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Disqualified nominee: cops forced me to lie

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image Mana Mavimbela.

MBABANE – The 18-year-old girl Mana Mavimbela who was disqualified for wearing a pair of trousers has been cornered and forced to lie in a police statement.

Three police officers ordered Mavimbela to write a police statement in which she is made to lie that she did not intend to stand for nomination.
The police officers ordered Mavimbela to lie that she had been joking that she wanted to stand for elections as Lubulini’s Member of Parliament.


Mavimbela was disqualified on Sunday during the nomination stage at Lusabeni Chiefdom by the Presiding Officer Lindiwe Sukati for being dressed improperly. On Monday Mavimbela got a visit by police officers from the Lubulini Police Station. She said the police found her at Ncwandweni, her home area.

She said the officers asked her why she did not come to the police station with other nominees to have her picture taken.
She said she told the officers that she could not go to the police station to have her picture taken because she had been told that she was not eligible to stand for nomination.

Mavimbela said she was then ordered to relate the events of the previous day and how she came to be disqualified. She alleged that one of the officers claimed to have been informed that Mavimbela was joking about standing for elections.


“The officer then forced me to record the statement, noting that I did not intend to stand for the elections but only meant it as a joke,” she said.
Mavimbela said she told the officer that she was serious and wanted to represent her constituency.
If eventually included in the nomination list, Mavimbela will compete with former Member of Parliament Timothy Myeni among others.
Police Spokesperson Superintendent Wendy Hleta said she had no comment on the matter as the full report was with the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC).

However, when reached for comment EBC Spokesperson Sabelo Dlamini said he preferred not to comment on the matter because he did not know the merits of the story and the only details he relied on were those from the media.
He said nothing yet had been reported to the EBC office pertaining the matter in question.

Human Rights lawyer Mandla Mkhwanazi in an earlier interview with the Times had described the disqualification as a violation of Mavimbela’s fundamental right. The lawyer had made the observation that the country’s Constitution did not discriminate against an individual based on dress code. 
Section 84, Sub-Section 1 of the Constitution states that; “The people of Swaziland have a right to be heard through and represented by their own freely chosen representatives in the government of the country.”


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