Times of Swaziland
25 August 2008
Media kicked out of Mambatfweni polls
By ARTHUR MORDAUNT
MAMBATFWENI – The media was on Saturday barred from covering the Primary Elections under the Mambatfweni chiefdom.
The chiefdom falls under Mahlangatsha constituency. It is the same constituency where Phumelele Schools’ director Sabelo Mavuso is contesting a Parliamentary seat.
The Returning Officer, who did not give his name, said the media was not allowed to cover the elections there. He told the Times news team that they needed permission from the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) before it could be allowed in.
Asked what kind of permission was required, he said the team should just go to the EBC offices and that is where everything would be explained.
Efforts were made to get in touch with the EBC team but they were unsuccessful. However, EBC’s Sabelo Dlamini promised to consult with the chairman, Chief Gija, to get an explanation on the matter.
The Times team was not the only one barred as a crew from Channel Swazi TV station was also forbidden to cover the assignment. They also resorted to conduct interviews and take shots outside Mavovokati A.M.E. Primary School where the elections were conducted.
Interviewed, Mavuso said there was nothing sinister there.
"I grew up here and I know these people. For me, this is just a game. I can’t say whether the people here came to vote for me or not but ultimately they will decide who they want to represent them in Parliament," Mavuso said.
Mavuso once hit the headlines in the Job Summit E50m Capacity Building fund where he was charged as one of the 10 suspects. That matter is still pending in court for over a year. He, however, pleaded not guilty.