10 October 2008
Intense lobbying at MPs’ induction workshop
Stories by Njabulo Dlamini
THERE was intense lobbying for votes from MPs by some persons during the induction workshop for the legislators.
The individuals are hoping to be considered for Senate positions.
Even those who lost the elections were strongly canvassing for votes amongst the recently elected MPs who had converged at King Sobhuza II Memorial Park for the workshop organised by Parliament.
Mandla ‘DJ Nice’ Dlamini of Lobamba Lomdzala, who lost to Marwick Khumalo, was amongst those pleading with the legislators to consider him for a Senate position.
Another former MP who lost was Maria Ntshangase from Manzini South, who also held a brief caucus with some of the MPs pleading with them to elect her.
Apparently, she also approached Thandi Nxumalo, the MP for Manzini South whom she had a brush with recently over the results of the constituency.
Mkhiweni runner-up Gideon Dlamini is a favourite among MPs for nomination into senate. He also had a brief stint with the MPs but could not be allowed into the auditorium.
There was a strong presence of women who outnumbered the men seeking to be considered by the MPs for Senate positions.
In terms of the constitution, MPs are obliged to elect no less than five women for Senate, which is half the number of Senators to be elected by the House of Assembly.
After the election of 10 Senators by MPs, His Majesty King Mswati III will then appoint 20 persons into the Senate to join these.
Attorney General Majahenkhaba Dlamini took MPs through some parliamentary procedures such as election of Speaker and Deputy as well as on qualities of persons to be considered for Senate positions.
When Nonhlanhla Dlamini, Ludzeludze MP, called for profiling of the persons to be considered for the posts, she was booed by her colleagues.
Dlamini had said MPs should consider the profiles and academic achievements or otherwise of individuals for Senate positions such as legal background, after noting the deficiencies amongst them as MPs.
“We should elect persons who will add value to the legislature and nation,” she had said. But the likes of Aaron Dladla said they knew the qualities to look for on the candidates, dismissing the option of profiling them.
Today, MPs are to be sworn in and thereafter elect the Speaker and Deputy.