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Sikhatsi, Dumisani win by toss of coin

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MBABANE- Manzini Ward Two Councillor Dumisani Gwebu and Mbabane Ward Four Councillor Sikhatsi Dlamini won the Local Government Elections by the toss of a coin.

This was after both councillors’ votes tied with competitors at their respective wards.

Conducted

Mbabane City Council Returning Officer, Gordon Mbuli, said the coin-toss was conducted in accordance with the Elections Regulations of the Urban Government Act of 1969.

"The Mbabane councillors, Former Mbabane City Council Mayor Sikhatsi Dlamini and Grace Bhembe were tied on 67 votes when the voting results were calculated.

"Therefore, because there had to be one winner, we tossed a coin where Sikhatsi emerged the winner," Mbuli disclosed.

In Manzini, Returning Officer Bhekithemba Matsebula said Councillor Dumisani Gwebu won the elections after a coin-toss too. He said Gwebu was tied with the runner-up Leonard Dlamini on 11 votes.

"The competition was tough in Ward Two, which I believe is a sign that local government elections continue to gain popularity among the city’s residents and business owners," said Matsebula.

Impressed

Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, Clifford Mamba, said the ministry was impressed about the outcome of local government elections.

He said the ministry would today meet officials who had been in charge of the elections to receive a full report on the outcome of the election process.

"There have been no negative reports reported to the ministry on the elections this year. We are happy that all processes involved in electing the councillors have been smoothly finalised. We are now looking forward to meeting the councillors who will constitute the councils," Mamba said.

Procedure

He added that the ministry would soon announce the dates for orientation classes for the newly elected councillors.

"As per general procedure, councillors will soon attend orientation courses where they will be told about all expectations and the code of conduct," added Mamba.

Over 10 000 people participated in the Local Government Elections voting process, while 13 392 people had registered.

Two men found with 10 voters’ cards

 

SITEKI - Two men were taken in for questioning by the police after being found with 10 voters’ cards each on Saturday.

The two men were detained by police officers who were providing security in the Siteki Ward One voting station.

According to sources, one of the men told police that he was the campaign manager (galajane) for one of the aspiring councillors.

"He, however, failed to explain when the police questioned him about the 10 voters’ cards he was carrying. He was detained and taken to the police station for questioning," said a source.

Questioning

During the questioning, election officials are said to have been called to examine the authenticity of the voters’ cards.

A source said the voters’ cards were found to be authentic but the two men were then questioned about the owners of the voters’ cards.

After some time the two men were released.

Police Public Relations Officer, Superintendent Wendy Hleta, confirmed the incident.

"I can confirm that two people were taken in for questioning after they were found with extra voters’ cards. Police are still investigating," she said.

In his closing remarks soon after winners were announced, Returning Officer, Justice Qwabe said the elections went well despite a few challenges.

Disappointment

However, some people expressed disappointment in the manner in which this incident was handled.

"Even though the voters’ cards were found to be authentic, it is against the election rules and regulations to carry other people’s voter cards," said a resident.

 

The Ward One elections were won by Former Mayor, Norman Sigwane who beat former Miss Deaf Director Sizwe Ndlela by 64 votes to 23.

Call me Robert Mugabe -longest serving councillor

SITEKI - Longest serving councillor, Mvila Dlamini, caused laughter soon after being declared winner for Siteki Ward Three, when he said local residents must now call him Robert Mugabe.

Dlamini has been a councillor for 20 years now after joining the council in 1992.

Despite being closely contested, Dlamini easily emerged victorious beating favourite competitors Nontobeko Dlamini and Elijah Ntshangase, the older brother of Minister of Education and Training, Wilson Ntshangase.

Dlamini, however, faced strong challenge from Esau Ndzimandze, whom he beat by only seven votes.

Soon after being announced the winner, Dlamini stood up and ridiculed his competitors.

Stitches

"Lehla futsi libhokisi," he said sending the audience into stitches.

This is loosely translated, "The coffin has been lowered again"

In a short interview outside the counting arena, Dlamini said he was excited by the victory.

He further revealed that he was not interested in taking part in this year’s elections but was forced to by negative comments he heard from people.

"Having served my town for the past 20 years, I think this is my last term. I will not stand for Local Government Elections again," he said.

There was a bit of a disturbance during the counting process when an Asian man entered the arena.

Declaration

Returning Officer, Justice Qwabe told the Asian that he was not allowed into the arena since he had not signed the declaration of secrecy forms.

The Asian, however, insisted saying he had signed the forms with one of the aspiring councillors.

He was eventually led away by a female police officer.


COMMENTS:

- The culture of voting is not so impressive in our society, a miegre 67 votes renders one a winner. The same thing applies even to national elections, where we see people winning parliament seats with as low as 300 votes. This simply shows that Swazis are a passive nation, they are willing to go with whatever is put on the table, oblivious of their voting power or their ability to contribute to their fate as a nation. I wonder what needs to be done to change this situation.
November 5, 2012, 5:01 pm, Voting Man

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