Imbokodvo is ready, is PUDEMO ready for multi- party elections?
The good thing about research is that it helps one predict the future. Research shows that His Majesty King Mswati III will soon unban political parties and call for multiparty elections. If multiparty elections are intro-duced by HMK, we are definitely sure that the monarch will be respected.
We are also sure that peace will prevail. That all concerned parties will execute their agenda with respect. Research shows that where multiparty democracy comes through revolutions, chaos is the order of the day, unless the leaders of the revolting groups have extra wisdom, such as Nelson Mandela, in South Africa. The 2013 elections are well positioned for multiparty ele-ctions. Indicators show that Imbhokodvo is ready for multi-party.
Though, through research I met some senior officials, others are Cabinet members, who are busy formulating a new political party. To be precise they started last year and they too are prepa-ring for 2013 multiparty elections. SWADEPA too, has pronounced its readiness.
I further predict that Imbho-kodvo National Movement will win the elections, PUDEMO will come second and SWADEPA third. Though the me-mbers of the new po-litical party I am tal-king about have money, I doubt they will make it to the top three.
Based on the number of events that have taken place nationally and internationally and the nature and wisdom of His Majesty the King, I suggest you prepare your-self. I am not a politician and nor do I affiliate in any political party. I am a just a shy, simple Swazi, who loves research and business.
Give yourself time and read through the hundreds of speeches by HMK. Further pay attention to how HMK resolves national con-flicts. Though people might think that he is a conservative or traditionalist, research indicates that he is more of a progressive than a conservative. The King does not believe in static culture, but approaches culture as civilisation.
YOUR VOICES HAVE BEEN HEARD
For a number of years, people have been calling for political parties, through demonstrations, blockades, and pickets. The calls were highly deafening during the recent Sibaya. The revolutions that have taken place in other countries have also given the country more information on the extent people can go, just to register their grievances. Though I always condemn violence; I was deeply touched to understand that one of the alleged ‘Lozitha Bridge bombers’, was Musa ‘MJ’ Dlamini. Having known him for years, I never thought such a humble man, like MJ would go to such an extent, just to be heard.
Ever since that catastrophe, I have always lived in fear. You need to have really lived in Swaziland, to understand, that people have lost patience. I don’t believe in vio-lence, at all levels, but rese-arch shows that people are only blocked by death. The only man I fear in this world is one who doesn’t fear death. I always pray for peace and prosperity for the country. The people have spoken and the highest authority has heard your voices. Multiparty has landed in Swaziland. Please give it the dignity it deserves.
Research of the Week
Topic: Supremacy of the Consti-tution: Reality or myth in Swazi-land?
Researcher: Nhlonipho Ernest Dlamini (May 2009)
Swaziland adopted the Constitu-tion Act 1 of 2005 as the supreme law of the kingdom. The Constitu-tion Act came with the clause; "This constitution is the supreme law of Swaziland and if any other law is inconsistent with this constitu-tion, that law shall, to the extent of that inconsistency be void."
By supremacy of the constitution it is meant that the constitution, in the hierarchy of laws in a country, ranks above any other law. This stance of the constitution poses a predicament for the prevailing dual legal system of government. The King-in-Parliament and Parliament is said to be the only body charged with the enormous responsibility to make laws for peace, order and good governance of Swaziland.
The very same King also acts as Ingwenyama in the traditional sense and this means that he can make laws and orders in the traditional spheres, which would tend to contradict those promu-lgated in the common law sphere.
The paramount objective of this research is to investigate whe-ther the Constitution of Swaziland as of 2005, reigns supreme over any law in the kingdom.
Literature review was the main approach adopted in this study.
1. The constitutional law history of Swaziland with regard to the supremacy of the constitution principle:
Provisions of the Consti-tution which have been com-promised:
l Section 20: Equality before the law: There have been indi-viduals of high social status who have been arraigned for fraud; these people have been labelled the ‘E50m suspects’. Their cases have not been heard for years. Some of these individuals have been rewarded by being elected or appointed into Parliament.
l Section 15: Protection of the right to life: On January 15, 2007, the USDF beat to death a South African murder suspect. April 2007, USDF members patrolling the border, shot and killed a man and injured another suspect of smuggling an automobile across the border. On May 24, 2007, Charles Mabuza and his brother Mfanzile were killed during a police raid. On July 1, 2007, police shot and killed Mzamo Hlophe during a marijuana raid. Let alone the death of Mandla ‘Mathousand’ Ngubeni, who was subjected to torture and suffocation by police.
l Section 24: Protection of freedom of expression: Mario Masuku was arrested on Nove-mber 15, 2008 and was charged with unlawfully and knowingly supporting a terrorist act. Where the Attorney General cited ‘utterings’ Masuku allegedly made at the funeral of one of the alleged ‘September bombers’. Masuku was later charged with sedition, hence remanded in detention.
l Section 28: Rights and freedoms of women: In both civil and traditional marriages, wives are legally treated as minors, although those married under civil law may be accorded the legal status of adults if stipulated in signed prenuptial agreement.
2. Abrogation of the prin-ciple of supremacy of the Constitution in Swaziland: The various sections which have been infringed by the Swaziland gove-rnment without any punishment goes to show that Swaziland has failed to live up to the provisions of Section 2 of the constitution. Section 2 can be interpreted to simply mean that every action, whether governmental or priva-te should be backed by the con-stitution. Applying the supre-macy of the constitution princi-ple requires a highly sensitive society and government. In Swaziland, once an organi-sation or an individual exer-cises their rights; they are met with brutal force from the police.
RECOMMENDATIONS AND POINTS FOR REFORM
1. The issue of legal plu-ralism in Swaziland: Swazi-land operates using two dive-rging legal systems. This cre-ates many problems for the Judiciary and thus compro-mises the principle of supre-macy of the constitution. The provisions of the two legal systems are at times in comp-lete conflict and the diversity in each legal system creates a strain in the way the Judiciary is supposed to function.
2. The issue of misconduct by the Executive:
l Swaziland should set up an independent authority to inve-stigate misconduct done by the police. The British government set up a commission called the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
l The introduction of an investigative authority, whose prerogative shall be to inve-stigate white collar crimes.
l Lastly, the government of Swaziland should take steps in direction of establishing the Human Rights and Public Administration Commission as per the dictates of Section 163 of the constitution.
The practice in Swaziland has made the principle of supre-macy of the constitution a myth.
This is your forum; bring your research and keep the nation informed.
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