. The pageant director will think nothing of the problem because she will not feel the pressure of making sure the girls are properly chaperoned, and that everything is above board. The pageant director will continue to demand that girls show a little smile to the sponsors, so that she can benefit for the next event.

The corruption will go on and on, until one parent realises that his or her child has been used.

By then it will be too late.

I admired Nkosingiphile Dlamini for her courage to speak up against this, for it shows the level of integrity that she operates under. I admire her for it shows she cannot accept being bullied, and that she will speak up if corrupt people expect her to stoop to their levels.

As for the picture, the less said the better. However, I will say this, to those readers of this paper who found it in bad taste, I will offer our apologies and assure them that this newspaper considers their taste each time the paper is put together.

If people found it too much, I will accept that perhaps in hindsight, we should not have used it. I don’t want to go on the defensive. I just want to assure our loyal readers that we will not lose sight of our responsibility to being a family newspaper, and that we learn everyday.

As for Gija and his team, they must bury their heads in shame, and I will ask, why does this happen to us? This weekend’s events have shown that we want to hand this country to those who have been calling for the elections to be boycotted.