Times of Swaziland
11 September 2008
How now Hlobi
By ARTHUR MORDAUNT
PIGG’S PEAK – The gullibility and susceptibility of voters to being manipulated was exposed here yesterday after the area’s outgoing MP told the electorate she was responsible for bringing elderly grants and OVCs fund to the nation.
Even though one might argue that Hlobsile Ndlovu might have just been highlighting achievements of the 8th Parliament of which she was a member, from the reaction to her statements it was obvious that a majority of the crowd believed Ndlovu meant that she had single-handedly brought about these changes.
Adding to the confusion was the fact that Ndlovu said when she ‘brought’ the elderly grants, the aged from her constituency even composed a song about her, which says "Sichamuka nentfombi lemhlophe kangaka" (a reference to her light skinned complexion).
Her supporters, wearing blue t-shirts written kuHLOBIle, took up the song and sang it together with an obviously-on-cloud-nine Ndlovu. She also said she brought money for orphaned and vulnerable children as well as the constitution.
However, not everybody believed these statements as another group started challenging the outgoing MP’s utterances saying she was peddling falsehoods. This sparked a war of words from Ndlovu’s supporters who hurled unpalatable words at this group and gave them degrading terms. One of the challengers even shouted that "nitsengisa lelive (you are betraying the country).
Records show that these funds were announced by His Majesty King Mswati III at different times when he was officially opening Parliament.
From her statements, it was obvious that Ndlovu was convinced she was poised for another term.
"Angitsembe angeke ningente loku lenangenta kona kucala (I’m sure you won’t let me down like before). You elected me and then never gave me the support I needed. I had to go around looking for the electorate to tell me what they wanted from me. I even had to meet people during council meetings. That’s why we were not even successful in addressing the issue of high rates in this town for the poor. I certainly hope we won’t fall in the same trap this time around," said a convinced Ndlovu.
Wearing the same t-shirt as her supporters, the Deputy Minister chanted slogans in obvious reference to herself.
‘Sitsi kunjani?’ she would ask. ‘Kuhlobile,’ her supporters would reply.
Ndlovu then told the people from Pigg’s Peak that she was telling other voters in the chiefdoms under her constituency that the people of Pigg’s Peak needed them to vote for her into Parliament.
She faces tough competition
PIGG’S PEAK – Outgoing Pigg’s Peak MP Hlobsile Ndlovu faces stiff competition from one Themba Mavimbela in the race to Parliament.
Ndlovu, a Deputy Minister in the Regional Development and Youth Affairs portfolio, is running for another term.
However, Mavimbela, a self employed charismatic man of Bulembu has challenged that.
"A wise man changes his mind. If you came here with a candidate already in mind, simply change your mind and vote for somebody new who’ll deliver. I’ve voted for the past three Parliamentarians but nothing has changed for the better in Pigg’s Peak. Instead, the economy has gone down," he said.
He said this time around, they should take an Inkalakatha to Parliament. The people received him well and the women ululated.
One woman went against the tide and asked Mavimbela why they should vote for him when he is self-employed. The aspiring MP said he had devoted his time and life for the improvement of Pigg’s Peak. Others did not ask him questions but simply endorsed him.
"Please, just don’t do like others we have elected before you who left us and never returned here," warned another man.
Musa Mkhonto of Nginamadvolo was another contender. He is the only one among the candidates who spoke matters of policy including education, health and justice.
The other candidates were Stadium Tsabedze and Albert Dlamini.