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MBABANE – Had the Ministry of Tinkhundla Administration and Development conducted enough engagements with the populace, the country would not have had any political unrest.

This was a submission made by Senator Mkhululi Dlamini, who minced no words when telling Minister David ‘Cruiser’ Ngcamphalala, that his ministry had let down the country in terms of avoiding the political unrest that saw over 40 people losing their lives, hundreds injured and millions worth of property destroyed last year. Dlamini put it to the minister and his delegation that their presentation was not reflecting the prevailing political situation at the different tinkhundla centres across the country, during the debate of the ministry’s portfolio committee performance report for the first quarter of the financial year 2022/2023.


“I report yenu yinhle kepha umsebenti wenu mubi, sitawucala kudvumisa masekubuye live,” he said in vernacular, which can be loosely translated to mean; “Your report is good but your work is bad. We will start heaping praises once the country is back to normal.” Dlamini wondered why the ministry was so quiet on the issues of politics because the violence emanating from the political unrest would have been avoided. “Which direction do you want the political situation to take until you do something about it?” he questioned the minister. Dlamini was supported by Senator Isaac Magagula, who highlighted the issue of the anonymous ‘commander’ who, through an audio, advised security forces to withdraw their services in defending the Tinkhundla System of Government while also making a litany of threats, which cannot be repeated given their nature.

Not specifically mentioning what the ministry could have done to avoid such, Magagula wondered why one man could dream and wake up to announce his dream to the whole nation and have it come true without any consequences. In his response, Ngcamphalala mentioned that he was not really sure whether the senators were unpacking their anger onto the relevant ministry but did say that it was the responsibility of every liSwati to protect and conserve what was rightfully theirs, be it life, property or anything else there is in the country. “Different government ministries and stakeholders have intervened in this matter but it all comes down to each and every individual to act responsibly, because violence has never been the solution,” he said.

The minister also revealed that the ministry had engaged with the people at different tinkhundla centres, it was only nine that have not been visited thus far. He stated that they were asked a lot of questions by the populace, including the issue of politics. On the same note, the senators lamented that the ministry was not selling the Tinkhundla System of Government to the international community so much that even citizens of Eswatini who were now residing in other countries and popularly known as diaspora, were making fun of our governance. Senator Magagula said it was very embarrassing to see citizens of the country speaking ill of the Tinkhundla System of Government yet the ministry was not investing in advertising and marketing the system.

Senator Prince Mphatfwa, emphasised that the system should be included in schools curriculum from lower grades up to higher education, something that had been suggested before to the ministry but not yet implemented. The ministry’s mandate is to create an enabling environment for effective service delivery at regional and tinkhundla level and to enforce good governance practices, inclusive development and balanced regional development.

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