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LOBAMBA – Before they can stand for the national elections, women should get written permission from their husbands.

Mbabane West Member of Parliament (MP) Johane Shongwe had some of his colleagues in stitches while others were seething with anger after he submitted what was termed some bias against women at the House of Assembly on Monday.

This was during the adoption of the report of the portfolio committee of the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs on the Election of Women Members to the House of Assembly Bill, No.2 of 2017.

In his usual funny tone, Shongwe stated that while he was in favour of adopting the report and passing the Bill, he had an issue with the fact that some of the women who would be nominated would be people’s wives.
“Nangincoma lomfati wemuntfu ngitatsi ngimtsatsephi, ngivunyelwe ngubani?” he queried which means, “If I nominate someone’s wife, who will I say gave me the permission.”

Shongwe submitted that he was worried that women had a tendency of not supporting each other and said chances were high that they would do the same even in the national elections. “I was nominated by a woman myself, which is a clear sign that they instead go for men,” he said.

The vocal MP then began what was to become a hot topic when he stated that the women should get permission before partaking in the elections. Obviously infuriated with the statement, MP Thuli Dladla stood up on a point of order calling for the MP to withdraw the statement.

Dladla asked Shongwe if the women he had earlier said nominated him had sought permission from their husbands. However, instead of withdrawing, Shongwe insisted that there was going to be a problem.
He said once they were elected into the House of Assembly, the women, just like all legislators, would be expected to take part in workshops which he said usually took place in hotels.


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