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LOBAMBA – Themba Msibi’s era as Parliament Speaker is over.  This unfolded yesterday when he was beaten hands down by the new Speaker Petros Mavimbela, who is also Mhlambanyatsi Member of Parliament (MP).

All 69 Members of Parliament (MPs) participated in the voting which saw Mavimbela amass 47 votes and the loser Msibi receiving only 22.
Mavimbela’s ascent to the seat was preceded by an emotional and convincing motivation by newly elected Hosea MP Mduduzi Bacede Mabuza, who was the mover of the motion.

He said it would be amiss if the elected MPs chose someone from outside the House to represent them.
Although he made no mention of Msibi, he stated that the country was in a bad financial state, and to add an additional member from outside the House would be an extra burden to the taxpayer.

Msibi was nowhere to be seen in Parliament, although others had said he was present within Parliament premises.
“We would be very wrong to leave out someone who was given to us by the people of Mhlambanyatsi, particularly since the economy is down,” said MP Mabuza.

He continued to state that he believed that the Speaker should be one chosen by the people.
He said it would be absurd for the MPs to elect a Speaker who had sent threats and promised others ‘Mbabane jobs’.
By ‘Mbabane jobs’, he meant a post in Cabinet.

At this point, Maphalaleni MP Mabulala Maseko stood up on a point of order and said no person had promised anyone a Cabinet post or threatened others.
However, MP Mabuza was adamant that he had evidence in the form of text messages (SMSes) and phone calls that were made.
“I have all the SMSes and if I am supposed to reveal them, I will not hesitate to do so,” said Mabuza.

He continued to state that he had previously worked with the Speaker (Mavimbela) during the Ninth Parliament and he was an impartial man.
MP Mabuza was seconded by Mhlume MP Victor Malambe, who said he had also worked with Mavimbela between 2008-2013.
MP Malambe said the MPs should be the first to put trust in the people who had elected Mavimbela.

“If we love emaSwati, we should not put them into more expenses, because how would we justify it?” asked Malambe.
He said Mavimbela was a humble and honourable man who would not cause any disarray in the House.

Meanwhile, MP Maseko in motivating for Msibi, said he was an old horse in politics as he also was once a minister in various portfolios.
He said Msibi was impartial and did not pick and choose between MPs. He said Msibi had worked very hard during his last term, even when things got tough.
He was supported by Sigwe MP David Ngcamphalala, who said Msibi had served Parliament diligently and held no grudges, adding that he (Msibi) was very respectful.
However, it all came down to the ballot box where the MPs, by secret ballot, voted in the new Speaker Mavimbela.

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