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mBABANE – The long wait to for the appointment of the new prime minister is over.

Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini is the new Prime Minister (PM) of the Kingdom of Eswatini, the King Mswati III announced yesterday. Dlamini will be fitting the boots of deceased ex-prime minister Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini – a political stalwart who served government for 17 years.
He was the longest serving PM the Kingdom of Eswatini has ever had. Before appointed prime minister 

 The country was in turmoil, besieged by industrial unrest when Sibusiso Dlamini was appointed as prime minister by His Majesty the King.
It was in 1996 at a time when the defunct Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions (SFTU) was at its highest peak. Prince Mbilini was at the helm.
Under the leadership of Jan Jabulani Sithole, Jabulani Nxumalo, Richard Nxumalo (late) and Themba Msibi, the SFTU embarked on a marathon nationwide strike that crippled the economy of the country. Schools and stores shut down completely.

Cat-and-mouse chases between the police and unionists became the order of the day. Nelson Mandela, the first black South African President, was putting pressure on Eswatini to accede to the 27 popular demands.
Prince Mbilini understandably failed to provide solutions to industrial unrest, with teachers, as well, having gone on strike for a month. Under the leadership of Meshack ‘Kati’ Masuku, the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) went on strike to demand a 13-percent salary increment.

Trevor Mulroney was the President of the Federation of Swaziland Employers and Chamber of Commerce (FSE&CC) while Musa Hlophe was the Chief Executive Officer. At some point, the FSE sought an audience with the King to find long lasting solutions to the industrial problems. I was not privy to inside information. 

However, when His Majesty realised that the ship was sinking, he summoned the nation to the cattle byre where he fired Prince Mbilini and subsequently appointed Sibusiso Dlamini as the prime minister. That happened in 1996. The King recalled him from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) where he was an executive director. Before his appointment, Sibusiso had served as Minister for Finance where he garnered political judgement.

first year in politics

Now the king has given us Mandvulo, a man who had been in the corporate world since he started working. The year 2018 will mark his first year in politics. Dlamini is the current Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Eswatini MTN and Chairperson of the Swaziland Revenue Authority (SRA).

In his late 40s, the Mandvulo is understood to be a perfect man to usher the country to Vision 2022 – the first world status. This is based on his experience, exposure and qualifications.

Mandvulo is one of the people who were earmarked for the position of prime minister which the Times SUNDAY profiled.
Mandvulo’s strongest point is that he is a God fearing man, a virtue, which impresses His Majesty the King as he rightly said before he announced him as the country’s new PM. A person who goes to church to worship God habitually and genuinely is understood to be a principled fellow who is unlikely to commit serious crimes of corruption and fraud, sources said.
He is a former managing director (MD) of Nedbank Swaziland. Prior to his appointment to the position of MD at Nedbank, he held the post of Head, Retail Banking, Strategy and Marketing. He had worked for ABSA bank in Johannesburg as SME (Small Medium Enterprise) manager. In the same institution, he held the position of Manager Strategy and later as a Franchise Manager.

fascinating CV
His curriculum vitae is seemingly fascinating as he also served Standard Bank South Africa as a Management Consultant. He also worked for SwaziBank as a Finance Officer from 1992 to 1997. SwaziBank is 100 per cent owned by government. He completed his O’ level education at Salesian High School in Manzini in 1987.
In terms of qualifications, he has a Bachelor of Commerce which he obtained from the University of Swaziland, a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Hampton University in the United States. He is also a Chartered Marketing graduate of the Institute of Marketing Management in South Africa.
In 2006, he completed the Global Executive Development Programme through GIBS. He has written various academic papers to fulfil the requirements of his various degrees. 
His other advantage is that he has a good working relationship with employers, according to informed sources. He served in the executive committee of the Swaziland Federation of Swaziland Employers and Chamber of Commerce as vice president (Business Eswtini). With the country scaling up its programme on HIV and AIDS, he fits the profile as he was at some point the director of the Swaziland Business Coalition Against HIV/AIDS.
 He was a committee member of the University of Swaziland Foundation Board and chairperson of the Student in Free Enterprise (SIFE) Swaziland Chapter. He plays golf and follows other sports. In short, he is a sportsman. He is married to his wife Portia and has three daughters.
In terms of skills, Dlamini has vast knowledge in corporate strategy facilitation, leadership mentoring, counselling and coaching, marketing strategy, change management, strategic planning, business strategy, sales management, project management, workshop facilitation, new business development, business analyst and problem solving.
He is understood to have contributed immensely to Eswatini MTN’s growth and success where he led a professional team that won numerous international awards.
Last year, the company, under his leadership, won the Integrity Award under the Value Awards, outsmarting 21 companies spread across three continents – Africa, Asia and Europe. Swazi MTN scooped the grand prize which carried E1.3 million in cash.
The company and its stakeholders had rebuilt an old and dilapidated school in Mankayane in a space of 21 days. The school, Endlaleni Primary, had initially been constructed in 1948.

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