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Don’t vote for widow – Chief

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image Chief Magudvulela addressing the residents at the Royal Kraal.

LUDZIBINI – Former Member of Parliament Jennifer du Pont race for another term in Parliament may have come to an end yesterday.

The journey may have ended as the Ludzibini Chief yesterday warned his subjects against voting for widowed women.
The primary elections will be held this coming weekend and Jennifer Du Pont had already been nominated. 

Tears streamed down her family’s and supporters faces as Chief Magudvulela warned his subjects. The former Timphisini Member of Parliament lost her husband (Bheki) on May 28, 2013. The former nurse is a mother of five.
She is still in mourning.

Tension was high at the meeting as some people had been informed of what the message from the chief would be. The meeting was held at the chiefdom where the chief was the only speaker. The chief told his subjects to desist from voting for women in mourning. There were over 400 people at the meeting

He said electing a woman in mourning would be uncultured and embarrassing to the chiefdom.
The chief said according to Swazi law and custom, women in mourning were not supposed to hold public office.
His stance follows a dramatic situation that unfolded when Dumsani Dlamini the Ludzibini chiefdom headman warned residents against nominating Du Pont during the nomination process held a few weeks back.

Dlamini allegedly told residents that they would be evicted from the chiefdom if they nominated the former MP. 
The residents, however, ignored the headmans’ advice as they nominated Du Pont to stand for the MP post together with Mboniseni Mhlanga, Logiya Shiba, a certain Matsebula and Upton Ndlovu among others.

During yesterday’s meeting Chief Magudvulela said he was aware of the constitutional right of women to choose to mourn the death of their husbands but said Swazi Law and Custom was supreme to women rights.
“Lokuphetse tsine lakaNgwane lilanga nenyeti. Khohlwa ngemtseshwana wakho (what we use is the sun and the moon, forget about other laws),” he said.

“NgeSiswati Sakitsi solo umnyama (she is still in mourning).”
He said the moon and the sun custom especially applied in this case and stipulated the length of mourning periods as well as dates for Incwala national ceremony.
“The moon and the sun tell us about months and dates of events. Also the ploughing seasons determines years in our culture such that one year was equivalent to a ploughing season,” he said.
Chief Magudvulela said he did not hate anyone but wanted the residents to conform to the dictates of Swazi culture as they vote next weekend.

The chief urged the residents against disappointing the country’s authorities by electing a candidate whom they could not use because of the technicality of mourning.
“We want people who could win the election and be able to be in a position to be appointed Cabinet minister or into other senior positions in the country,” he said.

If the residents follow the chief’s advice in next weekend’s primary elections, the fate of Du Pont’s quest for a seat in Parliament ended under the fig tree yesterday. Du Pont is hoping that the residents would continue to ignore her detractors next weekend.
She said the people of her chiefdom had not disappointed her and would stand to defend her even next weekend.

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