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After all has been said and done, the names of the ministers forming part of the new Cabinet are no longer a secret. What now boggles the mind is whether or not these new ministers have the capacity to deliver on not just the mandate from the Head of State, but the expectations from emaswati particularly on service delivery and eradication of corruption.

Judging by the reaction of the nation, especially on social media platforms after the announcement of the new Cabinet, it is quite explicit that there are mixed-feelings on some of the names mentioned and it is easy to understand why.

Led by newly-appointed Prime Minister (PM) Russell Dlamini, who previously held the position of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at NDMA, the new Cabinet is a mixture of new and old faces. It is a combination of experienced campaigners in Eswatini politics and individuals we are eagerly waiting to see how they will perform their duties. The new ministers have already been sworn-in and assumed their assigned duties.

It is common knowledge that the previous Cabinet faced a number of challenges, which compromised service delivery, leaving the nation divided and in a state of uncertainty. The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic at the end of 2019 and subsequent political unrest in June 2021 realistically made life difficult for the past Cabinet. These were unforeseen situations and the consequences proved dire in terms of promoting peace and stability in the country.


COVID-19 was a life-changer globally and this piled pressure on Cabinet to find lasting solutions but unfortunately, a number of souls were lost during this period. Then came the political unrest in June 2021 where, like animals in a jungle, some local citizens took matters into their own hands, challenging the authority of the country and destroying businesses in the process through burning of structures and personal properties. This, without doubt, was an unforgettable and regrettable experience.

You could not take pride at being regarded as a liswati during this period. Obviously, the waters have calmed a bit since then and you would be forgiven to declare that things are slowly getting back to normal politically in the kingdom but the onus on the new Cabinet is ensuring that there is no repeat of the political unrest. The new ministers now have a duty to restore confidence on the nation and this will require more than just an effort.

They have to think outside the box when it comes to dealing with differing political ideologies from emaswati because if truth be told, nobody in his or her right senses would want to see a repeat of the 2021 unrest. That was a kind of wayward behaviour that is not aligned with emaswati. Now, the million-dollar question is, how does the new Cabinet ensure that this does not happen ever again?

Submissions during the recent People’s Parliament emaswati were clear on the expectations of emaswati from the new government, most of which border on service delivery. My good ministers, emaswati are now sick and tired of poor service delivery from government and that is the reality.

Whilst it is my strong belief that the appointed ministers must be given the benefit of the doubt on whether or not they are capable of ensuring service delivery as demanded by the nation, the unfortunate reality is that after all Emaswati have gone through in recent times, there is no margin for error people expect from the new ministers. People are tired of empty promises and lip service.

That not many expected Dlamini to be appointed PM should now be water under the bridge because it changes nothing really but the ball is now in the new Premier’s court to make the doubting thomases eat humble pie with a display of sound leadership. That said, looking back at the challenges the previous Cabinet had to deal with, it does not require a rocket scientist to detect that the new ministers must show not just utmost dedication to their duties but high level of integrity as well. This, unfortunately, is the expectation that comes with being a minister.


By God’s grace, I had a rather unexpected but quite refreshing encounter with the prime minister during King Charles 78th Birthday celebration hosted by the British High Commission to Eswatini in Ezulwini on Thursday.
The PM was one of the special guests during this big event and as I was sitting with my colleague, Mhlonishwa Motsa, focusing on the proceedings of the day, the PM, escorted by police officers as per protocol, appeared from a guest room and headed towards where we were seated. I must say my heart skipped a bit at that very moment but flashing a smile that would melt the coldest of hearts, the PM extended his hands to offer his greetings, even sparring his precious time to take photos with us.

My immediate reaction was that here is a man who does not take himself too seriously despite the power he holds in local politics. It is not everyday that you see a prime minister freely and openly mingling with the people in a social event and evidently enjoying every moment of it. Personality-wise, he really made a huge impression.

Deep inside, I wished we spent a little bit more time interacting on issues but his openness and willingness to interact with the people really gives a glimmer of hope on his leadership qualities. There is obviously a lot on his plate to deal with politically, economically and socially in the country because we cannot run away from the fact that there have been elements of instability in the kingdom in recent times.

