28 September 2008
Is Barney the man for the hot seat?
By MAKHOSI MAGONGO
MBABANE—Will Liqoqo pick Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini as the next Prime Minister when the time for nominating possible candidates comes?
This question arises from revelations that he is a frontrunner for the post of Head of Government, vacated by Absalom Themba Dlamini when Cabinet was dissolved last week.
"The events currently happening in the country need a man of Barnabas’ calibre. So far we believe he is the man for the job," said a senior member of the advisory body, Liqoqo.
The king’s advisor was referring to the recent spate of terrorism attacks, the march against Emakhosikati’s trip to the Middle East and Asia, fiscal discipline within government and the imminent threat to the royal family.
"Many members believe that these challenges need an assertive and strong individual who will be in charge of government. We do not want a situation where there are many cabinets within one, where some ministers are more powerful than the prime minister," he said.
The king’s advisor also revealed that the names of Phesheya Dlamini (Former Attorney General, and Ambassador to Kuwait), Mathendele Dlamini, Absalom Muntu Dlamini, and the possible reappointment of A.T. Dlamini also came up in some informal meetings. The advisor said only Barnabas Dlamini’s name came up in a formal meeting.
One of the people who were recently tipped for the post was Phesheya Dlamini, whose age worked against him. "He is still young, yet the position needs a very senior politician," said the advisor.
"The general feeling is that Dlamini is fit for the job," he said.
Asked whether they had considered that Dlamini’s exit coincided with the breakdown of the rule of law, the advisor said: "That has been considered. At the time of his exit, there was no constitution in place. Now we have a constitution in place, so the provisions of such a constitution guide the conduct of a Prime Minister. Therefore, how he went out should not be a problem. What we consider is the vast experience he has in dealing with such problems as those the country’s leadership is facing at the moment."
His Majesty the King is still expected to hold meetings with the SNC where the issue of the prime minister will be concluded.
Once the prime minister is appointed, and a new government is in place, the king is expected to dissolve Liqoqo, and appoint a new team.
Currently, members of the main advisory committee include Prince Sobandla, Prince Mahlaba, Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini, and Chief Magudvulela, to name but a few.
Section 67 of the Constitution states:
(1) The king shall appoint the prime minister from among members of the House acting on recommendation of the King’s Advisory Council.
(2) The king shall appoint ministers from both chambers of Parliament on the recommendation of the prime minister.
(3) At least half the number of ministers shall be appointed from among the elected members of the house.