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Warrant of arrest for Majozi

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LOBAMBA - A warrant of arrest has been issued for Minister of Finance Majozi Sithole for effecting a 10 per cent salary cut on senators’ salaries without their permission.

Senate President Gelane Zwane produced a copy of the warrant in Senate yesterday afternoon at the height of a debate on the salary cuts.

Zwane said all necessary processes had already been arranged to have the minister confined to jail.

"I had even prepared that he would first be arrested and taken to the holding cells here and then be taken to the Lobamba Police Station. Eventually, he would end up at Matsapha Correctional Institute where his wife LaMavimbela would easily visit him to give him mahewu," she said.

The Senate President also said the warrant was still effective and could have long been implemented had it not been for that some senators begged her to obtain permission from the King first.

"I still have not asked the King for this," she said.

The President said the minister had undermined the dignity of Senate and further defied a direct order as the senators resolved not to allow the ministry to deduct 10 per cent from their salaries.

When the Senate President said this Sithole sat still and occasionally looked at the sheathe of books on his table.

The President had also narrated the chronology of events that led to the deduction of their salaries.

"After senators had taken a resolution against the deduction of their salaries, the Clerk to Parliament did as expected and wrote to Cabinet informing them that Senate had this resolution while Assembly had another resolution. However, soon thereafter there was a memorandum from the principal secretary informing the accounts personnel of Parliament that salaries would be deducted," Zwane said.

These comments came as many senators registered their disapproval in the manner in which their salaries were deducted.

It was said the Standing Orders coupled with the Parliamentary Privileges Order confer powers on the President to discipline anyone found to be undermining the dignity of Senate.

DPM to send cops for him

LOBAMBA - Acting Prime Minister Senator Themba Masuku said he would send police to look for Finance Minister Majozi Sithole after he unceremoniously walked out of Parliament yesterday.

Senator Masuku said he had called Minister Sithole on his cellular phone but it was switched off.

"Currently I don’t know where he is and will send police to go and look for him," he said.

Minister Sithole left Senate at about 5.05pm saying he was going to hospital because the barrage of criticism levelled against him during debates had made him ill. After his departure, Senate President Gelane Zwane adjourned the sitting temporarily and called the Acting PM to rush to Parliament.

When Masuku finally arrived at about 6.15pm he was informed of all the discussions during the debates of the 10 per cent salary cuts and how Sithole eventually walked out without obtaining permission.

"I was not here when all that happened as I had to rush to sign some documents. When I heard about this I called the Attorney General to inquire on what should be done. I also called the Finance Minister but his phone was off. For now I will ask for the guidance of the Attorney General on what should be done in such a case."

He said one of the options he had was to have another minister stand in for Minister Sithole but his hands were tied because in law it is Sithole who has to ask for authorisation to have another minister represent him. "I’m still to ask the police to look for the Minister. I’m asking for just 12 hours to 18 hours to find him," he said.

Finance minister lied - Gelane

LOBAMBA – Senate President Gelane Zwane accused the Minister of Finance of lying, that it was Parliament as a whole that had agreed to the 10 per cent salary cuts.

Before his unceremonious departure, the senators spent a full hour lambasting him for defying a resolution that had been taken by the senators against the 10 per cent salary cuts.

The debate had been started by Senator Thulile Msane who presented a copy of the Swazi Observer which carried what the senators said was an erroneous story to the effect that senators were not affected by the 10 percent salary cuts.

Senator Msane said the story which quoted debates in the House of Assembly was unfair because to members of the public, it insinuated that senators were still receiving their full salaries.

As senators debated this, they started criticising Minister Majozi Sithole, saying he was wrong to effect the salary cuts much against a resolution of Senate.

When the minister was finally afforded a chance to speak, he said the accusations against him were unfair because he did not inspire the story in the newspaper.