There were many causes of this but above all, citizens are not happy with poor service delivery from government. It is not meeting their expectations. First things first, the education system in the country is a mess and this means new Minister of Education and Training, Owen Nxumalo has a lot of think about and come up with lasting solutions. It cannot be overemphasized how valuable and critical education is to any nation and Eswatini is no exception. However, the rigmarole witnessed in the country’s education in recent times is a serious cause for concern and immediate solutions must be found.


We cannot allow the future of our kids made a yo-yo by people pushing political agendas. The minister’s immediate duty is to separate politics from education and everything will make sense after that. We cannot allow our kids to be made political activists when they should be focusing on school. No ways!

Then there are the unending financial challenges faced by the University of Eswatini (UNESWA) where if it is not conflicts about students’ allowances, it is lecturers complaining that they have not been paid their salaries in full. These are things that are compromising progress at the university and affecting students’ studies. This cannot be allowed to continue.  

New Minister of Health, Mduduzi Matsebula, who is also Siphocosini MP, is probably having restless nights trying to figure out a way to mitigate the alleged theft of medical drugs at local hospitals. This is a serious cause for concern and a national challenge because there have been reports of acute shortage of medical drugs in local public health facilities.

Health is a sector that affects everybody and you cannot have a situation whereby ordinary citizens who do not have medical aids and are not able to access medical drugs. The minister has to ensure proper security measures at health facilities like the Central Medical Stores in Matsapha, which according to internal ministry of health reports, has been turned into ‘free-for-all’ in terms of medical drugs theft.

The levels have reached shocking levels and we do hope that he will ensure that the forensic probe report in this issue, is made public so that we can appreciate such processes. It makes no sense for government to spend tax-payers’ money in instituting such a probe but then keep the report under wraps. The new minister has to promote transparency in such matters. Clearly, the health minister has a lot of work to do and we can only wish him the best of luck.

It is good to see that Maphalaleni MP Mabulala Maseko has been re-appointed as Minister of Public Service because there are a lot of pending matters that needed closure. One that quickly comes to mind is the issue of phase two salary restructuring process for junior security officers. This issue has dragged on for far too long and has to be addressed. We all know that security officers are critical players in the government machinery because they offer security by maintaining order in the country.

You cannot afford therefore to have disgruntled officers assigned to handle such important tasks, a solution must be found to their demands. This falls under the portfolio of Public Service Ministry and we trust that since this is not new, it will get the attention it deserves this time around.

For Minister of Labour and Social Security Phila Buthelezi, his immediate focus should be to address the late payment of allowances for tertiary students. This is really a sticky matter that has turned some universities into haven for political activities. Universities are designed to train future leaders of the country and therefore, everything has to be properly co-ordinated. Again, a solution needs to be found and very soon!


There are other ministries like that of public works and transport under the leadership of Chief Ndlaluhlaza Ndwandwe. Not long ago during Sibaya submissions, there were concerns that some development projects were milking government coffers dry because they take longer than agreed hence bring added costs in terms of budgets.

This concern was even raised by re-appointed Minister of Economic Planning and Development Dr Tambo Gina during his submission at Sibaya where he recommended fixed-term contracts as a solution to the challenge. This must be put in motion immediately if it can help cut down on the costs on projects. There are other road projects that are hitting hard on government coffers because they are taking forever to finish.

These are some of the challenges the new Cabinet has to deal with aside from the known challenges of poverty, unemployment and lack of business opportunities for the youth. Government must be seen to be availing such opportunities for the citizens and this is the immediate mandate of the new Cabinet to see that happening especially in times where jobs are under threat, thanks to this Artificial Intelligence (AI) syndrome that is the talk of the town these days.

You would be very stupid to ignore the threat of this AI because it means companies can afford to retrench and be justified in doing so. So, nobody is safe with this AI and we hope this is one of the issues the new Cabinet will seriously look into and come up with practical solutions.

His Majesty the King has bestowed great trust in the new Cabinet and definitely, they will be observed, assessed, sometimes criticized or commended if need be by their mandate of providing service delivery to the nation. We can only wish them the best of luck!     

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