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MBABANE – “It’s unfair”! The above statement describes the feeling of former Members of Parliament on the current status of Cabinet ministers being in office while the election process was underway.

While Parliament was dissolved on June 30, 2018, the ministers are still in office running the day to day government business.
However, the former MPs are of the view that when the nomination phase begins, the ministers should be home in order to avoid a conflict of interests.


This newspaper interviewed former legislators who made up not just the 10th but even those who were part of the 9th Parliament and most of them have expressed concern   that should the ministers be still in office by the time the nomination process begins, it would not be fair.

The announcement of the dissolution was made by His Majesty King Mswati III on June 19 at the Ludzidzini Cattle Byre, but unlike in 2013, there was no announcement of a committee that would keep the fires burning until a new government was announced after the elections.

It has always been the norm that whenever Parliament was dissolved, His Majesty is left with a selected committee (sigejane) he would work with to wrap up government business.

Instead of dwelling much on Cabinet, His Majesty mentioned that he could not work alone but needed all support until a new government was appointed into office. He said the current Cabinet could stay and look after government affairs until such a time when they would hand over everything to principal secretaries.

Last week, Government Spokesperson Percy Simelane reiterated that it was only backbenchers whose duties ended on June 30, 2018 as per His Majesty’s pronouncement at the Cattle Byre.
This, he said, would be the case until the next announcement.

Former Lobamba MP Marwick Khumalo was one of those contacted by this newspaper and he made it clear that it was not a mistake that the Constitution of Eswatini gave a two months’ time-frame for the dissolution of Parliament, leading to the election stage.
Khumalo said it would not be fair that a whole government was dissolved and then others remained in office.

“The fact that they are remaining in office means that there are decisions they take and you wonder what impact they would have on the country. The elections process began with the registration so we cannot be having people driving cars that wave flags to the people. The definition of dissolution should be clear and apply to the whole government,” he said.

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