1 August 2008
'Some chiefs playing dirty games'
AS the race to parliament kick-starts tomorrow, it has been revealed that there are chiefs who tell their subjects which people to nominate and vote for.
These chiefs have their own people whom they want to go to parliament and they have announced their names to their subjects.
Further, they have threatened subjects who will defy this order in the elections.
Ncumbi Maziya, member the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC), revealed this to over 50 chiefs from the Hhohho region yesterday at an election briefing held the Mhlatane High School Hall. "This extremely unacceptable practice has been brought to the attention of the EBC and I want to warn you to desist from it because it is illegal and socially wrong. A person has freedom of choice in matters relating to nomination and voting during election time. As chiefs, do not abuse your noble powers and start telling your subjects whom to vote for. This is wrong and unacceptable," said Maziya. He told presiding officers to be on the look-out for such irregular behaviour and other similar acts of misconduct. Maziya refused to announce the community centres where each of the presiding officers will be stationed. "I'm trying to avoid corruption because if I announce your stations here, dirty aspiring MPs will have a chance to sweet-talk you from today into doing them favours on Saturday and beyond. The EBC is trying to avoid corruption at all costs in these elections," he said. Maziya, who was frequently quoting verses in his address, said all returning, presiding and polling officers will have identity cards for easy recognition by voters. Over 30 presiding officers assembled at the hall for the briefing on how they would work tomorrow. Most of these comprised of senior government employees.