Times of Swaziland
8 October 2008
Disappointment as only two women appointed
By ARTHUR MORDAUNT
LOBAMBA – Yet again, acts of those in authority have been put on the spotlight regarding the implementation of the country’s constitution.
The latest involves the appointment of Members of Parliament to the House of Assembly by the king.
Constitutionally, His Majesty is supposed to appoint 10 MPs into the House to complement the 55 that are elected in the country’s constituencies.
Section 95 of the constitution states that the king, acting in his own discretion, after consulting with any bodies he may deem fit he will appoint not more than 10 members into the House.
Section 95 (2) (a) and (b) specifically states: "The nominated members of the House shall be appointed by the king so that at least half of them are female so as to represent interests, including marginalised groups, not already adequately represented in the House."
However, only two women were named in the list of the 10 appointees announced by Chairman of the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) Chief Gija yesterday. These were Thulile Dladla and Princess Ncengencenge.
Interviewed, Chief Gija said theirs was only to announce the names as supplied by the appointing authority. Asked if there was any explanation given to them regarding the perceived anomaly, he said there was none.
"Presumably, we shall get an explanation in due course should there be any that is forthcoming," said the chairman.
The Co-ordinating Assembly of Non Governmental Organisations (CANGO) expressed its disappointment at the list.
CANGO Information Officer Bongiwe Zwane said they were expecting more since women did not fare well during the electoral process.
"We are hopeful though that there will be more women in Senate," said an optimistic Zwane.
CANGO was one of the organisations pushing the ‘Vote for a woman campaign.’
Constitutionally, the king is expected to appoint 20 Senators, eight of whom are supposed to be female. About 10 more will be nominated by members of the House of Assembly. Half of these should be female.