Thursday, September 18, 2008


Times of Swaziland

18 September 2008

Residents rise against Lutfo, Hlobi


MGUNGUNDLOVU – The race to Parliament for Minister of Enterprise and Employment Lutfo Dlamini and Regional Development and Youth Affairs Deputy Minister Hlobsile Ndlovu took a twist yesterday as disgruntled residents protested against them.

The residents have deemed the two ministers as ‘unreliable’. The action, which saw a number of residents involved in the separate campaigns saw Interim Mbabane Mayor, Walter Bennett, being roped into the "we do not want Lutfo" protest.

The "we do not want Hlobsile" campaign was sparked after a E200 000 electricity project allegedly involving the deputy minister failed to materialise.

Bennett was apparently called after some felt that the minister may come and win over some of the people. Interesting was that Bennett is not even from the area and his interest raised curiosity to some people. This was during an election campaign by aspiring Member of Parliament, Joseph Nkambule who will be competing against the minister tomorrow in the secondary elections.

Nkambule was voted for at Ndzingeni and has teamed up with Dumsani Maphanga who lost against Lutfo in the previous elections.

It could not be ascertained how Bennett features in the election campaign but he did not disappoint when delivering his speech as he spoke in parables advising the electorate against voting for ‘dishonest’ people into office.

He did not mention who he was referring to but strongly advised the electorate against accepting ‘fat cakes’, t-shirts and bread allegedly donated by businessmen from the Asian community.

About 400 residents braved the cold weather as they waited for four hours for Bennett to arrive and ‘endorse’ their decision after what they described as a failed-drought fight by outgoing MP (Lutfo).

The obviously unhappy residents, who showed great excitement when Bennett arrived, alleged that they were promised water and other projects by Dlamini.

"For five years, we have been promised water and development but nothing happened. We want justice to be done. We want you to intervene in the exercise of water installation in this constituency," said a woman only identified as Make Magagula.

She was randomly chosen to speak on behalf of the residents.

In his submissions, Bennett advised the residents not to be easily convinced by political activists. His speech was received with great applause.

...angry residents accuse Hlobi for stalled E200 000 project

PIGG’S PEAK - A faction of residents from Nginam-advolo marched to the Swaziland Electricity Company (SEC) to state their bitterness regarding an E200 000 worth electricity project, which never materialised.

The angry residents alleged that outgoing MP Ndlovu was involved in the mismanagement of funds.

It was alleged that E195 000 was paid to the electricity company for the project but nothing has been done. Information gathered is that the residents, during the campaign period, allegedly probed the deputy minister about the whereabouts of the money.

"She told us that the money is with the electricity company. However, when we went to check with the company, we were surprised to find that she only paid E169 000 instead of the E195 000," alleged the residents.

They were told to return today so the matter could be discussed at length.

Numerous attempts to draw the deputy minister for comment failed as her phone was not available on the Swazi MTN network.

Minister Lutfo disappointed

MGUNGUNDLOVU – Ndzingeni MP, Lutfo Dlamini expressed disappointment that the campaign by his counterparts had turned out to be a smear campaign against his personality.

The Minister of Enterprise and Employment said he was disappointed even further by the participation of the Mbabane Mayor, Walter Bennett, who does not even belong in the area. "This clearly should tell you that this was a smear campaign and nothing else. I held my own rally where there were people who spoke positively on my behalf but this was sadly not covered. "Unfortunately it would be difficult for me to respond to the allegations today because I was not there and have a number of concerns with regards the actions of some of the people involved," he said.

The minister said personally he had no problem with people lifting his counterpart in Joseph Nkambule as a worthy candidate but had every concern when they drag his name (minister) in the mud.

He said his focus was on the elections tomorrow and has every confidence that people would be the judge at the end of the day.


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