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Lubulini mp elections stopped Mana wins

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image Mana Mavimbela who was disqualified from the elections for her dress code.

MBABANE – Mana Mavimbela, the 18 year-old girl who was disqualified for standing for a Parliament seat at Lubulini yesterday recorded a victory at the High Court as she has been reinstated.

The electing of a Member of Parliament was also stopped in her area today and it was agreed that only the election of Indvuna YeNkhundla and Bucopho will be allowed to continue.

The order that she be reinstated and that the election of a Member of Parliament should not continue was issued after Mavimbela’s attorney Mzwandile Sobandla Dlamini and Ticheme Dlamini from the Attorney General’s office was issued by consent of counsel for the parties.
The election of a Member of Parliament in this area will now be held tomorrow and the EBC will make new ballot papers which include Mavimbela.

The case was before High Court Judge Mbutfo Mamba yesterday evening after it had been filed under a certificate of urgency by Mavimbela’s lawyer
Respondents in this matter were the Chairman of the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC), Attorney General and the other nominees for the position of Member of Parliament under Lusabeni Inkhundla.

Mavimbela was nominated under her chiefdom at Lusabeni for the position of Member of Parliament but she was refused permission by the presiding officer as she came to the polling station wearing pants.
In her founding affidavit Mavimbela stated that on August 14, 2013 she attended to the call of the nation by the EBC at Nkhanini Primary School under Elusabeni Royal Kraal, Lubulini constituency to participate in the process of nomination for candidates to run for Bucopho, Indvuna YeNkhu-ndla as well as Member of Parliament.

She said upon arrival the nominations proceeded and the presiding officer of the day was one Lindiwe Sukati. Mavimbela further stated that candidates for Bucopho and Indvuna yeNkhundla were nominated and finalised.
“I state that when it was time for nominating candidates to run for being Member of Parliament I nominated one Jabulani Buthelezi and was duly seconded by 10 people as per the elections law.

As the nominations continued I was nominated by one Baby Mabuyakhulu as a candidate to run for a seat as a Member of Parliament,” she said
Mavimbela submitted that upon her nomination many people cheered her and showed great interest to second her nomination. She said she accepted the nomination and was ready to be elected Member of Parliament.

“While the people were preparing to second me the presiding officers, to my surprise, asked the people in attendance if a woman in pants was accepted in a royal kraal. I must mention that I was wearing pants on that day. The people in attendance never gave an answer but they murmured,” she said.

Mavimbela submitted that the presiding officer then called for other nominations and ignored hers. 
The presiding officer, according to Mavi-mbela in her founding affidavit, had already asked her if she was standing for the elections as per the nomination and she responded to the affirmative.

She further submitted that the presiding officer took the other nominations and thereafter closed the nominations for the candidates to run for a parliamentary seat. Mavimbela said she noted that the presiding officer did not ask the same question to Jabulani Buthelezi but only asked when she was nominated.


‘I was discriminated for wearing pants’

MBABANE - Mana Mavimbela says the presiding officer discriminated her as she was a woman and wearing pants.

In her application Mavimbela stated that she does not subscribe to the notion that a woman should not wear a trouser and she wears them more often.
“I further submit that it is not fair that I should be deprived of an opportunity to run for a parliamentary seat on the basis of my dress code,” she said.

Mavimbela said she was willing to run for the parliamentary seat as she accepted her nomination and given the opportunity she would do so.
She submitted that she is confident she could win the case as people of the area have trust in her and same was evidenced by the fact that she was nominated and people were ready to second her nomination.


Victory for young women - Network

MBABANE – The Swaziland Young  Women Network (SYWN) has described yesterday’s High Court ruling as a victory for young women.

Hleli Luhlanga, National Co-ordinator of SYWN said the ruling also restored the integrity of the courts. 

“It’s a wish granted, we come a long way in advocating for justice to be seen to be done in the country. Most often than not, we are marginalised as young people based on our age and gender.

“It’s only fair for Mana to lose the elections in the ballot box. We have had calls from young people of Lubulini who are also aggrieved about what happened to Mana. We are extremely happy that justice has been done. This ruling also says a lot about the justice system that we can still bank on it,” she said.

Luhlanga said Mana was marginalised during the nominations simply because she is young and a female.
“This is a victory for young women. In as much as there are not so many young women who have been nominated but we think the people of Lubulini did well to believe in a young person. Let us go to the ballot box and let the people of Lubulini speak,” said Luhlanga.


She said the judgment was a potential milestone towards the liberation of women.
“This ruling could be a potential milestone; we are aware that we are still living in a Swaziland where we observe a dual legal system. This judgment will liberate women in all spheres. Women will now be free to wear whatever they want,” she said.
Adding Luhlanga said as an organisa-tion they were shocked when they saw replying papers by the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) alleging that Mana was drunk during the nominations. She said the EBC failed to prove such allegations.

She further punched holes on the dual legal system operating in the country.
“It is also an indication that the dual legal system is unworkable. Roman Dutch Law must prevail. Culture must fall out where it marginalises against certain groups. Also, Swaziland has come a long way in terms of women’s rights.

“I would like to shake hands with Mzwa-ndile Fakudze (EBC) Deputy Chairman to say we are grateful that the EBC will stop the Lubulini elections and only open ballot boxes when Mana’s picture has been included,” she said.

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