16 August 2008
By Nelsiwe Ndlangamandla
Ngwane Teachers Training College lecturer Dumsani Ndlangamandla’s hopes of standing for elections under Ngudzeni area were dashed when he was told by the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) that he will not be reinstated in the primary elections race.
Ndlangamandla was on Thursday escorted by over 200 Ngudzeni residents to the EBC Head offices at Nkhanini where they demanded that he be reinstated; otherwise they will not go to vote next week.
Ndlangamandla was nominated under Ndushulweni community in the Shiselweni region. He was disqualified from the elections because he did not have the letter which granted him leave of absence from work for five years.
When asked what will happen next he said he would let the people of his community decide.
He said the EBC told him that the gazette stated that nomination time was over so for that reason he could not stand for the coming elections.
Meanwhile, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) has sympathised with the situation public servants find themselves in, stating that the Constitution makes it clear that at nomination stage one should have resigned from his/her position.
“As a commission we may have liked to see it otherwise, like one getting leave of absence once he/she has been voted into whatever position, be it MP, Indvuna or Bucopho, but as it stands we have to work and replace those that have already asked for their leaves. The issue now is what happens if they fail, because they might find out that we have already filled their positions. But we are Swazis they may still have a chance if they fail,” CSC Commissioner Almon Mbingo said yesterday.
CSC Chairman Mntonzima Dlamini said the Constitution in section 97(c) states that a person will not qualify to stand as MP if he has not been granted leave of absence.
“Leave is a condition of service, whose custodians are the Ministry of Public Service and Information. They deal with the PS on that one, not us,” Dlamini said.
Dlamini said he cannot talk on behalf of cabinet ministers on why they remain in office as his is to deal with civil servants.
“Politicians’ matters are the responsibility of the appointing authority who decides on their fate in consultation with the Prime Minister,” he said.
The EBC was not available to comment on the issue when sought yesterday.