21 September 2008
(This file contains several reports)
Njabulo Mabuza left scratching his head
By MAKHOSI MAGONGO
MBABANE—Former Minister of Health and Social Welfare Njabulo Mabuza yesterday lost his Parliament seat to a fraud suspect.
Mabuza was the MP for Khubuta constituency for two terms, the last of which he served as a Cabinet minister.
The new MP for the area, according to yesterday’s results, is Charles Myeza, a former police officer who was based at the Police Headquarters.
He resigned from the police force after being arrested and charged for alleged fraud, in that he was part of a racket that allegedly defrauded government hundreds of thousands of Emalangeni.
While his case is still pending in court, Myeza is expected to be sworn in as a Parliamentarian, replacing Mabuza.
According to information released by the police, Myeza got 1 515 votes while Mabuza got an upsetting 644 votes.
According to officials who were present during the counting, tensions were raised as it became apparent that many of the votes were in favour of Myeni, a newcomer in Tinkhundla politics.
Mabuza was also present during the counting, as per election procedure. His phone was not available on the network when sought for comment last night. He was called at 9pm and at 9:40pm.
Prior to politics, Mabuza was a bus operator, trading under the name Mdumiseni Bus Service. His first term in Parliament was less controv-ersial, however he was vocal during Parliament debates. He also served as Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, a parliamentary oversight body for government spending.
When he was re-elected in 2003, Mabuza was appointed to serve as a Cabinet Minister under the leadership of Prime Minister Absalom Themba Dlamini. He replaced Minister Mfomfo Nkambule, who was fired from Cabinet.
Mabuza’s reign at the ministry coincided with the collapse of the health sector in the country. The collapse includes an acute shortage of drugs in hospitals, non-payment of allowances for medical staff, and the shortage of medical equipment to name but a few. However, some of the problems started prior to his appointment. On the bright side, the country’s Health Policy – which is expected to solve many of the current problems – was launched during the tenure of Mabuza. Prior to leaving office, Mabuza allegedly told officers at the Ministry of Heath that he would return to the hot political seat.
MBABANE—Former Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives Mtiti Fakudze has been re-elected to Parliament by a majority of voters under the Dvokodvweni Inkhundla.
His victory was announced yesterday evening after a tense counting exercise conducted by officers from the Elections and Boundaries Commission.
Over 5 000 people under the Dvokodvweni Constituency went to the polls on Friday to elect the Member of Parliament for the area, where Fakudze was running against four other candidates, including former MP Mahlaba Mamba. Fakudze emerged victorious at the end of the day. His race to re-election was not easy, as he was recently accused of abusing government earthmoving equipment in his campaign.
As a result of this allegation, an aspiring MP, Joel Dlamini went to court seeking an order declaring the primary elections at Mdumezulu null and void.
Dlamini, in his affidavit had argued that the elections for the chiefdom were not free and fair since Fakudze, who was still a Cabinet minister, used government tractors and other machinery as a form of a campaign.
The application was on Wednesday withdrawn by Professor Msibi, who was representing Dlamini. However, the people who crammed Malindza High School to vote were oblivious of these allegations as some of those asked about the matter alleged that it was a way of de-campaigning the minister.
Marwick seals the deal
By SIBONGILE SUKATI
MAHLANYA—It is now official, it is third time lucky for Lobamba Lomdzala Member of Parliament Marwick Khumalo as he won by almost 700 votes to get back into parly.
Although Khumalo was nowhere to be seen, his supporters braved the pelting rain and waited outside the voting station until the results were released at around 5pm. Khumalo, who switched constituencies from Lobamba to his new post won with a whopping 1796 votes and was followed by Lynette Charles with 1105 votes. The Times SUNDAY found Khumalo at his home where already over 25 well-wishers were already helping themselves to the food prepared by Khumalo and his family. More people were expected as the beaming Khumalo told this reporter that he was very excited by the win. Even former Senator and friend to Khumalo, Mike Temple, was already at the MPs home.
Interviewed at his residence Khumalo said firstly he was very humbled by the win adding that he was fairly confident that he would make it, as Lobamba Lomdzala was his birthplace.
"To also win by almost 700 votes shows that the people of this constituency have faith in me.
Asked why he had not attended the counting session Khumalo said in all the parliamentary races he has never attended the results bit.
"I believe that I have already done my bit in the campaigning process so being present when counting would not change the result," said Khumalo.
He said although some people might have seen his change in constituency as a risky move he knew that the people of Lobamba Lomdzala were ready for a man of his calibre.
The celebrations were expected to continue till late last night.
Marwick Khumalo 1796
Lynette Charles 1105
Samketi Dlamini 242
By MANQOBA NXUMALO
MBABANE— Gospel artist Frans Dlamini will add to the number of gospel artist-turned- politicians after successfully winning the race to Parliament.
