Monarchy, political parties can't co-exist '
LUDZIDZINI – The Swazi monarch and political parties cannot co-exist, instead the nation should choose to have only one of the two.
This is according to one of the most senior members of the royal family and His Majesty King Mswati III’s advisor, Prince Mahlaba, who warned the people yesterday that political parties were like a ‘lion in a sheep’s skin’.
He said the statement by political parties that they would allow the monarch to exist, should they be allowed to govern, was not true because they would be corrupted by power and then begin to demand even the King’s authority.
The prince, who was making submissions at the Royal Cattle Byre during the ongoing People’s Parliament (Sibaya), said with the 2013 National Elections close by, people should be wary because ‘there is an enemy that wants to destroy the Swazi monarch’.
"If we are not careful, the 2013 elections will confuse us. It is up to us to decide whether we want the king or multiparties. If you choose political parties then it is finished for the King, there will be no more be Sibaya. So, we should be careful of what we choose," he said.
Continuing, the prince said: "Those saying there will be the king alongside multiparties are lying. There won’t be political parties and the king at the same time. It’s either the king or multiparties." The attentive audience heard from the prince that everyone should be careful of the evil that would be brought about by multi-party democracy.
He reminded every Swazi that they were all the King’s children and said they therefore should opt to correct the wrongs that were happening under the current system as opposed to seeking the introduction of another system of governance like multi-parties.
Scenes of jubilation came from the crowd when the prince said the King should personally take it upon himself to visit government departments to monitor operations and to also visit the people in their different constituencies to listen to their problems instead of relying on reports from advisors.
"The king avails opportunities to everyone but then there is a problem of cronyism that pops up. Let us ask the King to stop delegating but should be personally involved at government and Tinkhundla level to listen to what the people have to say and stop depending on those close to him."
The prince further said people should not be denied access to His Majesty because the king was for every Swazi not a chosen few.
"No one should be barred from seeing the king or gaining access to the king," he said to a round of applause.
It is not the first time that the prince makes his feelings known about multiparties; last year during the hype of the E2.4 billion loan from South Africa, he said the country could do without the loan than to have it in exchange for introducing multi-party democracy.
Teachers vow not to give up
LUDZIDZINI – Teachers, through their leader Sibongile Mazibuko, have vowed not to give up on their demand for their 4.5 percent increment.
This she said at the conclusion of her submissions during the ongoing People’s Parliament yesterday. She said even though teachers were being beaten by the police, ‘we shall not give up and we shall not surrender’.
She said the plight of teachers was now in the hands of His Majesty King Mswati III. Mazibuko also called for the sacking of the entire cabinet team, saying they had ‘stolen’ a lot of government money which should be brought back.
The SNAT president denied that the organisation was being used for political gain as it had been said by a number of speakers at the Royal Cattle Byre. This was after one Dorcas Mhlanga, who identified herself as a teacher, told the People’s Parliament that SNAT members who did not align themselves with the political agenda that is being pushed were labeled as sellouts and timbokojwana.
"SNAT is now divided. They now want us to say viva and if you don’t, you are called a sellout. SNAT doesn’t want members who oppose their political agenda," Mhlanga said.
Teachers’ fate in King’s hands - SNAT President
LUDZIDZINI – The President of the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) Sibongile Mazibuko said the fate of teachers was in the hands of His Majesty King Mswati III.
Mazibuko was speaking at the People’s Parliament at the Royal Cattle Byre yesterday.
Mazibuko got a warm reception at the Sibaya as she submitted that SNAT was not being used by political parties.
Mazibuko made her submissions after waiting in the queue for over three hours, the Ludzidzini Acting Governor TV Mtetwa ordered proceedings to adjourn for lunch just when she was next in line to take to the podium.
Mazibuko pleaded with Mtetwa to allow her to be to be the last speaker before the adjournment but her pleas were unsuccessful.
All Mtetwa could say was that the order in which people had queued would be followed upon resumption.
Mazibuko was first in line when the proceedings resumed just after 2pm.
"What is painful is that there is no negotiation at the table, instead we’re told that our salaries need to be cut. There is no salary increment that is discussed.
"It is difficult to understand government’s explanation that there is no money when ministers get E70 000 monthly salaries and the prime minister gets paid E130 000 a month while we get only E4 000," she said.
She said teachers were prepared to teach pupils during the holidays, at night and at any other time once they had been given what they are demanding.
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