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Aspiring MPs furious

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image Director of Women for Women Development Consultancy Doo Aphane.

MBABANE – Aspiring Members of Parliament were yesterday outraged after they either did not appear or their names were wrongly spelt on the Elections and Boundaries Commission’s (EBC) list of nominees for the 2013 elections.

Shocked and angered by the omission or the wrong names on the list, the candidates claimed that they were being sabotaged or were strategically being eliminated from the race for Parliament seats.

The list has been released by the EBC to all media houses in the country.
The commission has assured the aspiring MPs that the anomaly will be corrected and the names will either be included or corrected ahead of the final ballot paper.

But by yesterday morning, the MP hopefuls did not know the position of the EBC and they cried foul as they strongly felt that they were being sabotaged, moreso because names of their competitors were printed correctly.
One of the aspiring MPs said he was the first candidate to be nominated at his umphakatsi and he was outraged when his name did not appear on the list of nominees.

He said he was confused as candidates who were nominated after him were included on the list. Pointing to the sensitive nature of the elections, he claimed he was being sabotaged.
“I was the first candidate to be nominated at my umphakatsi, so I don’t understand how the EBC officers would have made the mistake of leaving out my name. How would they forget to register the name of the first nominee but remember to register the name of the other nominees unless they will tell me that they have selective memories or whatever.

Two things are happening here, someone is either deliberately sabotaging me or someone is not doing his job,” said an angry aspiring MP who called from the Lubombo region.
The candidates initially thought the Times of Swaziland was responsible for the mistake on the list of nominees and they came to the offices to complain or demand to have their names included on the list.

Some of the candidates claimed to have been told that the mistake had been done by the media houses that ran the list of nominees, and they then paid a visit to the media offices to request for corrections or to be included on the list.
“I get the feeling that this thing is being dismissed, by the EBC or you people in the media, as a minor glitch when in actual fact it is not because I will lose votes as a result of this omission. I have been engaging people from the EBC since Saturday when the list was run and I was told that the media had made the mistake and omitted my name. But today the people at the EBC called me and said they made the mistake and they would include my name on the list of nominees.

“I have no problem with that but my question is whether they will make the print media run the list again because right now I am effectively on the verge of losing votes because my potential voters have not seen my name on the list,” said an aspiring MP who spoke on condition of anonymity.
A number of aggrieved nominees called the Times of Swaziland yesterday to register their concerns over the errors involving their names.
Some went as far as suspecting sabotage by their competitors.

One of those affected was Dumisani Sibandze of Vuvulane whose name was stated as Dumisa Mngometulu.
He said: “I think there are two possibilities here. Either this is a genuine typographical error or I am being sabotaged.”
Another, Thulani Mamba, was nominated as MP at Mhlume but his name does not appear on the list.
Harry Dlamini under KaLiba said his middle name was written as Majabha, yet he is Majabula.
According to the Proclamation of General Election of Elected Members of the House of Assembly,  Constituency Headman (Tindvuna TeNkhundla), and Bucopho Notice of 2013 issued on May 28, 2013, the main day of the national general elections will be September 20, 2013.
On the same day, EBC Chairman Chief Gija, said votes would be counted by elections officials and released to members of the public.     
Primary elections will be conducted on August 24, 2013 starting from 7am to 5pm.
Introducing and campaigning of candidates standing for Secondary elections starts on Sunday August 25 and ends of Thursday September 19.


Nominees affected by errors should approach EBC


MBABANE – Nominees whose names were missspelt, or wrongly written or omitted have been encouraged to contact the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) for corrections to be made.

EBC Public Relations Officer Sabelo Dlamini made the announcement.
 “The EBC is currently undergoing a process of validating the draft ballot paper, which carries names and pictures of all nominees.
“Nominees do not need to worry because they will be given a chance to approve both their names and pictures in the draft ballot paper before the elections,” he said.


22% nominees are women

MBABANE – Only 22 per cent of women were nominated for Parliament seats, posing a formidable challenge to women’s rights proponents to lobby hard for women’s inclusion during the elections.

This is despite that there are reportedly more women than men in Swaziland.
Statistics indicate that Swaziland is already a step back in efforts to fulfill both the constitutional mandate of putting 30 per cent women in Parliament and that of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) which calls for 50 per cent.

An analysis by the Times of Swaziland found that there were 1 392 males in all the four regions who joined the race for Parliament seats, while there were only 392 women. The total number of candidates who will sweat it out for Parliament seats in the primary elections is 1 790.
The figures show that 78 per cent were men while women took the remaining 22 per cent.

As far as Senate is concerned, half of the 10 members elected by the House of Assembly must be women, while at least eight of the 20 members appointed by the King must be women (Constitution 2005, Article 94).
Thus at least 50 per cent of the indirectly elected senators and 43 per cent of all senators must be women.

The population of Swaziland is 1 386 914, while there were just over 300 000 who registered for the elections. A majority of these were women.
Doo Aphane, the Director of Women for Women Development Consultancy said the figures are self indicative of the precarious position that women are in when comparisons based on gender are made.

“This shows that efforts must be intensified to encourage voters to vote for women. This also presents a challenge to the appointing authorities to also appoint more women for the remaining positions after the elections.”
She called for massive support for women from all fronts so that the number could not decrease further. Aphane said efforts should intensify in ensuring that at least 20 per cent of women elected are retained and eventually elected.

“Even the Constitution states that out of the 20 senators eight must be female,” she said.
Aphane said on the recent term of government the Constitution was not adhered to in as far as placing the Constitution was concerned.
She also said several incidents occurring during the nominations process were indicative of that women were being marginalised.

“Jennifer (Du Pont former MP) at Timphisini said ‘even though I lost my husband two or three months ago, I feel fit to stand for Parliament’. However, she was harassed and the issue of mourning gowns was brought to bear,” she said.
Elections and Boundaries Commission PRO Sabelo Dlamini said he had no comment as a full analysis would be made during a press conference this week.


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