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SPEAKER SOLD US OUT FOR 5 CENTS – MARWICK

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LOBAMBA – “You sold us out to the electorate for five cents.”

This was said by Lobamba Lomdzala MP Marwick Khumalo, who went on a tirade and blasted Speaker Petros Mavimbela. This was after Motshane MP Robert Magongo had sought clarification at the start of yesterday’s sitting on why the House had not had a sitting for a whole month. Yesterday’s sitting of the House of Assembly was the first after a month-long recess.  It was revealed that some MPs had spoken to the Speaker, seeking clarification from him and asking for a sitting. MP Khumalo said the Speaker’s actions had created a possibility that chances of those who wanted to go for re-election had been heavily diminished. He said the Speaker should not allow himself to be captured by not informing the House.

Khumalo said he was aggrieved with the Speaker’s conduct in the last few weeks because he did not show the characters of a Speaker whom he had elected. “In all honesty, we aren’t a department of the Executive, we are MPs,” he said. He said people were asking MPs why they were quiet as the country went through rough times in the past few weeks. He said for someone whom they called their Speaker, who did not even acknowledge their messages, was unacceptable. In vernacular he said; “Usishaya indiva”. He said the Speaker did not even have the decency to respond to their messages and he was basically trivialising the whole matter and treating them with disdain. He said he took great exception to that. MP Khumalo said they were not lambs who were being guided by a shepherd.

Security

“It does not mean that we are schoolchildren and you are the head master, that is not the case, you are there to serve because we elected you into that position. Really is it deserving of us that you won’t respond to us and wait until today to inform us of the security issue?” MP Khumalo asked. He asked the Speaker who would have suffered any harm or died if he had informed the MPs of the security issue earlier. “Who would have died because there is no one else we could have asked as to why we were not meeting in Parliament. Would it have hurt you to tell us of the security threats?” he asked. Meanwhile, MP Magongo said he had contacted Mavimbela many times. “Who do you consult with when we want to have a House sitting? We believe that we are your principals as the electorate,” said MP Magongo. MP Magongo said there was a lot of unrest in the country and the people were accusing MPs of being quiet. He said as MPs, they were allowed to address national issues in the House.  

In response, the Speaker said it was a simple and straight forward matter. He said it was known that the House was for the MPs. However, he said he had received an instruction from security that it was not safe for the House to meet in Parliament.
“Therefore, as Speaker I have a right to allow MPs to remain at home to be safe,” he said. He said after that advice from security, he could not have ignored it. He said as they converged yesterday, there were indications that the situation was calmer, which was why they had called a sitting yesterday and they were back at work. On another note, the Speaker reminded the MPs that the COVID-19 pandemic was still a threat, especially with the numbers of cases rising. He said they must observe all the necessary precautions.

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