Gelane, Guduza, PM deadlocked
MBABANE – The three-hour long meeting between Prime Minister Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini, Speaker Prince Guduza and Senate President Gelane Zwane ended in a deadlock on Monday.
The talks, according to a highly-placed source, reached an impasse after it became apparent that progress could not be attained.
The behind-closed doors gathering was held in one of the conference rooms in Parliament between 11am and 2pm.
"There was nothing fruitful with the meeting as the trio could not agree on all three issues on the table for discussion," stated the insider. "I can safely say that the meeting achieved nothing. There was nothing agreed upon by the parties concerned."
The premier, according to the source, is alleged to have requested both Speaker and President to allow him the liberty to make ministerial statements each time he wanted to.
However, it is said the presiding officers would hear none of this, as they told the PM that they would continue to censor ministerial statements by ensuring that they first go through their respective offices to decide whether they were good enough to be included in the business of the day (Order Paper).
Both the Speaker and President are said to have put their foot down and maintained that, sometime last year, they wrote to all government ministries informing them of the newly-adopted procedure that it would be mandatory for statements to go via their offices.
On the issue of interfering with salaries for presiding officers, they are said to have contested that it was in contravention of the Constitution for Cabinet to effect the-now controversial 10 per cent pay cuts on their remuneration.
Sections 100(6) and 102(6) read thus: "The salary payable to the President (or Speaker) shall not be varied to the disadvantage of the President (Speaker) during tenure of office."
It was at the beginning of April this year when Members of the House of Assembly unanimously voted for the restoration of the 10 per cent on their salaries.
However, the PM, in a recent interview, said they took an executive decision not to implement the Parliament resolution.
During Monday’s meeting, both the Speaker and Senate President washed on their hands on the delay in debating and passing of the Leadership Code of Conduct Bill.
They are said to have made it perfectly clear to the PM that the Bill was currently not with either of the chambers, but with the concerned ministry – Justice and Constitutional Affairs.
Ndumiso Mamba, the erstwhile Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, was alleged to be the one who took away the Bill from Parliament on the grounds that he was still to consult further with the office of the Attorney General Majahenkhaba Dlamini.
Government Press Secretary Percy Simelane, in an interview yesterday, said he was not privy to the contents of the meeting between the prime minister and the presiding officers.
"My office does not have a copy of the minutes of the meeting in question and we’re not in a position to confirm what was agreed upon or not agreed on," Simelane stated.
... King expects report on meeting outcome
MBABANE – His Majesty King Mswati III was last night expected to receive a full report on the outcome of the meeting between Prime Minister Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini, Speaker Prince Guduza and Senate President Gelane Zwane.
The sole objective of the meeting held in Parliament on Monday was to try and find common ground between the Legislature and Cabinet on their operations.
Prince Guduza, in a brief interview yesterday, confirmed that as per normal procedure, they were expected to give feedback to the King.
The trio were supposed to have a meeting with the Head of State last night to brief him on Parliament business including progress.
His Majesty, during the meeting last week Tuesday, is said to have ordered the PM, Speaker and Senate President to sort out amicably any parliamentary issues without his involvement.
It was for this reason that the head of government had a meeting with the presiding officers on Monday.
Minister pledges to search for Leadership Code of Conduct
MBABANE – Mgwagwa Gamedze, the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, has pledged to launch intensive investigations on the whereabouts of the Leadership Code of Conduct Bill.
This is the same Bill that the Prime Minister, Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini, said was among the excess of 40 Bills that had been approved by Cabinet since 2009, submitted to Parliament, but not yet processed by both Houses.
It transpired during Monday’s meeting between the PM, Speaker Prince Guduza and Senate President Gelane Zwane that the Bill was not in Parliament. The presiding officers are said to have succinctly told the premier that the Bill was presently with the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs.
Minister Mgwagwa, in an interview yesterday, said: "I need to be certain about the whereabouts of the Bill." He further stated: "Officials in the ministry are of the view that the Bill is in Parliament."
Tinkhundla system atisebenti bekunene. How can we see progress eveni if these arms of government are like this, cos they supposed to work together for the good of the country. This is total failure at its best. Shanoni kutsi nehlulekile mani niyekele lokudlala ngatsi. Yini nje le umhlaba uyasihleka mani, nisivisa buhlunga bekunene.
Jun 13, 2012, 5:53 AM, J. Mabusela (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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