28 September 2008
Liqoqo completes its rigorous process of nominations
By MAKHOSI MAGONGO
MBABANE—The King’s Advisory Council, Liqoqo, has completed the process of nominating people to be appointed by the king to the House of Assembly.
Each member of the team of 12 powerful main advisors was requested to submit names of five people who have distinguished themselves in the service of the country.
From the names submitted by the committee, the King is expected to choose 10 men and women who will be announced as appointed members of the lower house.
"We were advised to consider all sectors of government and the private sector. Therefore in the nomination, each advisor considered people from the various emabandla, the civil service, those in Foreign Service, the private sector," said a senior advisor of the King, who wields a lot of influence in the country’s traditional structures.
"The reason for this kind of nomination is that a lot of people have been appointed into parliament and Cabinet in the past, and they tended to embarrass the appointing authority. The process is now rigorously done to minimise the possibility of the appointment of incompetent people," said the advisor.
He said at the end of the nomination exercise, the King was expected to be in the possession of 60 names. From that list, 10 names are to be announced by the Elections and Boundaries Commission.
"Previously, each advisor had the chance to suggest a name by word of mouth. But the process proved to be cumbersome and a source of conflict, as some advisors would openly oppose the names of certain individuals.
"Therefore, this time around, each member was required to write the names on a piece of paper. We did that and the Ingwenyama will compile the final list, taking into consideration the names submitted," added the source.
Whether the King has already given the list to the EBC could not be ascertained.
Liqoqo Secretary Bheka Mabuza could not be drawn for comment on the nomination. He could only say: "Officially, I am unaware of that."
However, another SNC member also confirmed that names of nominees were submitted by members to the appointing authority. He said they have yet to nominate people to take up Senate seats.
The sources both concurred that lobbying for parliament and cabinet seats has intensified ahead of the announcement of people to be appointed as legislators, and Cabinet ministers.
The list of people allegedly contacting members of the advisory committee include lawyers, corporate executives, government officials and some women.
"Most of the people contacting some of us are already in positions of authority. Some hold senior positions in banks, government, and private business entities," he said.
The EBC chiefs said they have not received any correspondence in relation to the appointments. Chief Gija said: "We are still waiting for the king to return."
Once the 10 appointees are appointed, Parliamentarians will be sworn in, and subsequently appoint among themselves, people to become senators. The king, in consultation with emabandla, will appoint an additional 20 Senators.