"I did not write the story that senators are talking about. This story comes from a debate in the House of Assembly. When this issue was discussed some MPs wanted to know if I was aware that allowances of senators were not affected by the 10 per cent salary deductions. We answered and said we did not know that. The Finance Committee said when they followed this they found that there was a memorandum from the Clerk to Parliament. They said this was the reason that the allowances were not deducted. Even in Senate there were about two senators who agreed that the 10 per cent could be deducted from their salaries," he said.

Senate President Gelane Zwane said the Ministry of Finance was wrong to disobey the order of senators on the strength of a resolution that was taken in the House of Assembly.

Majozi’s departure leaves vacancy

LOBAMBA – The unceremonious departure of the Finance Minister Majozi Sithole from the budget debate in Senate was said to have left a vacancy that would need to be filled soon.

Attorney General Majahenkhaba Dlamini said Section 72 of the Constitutions details what must be done when a minister is to be represented by another. It states that the Finance minister has to ask for permission from the Prime Minister to ask another minister to represent him. In this case the Minister of Finance has not done that. "I don’t know if we can say that there is a vacancy at the ministry now that the minister’s whereabouts are not known.

"We can say there is an artificial vacuum now at the ministry. I also don’t know how we can solve this. If another minister is availed to continue with business there is the risk of the incumbent minister showing up to say he should have been consulted first," Dlamini said.

The AG said this when the senators were at a crossroads on how to continue with the Appropriations Bill now that Minister Sithole left them in a lurch. He said the situation that occurred yesterday was the first of its kind in the country as it was unheard of. "No ministry can remain without a minister," he said.

Senate President Gelane Zwane said: "The minister did not even get the permission to go and currently we don’t know if there is still a minister or not at Finance. The acting PM can state if he has the power to appoint another one." Zwane said the Finance minister had committed contempt of Parliament because he was not allowed to leave. Today Senate is to resume debating the Appropriations Bill in committees.

‘Ill’ minister Majozi walks out of Senate

LOBAMBA –Finance Minister Majozi Sithole walked out of Senate complaining of being ill yesterday.

Senate President Gelane Zwane had to adjourn the House temporarily and call the acting Prime Minister Senator Themba Masuku to come and attend to the situation.

Minister Sithole walked out complaining of an illness after taking a barrage of criticism from enraged senators who demanded a withdrawal of the 10 per cent salary cuts. Senators said he was being disrespectful because he did not even get permission to leave.

When he left, the time was about 5.05pm and senators were still to resume the Appropriations Bill in which Minister Sithole was to present a preamble to motivate the Bill.

After the salary cuts debate had died down, the Minister of Finance was asked to go ahead with the first reading of the Appropriations Bill and he complied.

The President then asked him when the second reading would be and he said "it will be tomorrow," much against the will of the senators who had hoped that the second reading would be on the same day in order to allow the budget debate in committees to proceed today.

They asked Sithole to state his reasons for deferring the second reading and he said: "With all the things that have been spoken today I can’t be able to continue with the second reading. Kuko konkhe lobekubhekiswe kimi angeke ngikhone kuchubeka na lepreamble," he said meaning for all that the statements that have been directed at me. I can’t continue with this preamble."

The senators then expressed their dissatisfaction with the minister’s stance and said he was still undermining the dignity of Senate.

"How can he say he will not continue because of a debate on another subject. We are now in the Appropriations Bill," said Senator Themba Msibi.

Deputy President Ngomuyayona Gamedze asked that there be a 15-minute adjournment in order to discuss this with Minister Sithole.

However, the President sustained the debate as a few other senators wanted to exhaust it.

She said the minister’s attitude would cause the time allocated for the budget debate to elapse.

"Does the minister want the time allocated for the debate of the budget to elapse so that he would take it to the King for a signature without any input from Senate?"

Sithole then stood as if to make a point. When he was given the podium, he said "ngicela kuya esbhedlela. Sengetfuke kakhulu," meaning "may I be allowed to go to hospital. I am now too shocked."

Before the President could allow him to leave, the minister took all his books and headed for the door, leaving senators bemused.

