The untold story at Esibayeni
History was made the very day His Majesty King Mswati III summ-oned the nation to the Cattle Byre. There was a lot of speculation on what the King would say at eSibayeni.
A majority were of the view that he would issue orders.
Rumour mongers speculated that he would dissolve Parlia-ment, he would remove much talked about Finance Circular No.1 of 2010, or would urge that all the sacked teachers be reinstated to their job, or even give 4.5 per cent increment to all civil servants.
However, to the nation’s surp-rise, he commissioned the Peo-ple’s Parliament. He invited the nation to come with solutions engulfing this beautiful Kingdom of Swaziland. He also gave them the chance to have a say on next year’s elections. What a privi-lege, indeed we are free and independent in Swaziland.
We have a caring, wise, and understanding King.
I managed to attend Sibaya on Wednesday and I should say Mkhulu was impressed, perhaps impressed is not the right adjective. Swazis are very vocal.
They speak their mind without fear or favour when they are in the presence of His Majesty.
Today I want to take you dear reader to Wednesday’s People’s Parliament. For those who did not make it, relax Mkhulu will bring you a plate full of untold stories at eSibayeni.
From the entrance, I found two soldiers. I was so much in a hurry to enter the cattle byre that I almost passed without the soldiers doing a body search on me.
The rather masculine soldier cautioned me ‘Hey Mkhulu, you are not allowed to pass here without us doing a body search’. As the soldier searched me, on my right, another old man was searched, and they found an okapi knife. I wondered why a Mkhulu would bring a knife to eSibayeni. It seemed as if they reached a mutual agreement and Mkhulu would have to leave his tool at the entrance.
Upon entering the cattle byre, I was really taken as I saw so many people converged in one place. I should say I was disappointed that a majority of the Swazis were not clad in traditional regalia. I concluded that maybe the cold weather prompted them to opt for the western dress code.
As I went looking for a place to sit, I saw a couple of familiar faces. Besides my neighbour Mkhulu Ngila, my attention was drawn to the north side of Sibaya.
I recognised the few faces, the Prime Minister Sibusiso Barna-bas Dlamini, and next to him was Dr Samuel Hynd and Prince Bandzile, and a few metres away was Prince Sihlangusempi, adja-cent to him was Princess Sikha-nyiso, on the other far side I noticed senate Themba Msibi.
Within a few minutes I was settled and was surprised to have settled five metres away from Jan Sithole. He had not noticed me as he was glued towards the stage where submissions were being made. I am reminded of an article I wrote about him last week and I hoped he would not question me, thank God, he did not.
I listened attentively as Swazis poured their hearts out to the King. I was really impressed by a speaker who just hit the nail on the head. He was a grown man, approximately in the late 40s. He said the King had already took all the decisions when he called the Sibaya. In his own words he said: ‘’Ingwenyama ibonile kutsi kunetinhlaftu lekumele tinhla-ntiswe tingakayi ekhaya’’, loosely meaning His Majesty the King is of the view that there is a python that has eaten, and it must be made to bring up the contents of its stomach.
He was referring to the mini-sters who benefitted from Circu-lar No.1 of 2010. He said they are unlucky because they will have to remove the circular not to review it. I sat there and tried to digest his speech.
When he said that, I tried to read the Prime Minister’s expression but I found that he was facing the ground.
I have to agree with him, the King did not want to take decisions by himself but because he is intelligent, he knew that Swazis would reveal all the wrongs that were happening in the country.
Imagine this, let us say His Majesty the King dissolved Parliament or removed the controversial circular, all the ministers and Members of Parliament would not object to this because Sibaya has spoken. The King needed the nation’s support before executing some of these decisions. Take it from the old man, heads will roll, history will be made while the nation’s pride will be restored.
Another speaker, who got many people mumbling, was Queen Shongwe, the famous whyless listener. I laughed when she talked about her ban on SBIS. However I should point out that she raised important points.
Among them, she pointed that ever-thorny issue of teachers who were sacked for engaging in an illegal strike.
The unexpected happened when she was summoned by the Ludzidzini governor Timothy Velabo Mtetwa for wearing a head scarf that was in the colours of the Swazi flag. The crowd disapproved of that, one said "leave her alone with the head scarf."
Another speaker, Simangele Mmema said it was time multi-party democracy was introdu-ced in next year’s election before she was booed.
A women 10 metres away from me said Mmema had disgraced them as Litsango.
As the woman settled down the nation looked at her with burning eyes.
I must say, who you are counts, or should I say the way you present your points counts more than anything does. I say this because Jan Sithole said the same thing but was not booed. Jan started by winning the people’s hearts when he mentioned that teachers who were sacked should be given their jobs back, on top of that government should give all civil servants a 4.5 per cent incre-ment.
However, I was confused when he said elderly grants should be given monthly because that is happening already. Perhaps he wanted to say our grants should be increased.
As he spoke, I observed the dignitaries’ reaction. Prince Sihlasengusempi was chatting with Princess Sikhanyiso. My eyes moved to the Prime Minister again, this time he was looking at Jan with a blank facial expression. He ended his speech by saying political parties should be allowed to participate in next year’s elections.
Just when I was about to stand up and make my submission the Ludzidzini acting Governor Timothy Velabo Mtetwa annou-nced that it was time for lunch and the nation dispersed in exuberance.
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