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NEW MPS FLOODED WITH OFFERS FOR SENATE SEATS

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 MBABANE – There seems to be no rest for the newly- elected Members of Parliament (MPs).


While a majority of them are still trying to recover from the gruelling campaigning exercise, their phones have not stopped ringing.
This time around, the calls are from those who are hoping to get elected into the 10 vacant Senate seats and the four women seats from each of the four regions. The MPs-elect’s cellphone numbers have been ‘selling like hot cakes’ as the Senate and MP hopefuls try to canvass for votes to get them the seats in the Legislature.


The 10 senators are expected to be elected sometime next month as soon as the new legislators have their first sitting after electing the Speaker.
“I have already met a few people who have expressed their wish to be voted into Senate,” said one of the MPs-elect who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of victimisation.
He said some of the potential legislators had offered money in the region of E10 000 for the vote, but said his integrity did not allow him to accept any cash.


“I just want to hear them out to see whether we have a common goal for the development of the country,” said the approached MP.
Unconfirmed allegations have been to the effect that Senate seats could go as high as E60 000 paid to each MP.


Another MP-elect said although he had received the calls to meet certain individuals, they were sceptical in case it could be a trap.
He said he would wait until the legislators were called to a formal meeting either by the Clerk to Parliament or the acting prime minister. 
In 2013, the new MPs were allegedly called to non- official meetings by the people hoping to score Senate seats. However, former Prime Minister Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini, whose term in office had then been extended, read the riot act to them and told them not to attend meetings which were called emeneni (bushes).


During a press conference then, Dlamini said meetings of MPs should take place in Parliament and be thoroughly transparent.
He reminded the elected MPs that their main function was to work with the Monarchy towards the development of the country.
“They should not therefore respond to direction from anyone other than His Majesty and their respective constituents on how they should carry out their duties,” he said.


He, at that point, said such meetings were illegal and that the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and police would be notified of these activities.
Meanwhile, in 2013, the Senate race was highly contested as a total of 106 candidates were in the running for only 10 available vacancies.
The House of Assembly is expected to elect at least five females.        


The race then was contested for by seasoned politicians, veteran businesspeople, professionals and others, all nursing hopes of winning the seats.
Those who were lucky enough to make it then included FA President Adam ‘Bomber’ Mthethwa, former Senate Deputy President Ngomuyayona Gamedze, former Senator Meninjeni Mahlalel, former Senator Mike Temple and Ndumiso Mdluli.
Among the female candidates were former senators Bonsile Mngometulu, former Minister of Health Sibongile Simelane, Lindiwe Ngwenya, Lungile Angelina Gama, and Khanyisile Goodness Malambe, who is the wife to newly elected Mhlume MP Victor Malambe.

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