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MBABANE – Deputy Prime Minister Themba Masuku says he has sympathy for ministers who were voted out in the primary elections.

He said the ministers were good and had performed to their outmost best in their various portfolios.
Masuku said Cabinet set deliverables in the form of targets for each minister, all of which they were able to meet.

The DPM said the objectives were set by the Prime Minister.
The DPM’s office had the responsibility of assessing the ministers against the targets as set in the ministries programme of action.

He said in all the assessments he made, most ministers came tops in the evaluations for the ‘business unusual’ approach by Cabinet.
Masuku was shocked by the electorate’s decision not to show their confidence in the ministers by voting them back to parliament.

He said he was perplexed because the electorate may not have been privy to what the ministers had achieved in government.
Ministers who lost out in the race for parliament in the primary elections include Clement Dlamini, outgoing minister of Agriculture, Hlobisile Ndlovu, minister of Sports, Culture  and Youth Affairs,  Wilson Ntshangase minister of education, Ntuthuko Dlamini , minister of Public Works and Transport and Rogers Mamba, minister of Tinkhundla Administration and Regional 


He said the ministers performed to the expectations of the Cabinet and they satisfied all targets that were set for them in their line of work.
He said the ‘vote of no confidence’ shown by the public was unexpected.
“Maybe it was caused by the fact that the public had its own expectations, which they failed to fulfill at constituency level,” Masuku said.

He said ministers like Clement, worked hard to facilitate the construction of dams in various parts of the country which were in need of water.
“The ministry of Agriculture nationally dug 24 dams. According to the national and global picture the minister performed well,” he said.

“The minister performed exceptionally well because he managed to build the dams despite the economic crisis we had. But maybe no dam was built for his constituency but still he was not selfish to construct a dam for his constituency  against other areas such as the lowveld which direly needed the facility,” he said.

Masuku also said the ministry of health also performed very well.
“Health services have been decentralised, but is the minister of health Benedict Xaba going to fail? I do not know. He won the primaries now, but are people looking at whether they have an ambulance now next to their areas, I do not know,” he said.

The DPM said there was nothing wrong with the system which prescribes that parliamentarians only focus on the work of being legislators and play an oversight role to government.
“There is nothing wrong because the beauty of the system is that people ask you to serve them and, therefore, we should meet with the voters so that we share the expectations between them,” he said.

He said the unfortunate thing about the system was that parliamentarians who fail to strike a balance between his work as a legislator and the expectations of the community.
Masuku said what happened to the ministers and other MPs who were not elected had a task of finding a way of serving the interests of the electorate while at the same time delivering on the expectations of parliament.

He said the next MPs should work with their constituencies to address broader issues that affect them in their daily lives.

One way of doing this would be to come up with a programme of action that will be implemented by the MPs together with the constituency. Ministers who lost out in the elections were called for comment on this, on Thursday and Friday but they did not answer their phones.

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