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WE CANNOT FAIL CITIZENRY - MP MARWICK

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MBABANE – “If we are seen to be behaving like Egyptian mummies in Parliament, then by all means, we qualify for punishment by the voters.”

The above sentiments were shared by Lobamba Lomdzala Member of Parliament (MP) Marwick Khumalo. He stated that as the Legislature, they were duty-bound not to be a disappointment to the citizenry and prayed that God would guide them not to be.
Khumalo stated that what the liberation groups were saying was for now a perception that was informed by justified impatience. “I believe in freedom of expression for all and I cannot fault the liberation groups for their democratic expression,” he said.
Khumalo said the electorate was their principal and it was within their inalienable right to make their feelings known about their (MPs) actions or inactions. However, the MP stated that based on what he had read somewhere, he happened to be aware of a lined up series of motions made by the legislators that sought to address the current situation which had somewhat paralysed the political and socio-economic life of the country.

Failed

Nkilongo MP Timothy Myeni said they had failed the electorate in effectively carrying out their mandate as parliamentarians. Myeni said there was so much fear instilled and they tended to forget that they should fear the electorate as they had the power not to vote them back into Parliament. He mentioned that in so many instances, he had stood up in Parliament seeking his colleagues’ support on the arrest of MPs Mduduzi Bacede Mabuza of Hosea and Mthandeni Dube of Ngwempisi. Instead, he said some of the MPs passed the loan of E1.7 billion for a new Parliament structure, while the electorate lacked medication in hospitals, the country’s roads were also in a terrible state and students were without scholarships. He alleged that MPs were forced into passing the loan. Myeni said the project was not urgent and of no importance. “Parliament has the power to make laws, but has not been doing this,” he noted. This, Myeni said, was displayed when they jointly stopped the election of a senator.

Legislators

Myeni said as legislators, they had played a part in the current political crisis as all power was vested in them. The Nkilongo MP stated that what the electorate simple meant was questioning why the legislators were in Parliament if they failed to represent their interests. Myeni said the electorate was right by what they were saying in that they should resign if as MPs they were failing to do what the electorate required of them. “Why do we continue to be in Parliament if the electorate is not happy?” questioned Myeni. He added that what was currently happening was wrong as legislators during the campaigning phase promised to serve the electorate, but once they got into Parliament, they cared about their salaries. Mtsambama MP Simosakhe Shongwe said if the liberation groups felt resigning of MPs was a solution, they could use whatever way to achieve that. Shongwe stated that he was, however, for the idea that the groups should call the legislators and address them on the issue. He said legislators who supported political reforms were known as they had openly declared such.

Minority

MP Shongwe said they were a minority and were trying to raise various motions by supporting each other in order to win their colleagues over so that they understood the entire purpose behind the political reforms and join them. “Personally, I can resign if it comes to a push, but what I want is for emaSwati to be liberated,” he stated. Nkwene MP Vulimpompi Nhleko was also of the view that as parliamentarians, they needed to first address the issue of resignation collectively inside the House, which was the rightful platform.

Meanwhile, Shiselweni II MP Strydom Mpanza noted that the concerns made by the groups were genuine, but only if they had first made an attempt to address them as lawmakers on the issue. Mpanza said he would actually like to have an audience with the groups to exchange views and come up with solutions. Lugongolweni MP Enos Magongo said he could not resist resignation, but make sure that he followed the laid down procedures. However, he said he had never heard of a Parliament resigning en masse in his entire life. Siphocosini MP Mduduzi Matsebula said his electorate had not raised any concern with him. Matsebula stated that so far, they were on track not just on the political aspect, but also on service delivery, hence he would not consider resigning until the electorate proved that he had failed.

Presented

He mentioned that under his constituency, they presented and unpacked annual performance reports, presented midterm consultative and evaluation review reports and held regular imiphakatsi meetings to consult the people and give feedback. Matsebula added that even with the political and constitutional changes recently proposed by the youth, they were considering it with the inkhundla council in consultation with relevant stakeholders. Ndzingeni MP Lutfo Dlamini and Manzini North MP Macford Sibandze did not wish to respond to questions posed to them. When sought for comment on the statements made by the liberation groups, Chief Police Information and Communications Officer Superintendant Phindile Vilakati stated that she was not aware of the communication and once it reached her office, she would respond where relevant. She had been asked if the police service would act on the supposed tactics to be employed by the liberation groups to force MPs to resign en masse.

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