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MBABANE – It’s a bitter-sweet war of words between some candidates who are campaigning for the secondary election.

These are Siphofaneni MP nominees Mduduzi ‘Magawugawu’ Simelane and long-serving former MP Gundwane Gamedze.
Simelane created a discussion on social media following a campaign statement that some Facebook users felt carried distasteful wording.
In the statement the aspiring MP made mention of the outgoing MP, Gamedze, and even referred to him as Mkhulu.

He also wrote, “Siyacolisa Mkhulu but we cannot allow our people to be stagnant in this for 25 years. Let’s be fair it’s time for fresh productive minds to lead us forward. Vote Gawuzela”.

These words sparked an argument after one user shared the post and wrote, “I liked Magawugawu and I wished him all the luck in his journey, but he just chose to take all his votes and throw them into the river by making derogatory statements against the old man.”

The reader went on to suggest that even if Simelane could go to Parliament there was nothing much he could change because other MPs who have been there for many terms had not done much.

Other users posted their comments saying this statement was igniting a war of words because Gamedze had not done anything wrong to deserve to be referred to as Mkhulu and as someone who has caused stagnancy in the community.

They even supported their argument by the fact that the people from this constituency would not have voted him all these terms if his actions were not visible.
“Mduduzi Simelane be quick and extend an apology to the old man because you have provoked him, that is provided you still want us to trust and believe in you,” a reader wrote.

Some of the comments suggested that Simelane’s statements were, in a way de-campaigning Gamedze as they felt he should have focused on what he would do to develop the community rather than to point out the alleged stagnancy over the period when Gamedze was in Parliament.

The Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) could not come out clear on whether there was anything wrong with Simelane’s campaign message.
EBC Public Relations Officer Mbonisi Bhembe said candidates were trained and also furnished with the Code of Conduct on what was expected of them during the campaigning period.


The Code of Conduct, which the Swazi News has a copy of, states in Section 3 that, “Candidates shall run election campaigns with dignity and moderation, with all candidates showing respect for other candidates. All communications undertaken by the candidate shall strictly respect the other candidates and shall in no way be prejudicial to any other candidate.”
When contacted, Simelane insisted that his statement was in no way meant to convey any offensive comments.
He said his reference to Gamedze as Mkhulu was simply because Gamedze was close to him and was almost the same age as his father, whom he also referred to as Mkhulu.


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