We need more people like the PM'
For over 20 years, the Deputy Prime Minister Themba Masuku has followed the work done by Prime Minister Sibusiso Dlamini in his political career and has nothing but upmost respect for him.
He believes that the country and the world over needs more people like Dlamini who make careful calculations before taking a decision.
The DPM speaks with pride on how Dlamini has been an influence in his life, both professionally and personally.
He recalls how he followed Dlamini’s career before being appointed Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives in 1991. "I met him for the first in 1991 when we were both in Cabinet. He was heading the Ministry of Finance. Even though I had been following his career, I met him for the first then and was quite impressed with his management style," Masuku says.
He notes that the PM has become more wiser over the years, having been in politics for many years and as head of government as well.
"I recall that as a young Minister of Finance, he would go to Parliament and reduce taxes, that was his landmark at the time, he was known for reducing taxes because he was managing an economy that was on a growth path. Most of his budget speeches would be on tax reduction. I think he was the last minister (of Finance) to manage a budget surplus in the country. Of course the conditions were different but he did realise that people should not be burdened with taxes if the economy was performing well. That is when it clicked to me that this man thinks for others," the DPM says.
He also describes the PM as a shrewd politician who makes careful calculations before taking any decision.
He has been described as someone who would sit down and think hard about a decision before endorsing it and what it would mean for the public.
"Sometimes he takes a decision that may seem bad to many only to find that it will benefit us in the long run. He is not easily persuaded and convinced, you need to do your research before approaching him with anything," he adds.
The PM is known for his vast academic background and intelligence in many aspects. Talk about economics, politics, health, industrial chemistry, he is well versed on all these issues. The DPM says this could be the reason why he has been a ‘comeback kid’ in politics.
The PM is an Industrial Chemist, a Chartered Accountant and boats a MBA.
"With all these at hand, his scope of thinking is certainly not narrow. His exposure as Executive Director in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) adds to his rich professional background," he adds.
From a distance, the PM strikes you as a hard, unapproachable person and even though the DPM concedes to this, he says the PM is not the type of person who goes around hugging people even when excited.
When you get to know him, Masuku says the PM is a warm character who cracks jokes that can get one laughing for days, adding that his nature is not to stand on the streets and wave to everyone.
Specifically on his turning 70 years old, the DPM has made a request to the PM to at least write a book about his experience and many other aspects of his career, which he believes would be an inspiration to many.
"He has a wealth of knowledge and do wish he could write a book. As his right hand man, we sit for long hours talking and arguing but I have a lot of respect for him. He is a different fellow and he reciprocates that decency. He is not the kind of administrator who would bang the tables out of rage," he notes. The DPM wishes the PM to have many more years and continue being an inspiration to many people.
According to Masuku, his memory is one to reckon with as he recalls things that happened in 1978 when he was appointed senator, adding that it does not happen often to have ‘comeback kids’ like him.
Being a family oriented man, the DPM admires how the PM has managed to juggle his political career and family business while not losing focus. "He is quite strong and I admire him for that. He is a farmer as well but his family is top of the agenda, together with other issues. I really don’t how he manages this so well," the DPM says. He concedes that the PM has certainly played a role in shaping his political career, stating that he admires a person who disagrees based on facts, not just because ‘he is your boss’.
"The PM has a good heart, contrary to what many people believe. He can survive under hostile conditions and I like that about him as well. I hope he lives longer," he says.
BY CASSANDRA SHAW
"Makes careful calculations before taking a decision"? It's sad he did prove that when he and the rubber stamps approved Circular No.1 of 2010.
May 15, 2012, 2:10 PM, Anthoniser (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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