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MANZINI – In the first 100 days in office, Cabinet is already integrating the People’s Parliament submissions into government’s programmes, says the prime minister (PM).

The PM, Russell Dlamini, who was appointed into office by His Majesty King Mswati III on November 4, 2023, said this when responding to a questionnaire seeking to establish what his Cabinet had set out to achieve and what had been done in the first 100 days in office. Dlamini was asked what he had done since he assumed office to shape the legacy of the 12th Parliament’s Cabinet. He was asked if his family had adjusted to the public attention that came with his new responsibilities. He said as a family, they were still trying to adjust to the public attention, but he was quick to highlight that as a leader, who was hands-on, he believed he could only succeed through the guidance of Christ, thus he took his faith with him to any space he occupied.

Again, he said as the leader of Cabinet, his goal was to inculcate the culture of high performance, excellence, integrity, thinking big and outside the box within government. The PM also explained his interactions with the public through social media, in particular Facebook, where he usually posts after attending a meeting, function or delivering a speech within and outside the borders of the Kingdom of Eswatini. He also highlighted short-term and long-term policy frameworks, which they sought to achieve collectively as Cabinet and this is mainly centred on what emaSwati submitted as emanyeva (concerns) during the recent People’s Parliament (Sibaya) in October last year. In fact, the premier said as Cabinet, they had prioritised issues that were raised during the Sibaya and were already in the process of integrating the submissions into government’s work programme. It is worth noting that this is in line with His Majesty King Mswati III’s command, that the Sibaya submissions should be made a policy, which would guide the operations of government, including Parliament.

Furthermore, some of the thorny issues which were submitted by emaSwati during the Sibaya included the rampant corruption, the alarming rate of unemployment (which stands 33. 3 per cent, as per the Labour Survey of 2021), poverty and poor public service delivery, among others. It is worth noting that on his 101st day in office, the PM launched a task team to fight corruption. This followed His Majesty King Mswati III’s directive on tackling corruption in the country, which was also spoken about during Sibaya. The King further spoke about this when he officially opened the First Session of the 12th Parliament on Friday. The task team, which was launched by the PM, comprises of the DPP, the national commissioner (NATCOM) of police and the commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

The DPP’s Office is currently held by the Acting DPP, Lomvula Hlophe, while the NATCOM’s Office is occupied by Lydia Dlamini. On the other hand, Maphevu Mkhatshwa is holding the fort in the ACC Commissioner’s Office. The launch of the task team means that corruption cases will be fully investigated by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), taken to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and if prosecutable, find their way to court. The task team will report to the PM and will work with the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Prince Simelane. When launching the task team, the PM said corruption was a worldwide problem that had become endemic in the country. He also highlighted that the launch followed a number of complaints by the nation during Sibaya last year, whereby they voiced out their frustrations on people getting away with corrupt acts.

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