2 August 2008
Where is Indvuna yenkhundla here?
By Alec Lushaba
Imiphakatsi and other local authorities will be expected to nominate candidates for Indvuna Yenkhundla today and tomorrow, despite the fact that the Constitution does not establish such a vacancy.
The only time where the Constitution talk or refer to an Indvuna yenkhundla is in section 81 (3) where it establishes Bucopho (Inkhundla Committee).
It states: Bucopho operate under the chairmanship of the Indvuna Yenkhundla who supervises the activities of the inkhundla and also convenes and presides over meetings of the inkhundla.
Explaining the omission of the establishment of the office, Attorney General Majahenkhaba Dlamini said the Constitution does recognise the role and function of the Indvuna Yenkhundla even though it does not establish it per se.
“For purposes of this national election, we have used the King’s Order in Council of 1992 which contains the Establishment of the Parliament of Swaziland Order, the Elections Order and the Voter Registration Order.
“In as much as the office of Indvuna Yenkhundla is established in that order in the form that the King would appoint the Indvuna, he has delegated that power to the people to use the same system of electing people into Parliament and Bucopho Committee. So despite what the Election’s Order say, we have chosen the democratic way of choosing a person who is through a secret ballot, not appointment as per the order,” the AG explained.
Section 4 of the Elections Order, 1992 states:
(1) The king may appoint an Indvuna yeNkhundla to supervise the activities of the Inkhundla and to see to it that all the functions of the Inkhundla are duly performed.
(2) The nomination of candidates for indvuna yenkhundla election shall be by acclamation by Bandlakhulu at each umphakatsi.
(3) The King shall appoint as Indvuna yeNkhundla a person elected by the members of the inkhundla concerned by secret ballot who shall be presented to the King by the Chiefs of that Inkhundla.
(4) The Indvuna yenkhundla shall preside over meetings of the inkhundla or the Inkhundla Committee (Bucopho).
(5) The tenure of office of the Indvuna yeNkhundla shall be five years.
Dlamini further stated that appropriate amendments would be done in the Constitution, but at the moment they are still observing which areas need to be amended. “It is not a new thing that a Constitution is amended to comply with the dictates of that time. Our neighbours, South Africa’s constitution is fairly new but has also gone through the same process of amendment several times,” he said.
The AG said other than amending the Constitution, his office is doing an audit of laws that need to be amended to conform with the spirit of the Constitution.
When the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) chairman Chief Gija was asked on the same matter, he preferred that the office of the AG be the one dealing with it.