Times of Swaziland
4 August 2008
PM Themba Dlamini not running for elections
By ANDILE NSIBANDE
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.