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BILL COULD CLASH WITH SWAZI TRADITION

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LOBAMBA – Will the Sexual Offenses and Domestic Violence Bill, 2015 be Swaziland’s dual system litmus paper?


Some senators yesterday raised concern about the long awaited Bill and how it related to the country’s traditions. This was raised in Senate where the senators briefly debated the Bill before moving that it be further deliberated with the Deputy Prime Minister’s Portfolio Committee.


While most senators unreservedly supported the passing of the Bill, Deputy Senate President Ngomuyayona Gamedze, Senator Vuka Masilela and Senator Chief Kekela had some reservations. This is not to suggest that they did not support the passing of the Bill.

Gamedze wanted clarity from the Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Paul Dlamini on the definitions of some key clauses of the Bill which included abduction, flashing, incest and stalking. Gamedze was concerned that the House would pass the Bill without clearly understanding the clauses.

He pleaded with senators to apply themselves as they debated the Bill. He said definitions were an important aspect of moving forward with the Bill as without full understanding of them, people might be wrongfully arrested or violate the legislation without knowing.


“Please understand me well, Ngomuyayona Gamedze likes this Bill, but we should understand it,” said Gamedze.
Gamedze opined that people needed to be educated about the Bill in order to avoid undesirable results. He mentioned that some people were not aware that the age for marriage consent for women was now 18 years instead of 16.

He emphasised that there was need to clarify what flashing was as some people made noise when police arrested a number of women for committing the offense.

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