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MBABANE – After slightly more than a year Hosea MP Mduduzi Bacede Mabuza was arrested, yesterday he took to the accused dock for the first time to defend himself against the charges levelled against him.

In his four-and-a-half hour submission, he, among other things, narrated the reason behind the call for an elected prime minister. He also outlined his duties, which included being chair of chairs and monitoring the operations of the prime minister and ministers, as well as disciplining and punishing them if they flouted procedure. The MP, who was arrested on July 25, 2021, informed the court that when they took a decision unanimously in the House on a particular issue, the prime minister would go to the King to consult and upon return, the MPs would be informed that what they had agreed upon had changed.


The MP was in the accused dock giving his evidence-in-chief during his trial with Ngwempisi MP Mthandeni Dube. They are accused of committing acts of terrorism among other offences. MP Mabuza denied committing acts of terrorism which warranted their arrest. His and MP Dube’s representative, Advocate Jacobus Van Vuuren, had asked MP Mabuza what he did on March 5, 2021 in Parliament.  MP Mabuza narrated that Lobamba Lomdzala Constituency MP Marwick Khumalo raised a motion about a concern to the effect that COVID-19 restrictions had not been relaxed for some time. He said during the debate that was ongoing, almost all the MPs were deeply concerned and complained to him (MP Mabuza) about the frustration caused on businesses and members of the public due to the non-relaxation of the COVID-19 restrictions.

MP Mabuza said, after about 30 MPs had made their submissions, his turn came and he took the opportunity to request that Section 67 (1) of the Constitution be amended, because their work in Parliament involved the King, which caused difficulty for them. The King, according to MP Mabuza, was never in Parliament and the prime minister requested for some time to go and consult with the His Majesty when there was a matter they had agreed upon. “It becomes difficult because even when Parliament agrees on an issue as the majority, the prime minister goes to consult the King and when he returns from the King, what we had agreed on changes,” said MP Mabuza. He said Section 67 (1) of the Constitution gave the King powers to appoint a prime minister.

The accused told the court that if an elected prime minister went to the King, he would try by all means to influence him to agree with the MPs. “By so doing, he would be accountable to the people since his term of office would end after five years and he would be expected to explain to the people how far he went on what he had promised to deliver when they elected him,” he added. The advocate asked the MP about the response of the other MPs. Mabuza stated that there was complete silence in the House when he raised this issue. He said while debating, another MP, Prince Jomo, stood up and said he did not understand what he had said and requested him to clarify. MP Mabuza stated that he explained himself and sat down. He said hardly 10 minutes later, an online publication reported that he had requested for democracy and the report was also spiced up. He said after the sitting, journalists who were in Parliament, wanted to interview him to explain how he had arrived at the idea of an elected prime minister. He said he told them that he was not ready at the time for an interview and requested them to take what he had said inside the House.


“When I raised the motion (Cabinet was not properly constituted), the House was adjourned sine die. The Speaker and libandla went to consult the King since Cabinet was not compliant. They reported that the King said it would be looked into the issue.” MP Mabuza told the court that there was a serious clash between him and the Speaker, Petros Mavimbela, after the motion (for an elected PM) and ‘he requested to see me in his office’.  He stated that, according to Parliament procedure, once one raised an issue to bring about change, lobbying was the next step. He said that happened and other MPs approached him to say the issue should be debated.  “As an issue that was already in Parliament, we discussed how to lobby for it. It could happen even along corridors and meetings outside Parliament. We held such meetings extensively and reached a decision. As per procedure, the one who raises the debate chairs the meetings and that was me.”

According to MP Mabuza, the number of MPs who supported the call for an elected PM reached 28 and ‘we were lobbying it openly’. Other motions were raised while they were lobbying, said MP Mabuza, which allowed other MPs to show what their interest was; whether they were happy or not about the motion. Due to the tension between him and the speaker, submitted MP Mabuza, he could not get enough opportunity to lobby and during other debates in the House, because the former allegedly blocked him. He informed the court that since the matter was already being discussed, other MPs requested the Speaker to allow him the platform to debate and MP Dube strongly spoke against what the Speaker was allegedly doing ‘and asked him to give me the platform to debate’.  “There was a big clash between MP Mthandeni and the Speaker during those debates,” MP Mabuza said. Former Siphofaneni MP Mduduzi ‘Gawuzela’ Simelane then declared openly that he was in support of their proposal, said MP Mabuza. He mentioned other MPs such as Marwick Khumalo of Lobamba Lomdzala Inkhundla, Dumisani Mbhamali of Somntongo Inkhundla and Manzi Zwane of Nhlambeni Inkhundla and others who advised the Speaker not to pick and choose debates for the House.


On June 21, 2022, according to MP Mabuza, when petitions were being delivered, the Speaker allegedly informed the House that the delivery of petitions was unSwazi.  “Half of the MPs stood up and this indicates that one wants to say something. He gave two MPs a chance to speak ahead of me. He pointed at me after four or five MPs and I asked him to clarify the remark that the delivery of petitions was unSwazi and that he must tell us what was Swazi because we had seen petitions being delivered to Parliament. “I was asking so that we may go back to the people who elected us because they would ask us about it. He did not answer. I also pointed out that in the petitions, the people mentioned that they wanted an elected PM, which was an issue we had raised in Parliament and asked which was the Swazi way of doing things? It became tense in the House,” said the MP.

“MP Marwick, Small Joe, Big Boi Mamba of Ngudzeni and others, rose after me. While I was on my feet, the DPM tried to rise to counter my submission. Fortunately, I was done and I took my seat. Small Joe spoke sternly and the situation became tense and there was a proposal that the issue be dealt with during a caucus,” said MP Mabuza. “The house works in three ways, publicly, caucus - where media and strangers are ordered to leave, and lastly, we take the matter before a committee of seven MPs led by a chairperson on behalf of the House.

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