Times of Swaziland
25 August 2008
Hungry Gogo (82) too dizzy to vote
By WELCOME DLAMINI
SIPHOFANENI – Complaints of hunger by voters marred the chaotic primary elections over the weekend.
Most of the electorate vocally registered their grievances, while queuing to cast that most important vote.
Elderly 82-year-old Sikhundlase Gamedze of Madlenya Umphakatsi complained of severe dizziness as a result of having awakened as early as 4 o’clock in the morning to go and cast her vote without a meal.
"Maybe you can help me my grandchild by offering me E5 so that I can buy a fat cake and an ice block, I haven’t eaten since yesterday," the old woman said to this reporter.
The old lady, mother of two, said she woke up before sunrise and left home without having a meal since she thought food would be served at the polling stations because almost always "during national events there is free food".
76-year-old Linda Gertrude said she was near collapse because of starvation as she too had had nothing to eat since morning.
"These people should have provided us with food because the king has given them money," the mother of 10 protested.
She continued: "I felt like giving up as I stood in the queue because I am hungry."
Gertrude said the elections officials should have known that the voting process was going to take a long time, so food should have been prepared.
"If the secondary elections are going to be like this, then one might as well stay away because we can’t come here only to be killed by hunger," she said.