20 September 2008
Majority must rule
By Thulani Thwala (Editor)
Keep It Short and Simple (KISS), that’s the book I am currently reading. I like it. It revolves around keeping things short and simple. According to the book, humans in general or by nature like it short and very simple. Here, I am strictly talking about reading and writing, nothing less, nothing more.
Despite that I am halfway to the end of the book I thought I should put its theory part to the test. Practically speaking! The author of the book attaches emphasis on the glaring fact that you can stand up by sitting down.
Today, I am doing just that.
My brief agenda today relates to making a sincere plea to all those responsible of advising His Majesty King Mswati III when it comes to people he should appoint into both Houses of Parliament.
The king is expected to appoint 10 men and women into the House of Assembly to join the 55 individuals to be elected from the same number of Tinkhundla Centres. By tomorrow we should be aware of the elected individuals.
The king will further appoint 20 men and women into Senate to join 10 others who shall be elected by the complete House of Assembly. This effectively means the king will avail jobs to 30 Swazis.
In recent times the king’s appointments sharply contradicted the will of the people by the people for the people. And I know the king is aware that he is king by the people for the people.
The king has been made to appoint into Parliament dismal losers who had been rejected by the masses from their respective Tinkhundla Centres. I appeal that such should not be repeated. It may be correct, but I strongly feel it’s not right.
To me it is only logical that when hundreds or thousands of people elect to withhold their votes against someone, it’s a vote of no confidence, period.
The appointment of elections losers comes as an insult to the voters. A huge one!
The begging question becomes; why do we go to polls if the people we vote out of office are taken back through the back door? I am hoping that members of the sleeping Liqoqo who are responsible for such are not going to let us down.
For starters, all the MPs and ministers who are already out of the Parliament race should not be considered for any possible Parliament related appointments.
This (ignoring them) would give credence to the elections process.
As it stands, our elections are a sham. Here I am talking about the whole process. For elections to be considered free and fair it’s not about hosting observers (some from countries who have had sham elections) and it’s not about providing voters with transport to the polling stations, but respecting their votes.
Their votes are powerful.
Take for instance the case of S’gayoyo Magongo, our former Public Service and Information Minister who lost at the primary stages of the elections. He rightly pointed out after his expected loss that; "the people have spoken".
Indeed, the people spoke through their votes.
The people of his chiefdom made it clear through their votes that S’gayoyo does not deserve to be in Parliament and I seriously do not believe that later on someone should go against the views of the thousands of people.
Another interesting case is that of former Finance Minister Majozi Sithole who despite relentless efforts by his people to take him back to Parliament refused. In his own words, Majozi said he wanted to give fresh minds a chance.
A fair statement to come from a man who was part of a politically sick Cabinet. Now, since Majozi has taken a leaf from what Nelson Mandela did in South Africa (by retiring from politics) it would be absurd to see him in Parliament and subsequently in Cabinet again.
I hope Majozi would resist any shock appointment that could come like he did when his people wanted to elect him. Again, I expect the same from the 65 MPs when electing the 10 individuals to while away time in Senate.
They should not elect losers because that would amount to an insult to the people of the Inkhundla. I read somewhere that already losers are now lobbying House of Assembly hopefuls to nominate them for the 10 vacant Senate seats.
It would be bad if losers would emerge victors later on. This would endorse that we are going nowhere as a country.
Still on the appointments, I also hope the king will be advised accordingly when it comes to princes and princesses’ appointment. Lamazinyane aBhuza must qualify for these positions than the make-them-feel-good approach to things.
We have princes and princesses who went to school (excluding those who stayed overseas for years learning how to swim) and they are the ones to be considered for important positions.
For instance, Prince Gabheni was a mess. He too knows that. It should not be a problem getting the right princes and princesses if the list I once saw bearing their names is anything to go by.
Princess Dlalisile prepared it.
Again, I do not see the importance of having princes in high positions because we pay them. When I say we here, I am referring to taxpayers.
These people get huge chunks of money from us and giving them easy jobs automatically makes them double earners in a very poor country.
I know some will conveniently argue that culturally there has to be a prince or princess in Cabinet and Parliament.
For progress’ sake let me agree, but then again it must be somebody sound. Being a prince alone should not be a ticket to Parliament, it must come with medulla related issues.
My KISS book dictates that I end today’s topic. See you next week.