Times of Swaziland
23 September 2008
Time already ticking for new MPs
To the new Members of Parliament, we say welcome.
Uncertain, the country ponders on the type of parliament this lot will turn out to be. The challenges they face in getting this country back on its feet are unlimited.
In their attempt, they cannot afford to lose sight of the fact that people are fast becoming very impatient with the slow economic and social development in Swaziland.
Recent demonstrations tell it better. The election results should also serve as people’s desperate need for change. Over 60 percent of the previous MPs have failed to make it back.
Not everybody cast a vote and amongst this group are those who want change from outside the ballot box because they have no faith in a tinkhundla transformation.
They have demonstrated the lengths they are willing to go to achieve this with the explosive statements that have claimed people’s lives, even their own.
What is certain is that no matter what the change, we do not want little Swaziland to turn into a mini-Baghdad.
Democracy in Africa is not what is defined in the dictionary. It is what suits the African National Congress in South Africa, the ZANU PF in Zimbabwe and the Imbokodvo ruling party in Swaziland.
But unlike the ANC in dismissing President Thabo Mbeki and others, the Swazi electorate cannot remove an MP who has deviated from the principals’ mandate.
This is where most MPs build a comfort zone and see no need for accountability, transparency or delivery, not to mention urgency in dealing with critical issues allowing ministers to run roughshod.
Any inch towards this zone can only spell disaster. There is no room for passengers in Parliament this time around. All MPs must do their homework and earn their sitting allowances because soon there may be no revenue to them.
Neighbours are waiting for no one in grabbing the few investors still looking our way and sadly we will soon have no peace to serve as an incentive.
May we therefore urge the new legislators to engage top gear in helping to turn the volatile situation into a conducive one because we do not know where the next explosion will come from. This is an uncertainty we just cannot afford. It’s too high a price to pay for a little country.