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MBABANE – Widows who have an intention to partake in the nomination process of the national elections should not fear anything.

This is because while they are culturally not allowed to enter royal kraals while in their mourning gowns, they would be accommodated and allowed to nominate their candidates.

As a means of accommodating them, royal kraals would be expected to select alternative venues for the nomination exercise in the event that widows showed interest in taking part.

In an interview with Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) Chairman Chief Gija, he stated that the kingdom had a culture of respecting dead relatives, which is why women underwent the mourning period and wore black gowns.

He said those women who had lost their relatives (bomake labamnyama) were automatically known at the umphakatsi since funerals were reported and that when they showed an interest in participating in the nomination process, an alternative nomination centre would be selected nearby.

“It is just pure respect that when a woman is still in mourning, they do not enter the royal kraal. It is the case even in the Bible. I know for a fact that such women, when they come to the umphakatsi, do not get inside the premises but are attended to outside,” he said.
He said while nomination took place at imiphakatsi, the authorities would ensure that all people were involved and not discriminated against by identifying alternative nomination centres which could be a school situated nearby.

“So the umphakatsi decides that no one should be left behind so let us all go to an alternative place. If a woman in mourning wants to take part they have to be accommodated in every possible way. Elections are for everyone,” Chief Gija said.

He made an example of a former Member of Parliament, Jennifer Dupont, who he said after reporting her wish to take part in the elections, the authority of the area, Chief Magudvulela, rightfully found an alternative venue as she could not be allowed at the umphakatsi due to the fact that she was in mourning.

He clarified that there would be no element of discrimination in that the nomination centres would be openly changed and everyone would go to the alternative ones.
On another note, families who have funeral plans this weekend should also not fear anything.

This is because the EBC has dispelled fears that families would not be allowed to bury their loved ones on both Saturday and Sunday due to the national elections nomination process.

Since last week, members of the public have been asking questions on social media networks on whether they were allowed to bury their loved ones.
Some even stated that they were disappointed with the way things were done as they felt they needed to bury their loved ones even if there were important national events.

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