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Gay's chief in parly opening

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LOBAMBA – Parliament invited Galeswa President Mangosuthu Simanga Dlamini to the official opening of the first session of the ninth Parliament.

Dlamini, a former young gospel preacher in his school days at Lusoti Primary School in Simunye, is the founder of the Gays and Lesbian Association of Swaziland (Galeswa).

He is the first Swazi to publicly declare his homosexual beliefs. Since then, Mangosuthu disappeared from the limelight after reports circulated that he had relocated to South Africa to stay with his male sweetheart.

Last Friday, he was clad in traditional regalia and chatted nicely with the who’s who of the country, especially members of the corporate business sector.

In a brief interview with the Times SUNDAY, Dlamini expressed delight at the prospect of being one of the invited guests in a ceremony officiated by His Majesty.

He did not state which office in Parliament invited him.

He pointed out that he was back in the country and instrumental in developmental projects in the Lubombo region – his home area.

In 1996/1997, His Majesty King Mswati III, when addressing pastors at their annual Easter Service at Lozitha, condemned Dlamini for promoting gay marriages and same-sex love affairs among the people of the country.

At some stage in the 90s, he challenged Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini, who had taken over from Prince Mbilini (late) to be the country’s premier to a televised debate on homosexuality (Meet the People on Swazi TV).

This was after the premier had also condemned Mangosuthu for his homosexual beliefs.

However, the prime minister could not entertain the invitation to publicly argue over lesbianism on the screen with the Galeswa chief.

Though not disclosing details, the Galeswa president said they had a conference a month ago in Tshaneni, where members deliberated on important issues.

He said he would give details of the conference in due course.

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