 


Comments

While Swazis are dying from hunger and HIV a whole senate of adults is busy playing hide & seek, cops & robbers. Gelana you know that the arrest warrant is not worth the paper it is printed on, that is why it is not with the police, who are the only ones who can execute it. I really hate this joke of a system of governance.
Mar 15, 2012, 4:03 AM, Hlengiwe (hlengie.mkhonta@yahoo.com)

We the general public want to issue a warrant of arrest to all cabinet ministers for Circular no.1 of 2010. Why must the the law have eyes to cushion people when it suits them.?
Mar 15, 2012, 4:03 AM, Bongie (bongzar@twitter.com)

WHERE DO YOU START UCALAPHI AS CABINET.These are the ppl who have 2lead by example n aprove the salary cuts....by refusing it shows that they are nt comitted to their work instead they want to enrich themselves.
Mar 15, 2012, 4:03 AM, G-republic (colanidlamini14@yahoo.com)

The whole cabinet is sick honestly...salary cuts should be effected to every one ....and Gelane herself should get a life for mocking the minister of finance utsi batsini labatfwana bakhe netihlobo takhe... about lokummosha ngemahewu...you guys nitidli nje...ngubani lokufuna ajutjwelwe imali...and who should not....? Gelane seems to be holding a joy stick in parliament..well done Majozi every one akajubelwe imali...
Mar 15, 2012, 9:23 AM, seed (seedwellm@yahoo.co.uk)

Guy this thing done 2 d minister z unfair,mine ngbona vele kusita lokutsi kube nale cut kuma salaries alabantfu laba bcoz kwayona le parliament kute umsebenti wayo,mine ngbohle ngkhohlwa kutsi it exists nje.BEKUNENE SOLO ANENELI.
Mar 15, 2012, 9:23 AM, ajax (sbantubantu@gmail.com)

Cha niyasihlaza la emaveni lapho sikhosele khona. Asisati kutsi sitalivikela kanjani nalelive letfu la maveni. With so many challenges in the country you have a whole senate acting very infantile and wasting precious time that they should be dedicating to national issues.
Mar 15, 2012, 9:23 AM, Thabisile Levin (thabisile@intsatsakusa.co.za)

I just do not understand why these people want Majozi to be arrested , they are just fat cats who want all the money. On the other hand they complaining about how the economy is unstable . Shame on you so called "SENATORS"!!!!!!!!!
Mar 15, 2012, 10:09 AM, tyzzzzzzzz (dangertyzz@twitter.com)

These Senators are so useless, all they do is to galavinate on issues that will only help their own stomachs, instead of adressing issues which are of great importance in the country babhizi bahlanganyela The Minister, which is so unfair for him. They act so imature!!
Mar 15, 2012, 10:58 AM, mandlazi (madlazimagawula@yahoo.com)

This country was blessed with a good culture of oneness and mutual respect. I expect that to prevail in all the cadres of this country's leadership including in the house of senate. Let this issue be resolved amicably before it gets out of hand and starts embarassing our good country.
Mar 15, 2012, 11:59 AM, Sibusiso (cliffsdlamini@ymail.com)

This only happens in swaziland. Yehheni, naba bantfu betikhundla balwa bodvwa!
Mar 15, 2012, 3:20 PM, Lord Anthony (anthonym198@gmail.com)

How i wish the time wasted in debating this was spent on something else because when the international media reports on this, it will say "King Mswati accused of cutting Parliamentarians salaries by 10%." Cha niyakwati kuhlaza live letfu Nengwenyama yetfu, sinetsembe nakangaka pho!
Mar 15, 2012, 3:20 PM, Brother Leader Dr Sanele (drsaneledlamini@yahoo.com)

Finally the student movement takes action. It was long overdue. Now, where are the workers? They are also needed for support.
Mar 15, 2012, 4:45 PM, mfundvo ndzimandze (mfundvo.ndzimandze@gmail.com)

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