16 August 2008
Race to Parly even dirtier
By Bheki Gama
A former Member of Parliament for one of the two constituencies making the Mbabane Municipal City is accused of plotting and executive daring schemes to be re-elected back into the august House.
The ex-legislator has employed young men and women who comb the entire constituency coercing registered people to vote for their employer.
Each pair carries a register where those who agree to vote for the former legislator have their names and voter ID PIN listed.
The Weekend Observer has it on record that several residents in one of the major slums bordering the capital city have been approached at least once and persuaded to register.
The young men meet their employee at least every Friday where they deliver reports and get paid. Members of the community are told that if they register the former MP will pay and assist them with their needs. It was said that the ex-MP distributes several thousands each week through her ‘employees’ who are required to share it with those they were able to recruit.
However, many of those who registered have complained that they have not had a cent from the former MP ever since they registered, and are not happy to see the ‘recruiting officers’ behaving like millionaires in local bars each Friday when they have nothing to show.
One of young women employed by the cunning former legislator was allegedly arrested by Mbabane police after she tried to register a woman working for a locally-based health facility. A senior police officer identified as Sihlongonyane (CID) is said to be the one responsible for the case.
Sihlongonyane allegedly took away the register used by the woman as evidence. However, the Assistant Police Public Relations Officer Stephen Dlamini said the officer refuted any knowledge of the case when ask to confirm it last night.
The Weekend Observer had been informed by a senior police officer that he was aware of the matter and revealed that Sihlongonyane was responsible for investigating it further.
Meanwhile, the same former MP is accused of trying to amass votes using a football tournament named after the ex-legislator’s name. The knock-out tournament launched and started last month, on the eve of the nominations.
Officials of the tournament said it was designed to end with the finals on September 1.
However, one of the officials said there was noise over the games in that several other parliamentarian hopefuls have since registered their displeasure, accusing the ex-MP of using tactics to have an unfair advantage over them. He added however, that the MP’s tourney will be played this afternoon at a local football ground.
When asked about the allegations the former MP denied this through a male companion, who said it was all lies designed to tarnish the ex-MP’s name and therefore get him/her out of the race to parliament.