Dlamini won the elections yesterday, beating his fierce contender Machawe Mabuza who had earlier taken a lead and sending fears that he could make the renowned singer bite the dust.
However, it was all systems go for Dlamini, who eventually got 1 184 votes while Mabuza got 719 and third placed Sibusiso Dlamini got 355 votes.
Tension was high at the Nhlambeni Inkhundla yesterday as the four contenders seemed to be getting high votes in their constituencies and were anxiously sitting at the polling station hall watching in disbelief as Dlamini amassed more votes.
However, Dlamini proved his popularity during the last count when he jumped to pole position.
Dlamini will join Ncandweni Christ Ambassadors lead singer Timothy Myeni who also won the elections at Lubulini Inkhundla.
By SABELO MASIMULA and MBONGENI
PIGG’S PEAK—‘Solo Kuhlobile’ and ‘Litsemba LeNdzingeni’ are back in parliament.
This comes after the two ministers, Hlobsile Ndlovu and Lutfo Dlamini, finally won the race to the august House yesterday amid the recent allegations of corruption from both their communities’ residents.
The outgoing ministers, now back in politics, had tough competition in the race to parliament.
Immediately the eventual winner was announced at the Pigg’s Peak’s Magistrate court a wild, ecstatic and sheer exhilarating scene of celebrations vibrated all over the Pigg’s Peak constituency as Ndlovu won a second term to Parliament in what appeared to be a landslide victory.
Ndlovu’s supporters started singing a song which has the lyrics, ‘bayajabula ephalamende, sichamuka nentfombi emhlophe kangaka’ loosely translated, happy they are in parliament as we bring them this beautiful lady’.
In as much as it was expected, a convoy of cars left for the Pigg’s Peak club in jubilation.
Hlobsile Ndlovu won by 1 468 votes and was followed by James Mkhontfo of Nginamadvolo, who snatched 690 votes.
Nash’s son fails, McFord wins it
By NTOMBI MHLONGO
MANZINI—Kip Kip Director Macford Sibandze also booked himself a seat in Parliament by winning the elections at the Manzini North Inkhundla yesterday.
Sibandze defied all odds and beat favourite Bongani Shongwe who is a son to Divine Healing Ministries Pastor Sash Shongwe.
Sibandze won with a massive 1039 votes and Shongwe, who came second, could only manage 729 votes.
Shongwe, as if he knew how things would turn out, did not show up yesterday at the polling station at Hillside High School, but his father did.
The Bishop is said to have informed the polling officers that he was standing for his son who could not make it, but the officers would hear none of it as they felt that his presence would intimidate the other candidates.
Lungelo Dlamini, the teacher who resigned at Hillside High School, could only manage 639 votes and came third.
It is not clear if the school has already found a replacement or not.
Sibandze could not be reached for comment as his mobile phone was switched off for the better of yesterday.
This newspaper tried tracking him from 5pm until at around 9pm, but to no avail.
Roy Fanourakis’ bid stopped by Gamedze
By MANQOBA NXUMALO
MTFONGWANENI— Former Chairman of the Swaziland National Youth Council (SNYC) Patrick Gamedze is the new Member of Parliament representing the Mtfongwaneni Inkhundla.
Gamedze defeated former cabinet minister Roy Fanourakis during the secondary elections held here yesterday.
The tightly contested elections saw Fanourakis losing by 387 votes as Gamedze managed to amass 1 387 votes while Fanaroukis got 997 votes.
During the Primary elections Gamedze attained 553 votes while Fanaroukis got 318 votes. During the voting it was clear that the two enjoyed popularity in the community even though Gamedze appeared to be a darling of the youth while the elderly preferred the former King’s Office Chief Executive Officer.
Some of the contenders who also lost include Ndumiso Gamedze, Eric Dlamini, and Hlobsile Mngometulu.
An elated Gumedze said he was sure that he was going to win because they had done enough ground work ahead of the voting, but said he was equally cautious that politics was a game of surprises.
Gamedze said now that he had won he was making plans that immediately the dust settles he would convene a community meeting where he would take the mandate of the people on what is to be done. He said he was happy that his fierce contender, Fanourakis was taking the defeat as a man and maintained that this race did not mean it would break their long standing friendship.
"I will even consult with him where necessary," Gamedze said.
He said even though he was a parliamentarian in waiting this would not affect his business because he had highly qualified staff that was capable of handling anything in his absence. He assured, however, that outside politics his Insurance business was his number one priority.
During an earlier interview, Fanourakis had said he realised that the elections in his area were tightly contested and was leaving everything to luck. He said he knew that people promise one thing and do another which is why he was not confident of the results.
Irene Zwane, one of the voters, said the first assignment that the new MP would have to do is provide them with public transport. She said they had to walk long distances to the polling station because the area did not have transport.
Zwane said they also had a problem with clean water as they now share their water with animals. She also said they wanted the elderly to get paid monthly even if it’s a paltry E100.