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MBABANE – Ex-Speaker Petros Mavimbela is one of the high profile casualties of the 2023 General Elections.

By 8pm yesterday, Mavimbela and 16 ex-MPs who served at various terms lost to candidates who were not so popular in the political space. This is based on results that were released by the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC). After surviving numerous attacks during the civil unrest, the ex-presiding officer of the House of Assembly returned to the polls, where he faced Dr Bonginkhosi Dlamini in a two-horse race. Dr Dlamini, a tertiary lecturer, produced one of the elections upsets since the general election for the 12th Parliament began in July. He defeated Mavimbela by 707 votes. He obtained 2 192 votes against the former Speaker’s 1 485 votes. While Dr Dlamini was accomplishing his mission to unseat the seasoned politician, former MP Ndumiso Masimula was experiencing the same at Lomahasha, where he was outclassed by Zanele Mashaba.

Mashaba did not only secure a seat in the House of Assembly, she also left Masimula wondering what might have hit him as the Lomahasha elections turned out to be a ‘catch-me-if-you-can situation’. This is due to the fact that the vocal former MP, a teacher by profession, was defeated by a large margin. In fact, it must be said that it was an undoubtedly landslide victory for the Lomahasha woman who beat the ex-MP by 1 960. As Mhlambanyatsi and Lomahasha were recording bad results for ex-MPs, there was something that was attracting attention at Kubuta in the Shiselweni Region, where there was a ‘bring-them-on situation’. Masiphula Mamba, an unpopular candidate, faced what appeared to be a challenge to overcome two former MPs, Musa Mlamuli Mabuza and Njabulo Mabuza, the former Minister of Health. Mabuza has been in and out of the House of Assembly, and is one of the experienced ex-lawmakers. Undeterred by their exposure and experience in politics, Mamba overcame Mlamuli who was an MP for Kubuta in the 11th Parliament by 902 votes. Njabulo also failed to match him as he was defeated by 1 037 votes.


Sifiso Shabalala, not so popular as well, produced an upset at Dvokodvweni, where he masterminded the defeat of two former MPs. These are Mduduzi Magagula who was an MP in the 11th Parliament and Musa Sitezi Dlamini who served as a legislator in the 10th Parliament. Sitezi was a Member of Parliament for Dvokodvweni from 2013 to 2018. On the other hand, Magagula began as an MP for the defunct Hlane. Meanwhile, Shabalala conquered Magagula by 1 236 votes and went on to do the same to Sitezi by defeating him by 1 254 votes.
Bonginkhosi Dube faced a similar situation at Phondo in Mankayane, where two former MPs competed against them. These are former Ngwempisi MP Veli Shongwe and ex-Phondo MP Xolani Vilakati.

Dube defeated Shongwe by 133 votes. Vilakati was serving Phondo in the previous Parliament, but failed to match him (Dube) as he trailed him by 1 096. Based on released results for Mkhiweni and in a spirit of fair elections, former MPs Machawe Mavuso and Gideon Dlamini, the ex-Minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade should both shake hands with Mandla Tshawuka. Tshawuka caused a major upset here, as he outclassed or conquered Gideon, touted in the 1990s as a future prime minister, by 3 110 votes. However, Mavuso was in the game as he was defeated by 584. Alec Lushaba, a journalist and editor, deprived ex-MP Nkhanyeti Ngwenya of a second consecutive term in Parliament. Ngwenya had defeated Lushaba in the 2018 General Elections. The editor received 2 517 votes against Ngwenya’s 2 237.

At Nkhaba, there was shock as well, after Hope Shiba, a transport businessman, secured a seat in Parliament at the expense of ex-MP Zakhele Magongo. Magongo, who was vocal in the House of Assembly, got votes that were not enough to counter those of Shiba who obtained 2 673. It effectively meant that Shiba defeated him by 671 votes. Gilgal witnessed its recent MP Sandla Fakudze handing over the baton to Sifiso Gadlela, who outclassed him by 1 935 votes. Second placed Sithembiso Mamba received 1 414. At Mahlangatsha, award-winning farmer Mgucisi Dlamini, who has developed a habit of conquering former MPs maintained this feat.


He started with ex-MP Musa Ngcobo in the primary elections and finished off former MP Bongani Hlophe in the secondary elections. Dlamini obtained 2 897 votes against Hlophe’s 2 764. Allen Vilane also won against a former MP, Bongani Mavuso, at Madlangampisi in the Hhohho Region. Vilane got 2 891 while second placed Mdlui obtained 2 464 votes.
Another major upset happened at Mbabane West, where former MP Johane Shongwe was conquered by Jane Mkhonta-Simelane by 874 votes. Nomkhosi Masuku unseated ex-MP Vusi Swali of Ludzeludze. Wilton Nkambule, a businessman, shocked the chiefdoms under Motshane as he became the first candidate from Mpolonjeni to win the elections. In this constituency, MPs came from either Nduma or Kupheleni.

A couple of days after the primary elections, Sihlenge Shongwe of Nduma, was fancied as a favourite to have won the elections. This was based on the size of his community which is the largest. He had also scored victory over ex-MP Robert Magongo. All eyes were, therefore, on him to conquer Nkambule and Maxwell Masuku, the former Principal Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology.


The ballot box continued to make surprises as Nkambule received 2 774 against Shongwe’s 1 597. In fact, he came third and the second spot was occupied by Masuku with 1 651 votes.
 Apollo Maphalala, who, at some point, served as a former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Nhlangano Town Council, defeated ex-MP Vincent Malavi Sihlongonyane by 1 191 votes. Maphalala had to sweat to conquer Cel’colo Dino Dlamini, a Head teacher and former CEO for Mbabane Highlanders and Mlamuli Innocent Motsa, an attorney. It was almost a tie as he managed to defeat Dino by 10 votes, but he beat Motsa by 120 votes.

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