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image MPs greet each other before the sitting. From left are, Princess Ncengencenge, Marwick Khumalo and Themba Msibi.

LOBAMBA – Complete gloom enveloped the House of Assembly when Themba Msibi was pronounced Speaker unopposed yesterday.

Msibi’s victory lacked the much expected excitement by MPs and members of the public as witnessed in previous elections of Speakers.
The announcement that Msibi was unopposed, after the withdrawal of Prince Guduza from the race, seemed to have effectively dampened the mood in the House of Assembly.

As if to sum up the mood in Parliament yesterday, Mbabane West MP Johane Shongwe stood up and said such an announcement called for the House to be in mourning.
“Kufuna kungene sililo landlini,” (the development calls for us to mourn) said Shongwe.
It was 10:45am when Clerk to Parliament Ndvuna Dlamini called for those who wanted to nominate the Speaker to indicate such. “I nominate Themba Msibi to be Speaker because he has the necessary experience,” said Sigwe MP David ‘Cruiser’ Ngcamphalala. He was seconded by Sandleni MP James Mfanyana Simelane. Msibi was also in the House when he was nominated.

After Ngcamphalala had tabled Msibi’s letter of consent, Dlamini proceeded to ask if there were any more candidates. This was when Zombodze Emuva MP Titus Thwala said his nominee was Prince Guduza and was seconded by Siphofaneni MP Gundwane Gamedze.
“I raise this because I had come to your office to indicate that the prince would be my candidate,” said Thwala. He said he had lobbied many other members to vote for the prince.

“I had such great hopes that we, as Parliament under the leadership of the prince, would achieve the 2022 First World status goal,” said Thwala. “Sadly, and I am very sad to say that my candidate Prince Guduza has withdrawn from the race,” said Thwala. He continuously asked that he be allowed to make his remarks without God’s wrath being brought upon him.

Gamedze also said he was very sad that the prince had withdrawn from the race. “We worked very well with him during the Ninth Parliament and he was a very humble and respectful individual,” said Gamedze. He said sometimes tempers flared in Parliament, but the prince had the ability to remain calm and they were able to work with him. “I have no choice, but to second Thwala in the withdrawal, but our candidate was a hard worker,” said Gamedze.

No reasons were forwarded on why the prince had withdrawn. After Thwala had announced that the prince was now out of the race, the Clerk to Parliament announced that Msibi was the Speaker as he was unopposed.
He then called upon Msibi to confirm that he was interested in the position to which he responded: “Yebo Mhlonishwa Clerk, ngiyavuma,” loosely translated: ‘I will take up the position’. Section 8 of the Standing Orders states that if only one person be proposed and seconded as Speaker that person if then present in the House, shall be called to the Chair by the Clerk without any question put.

Other candidates who withdrew from the race prematurely were Mangcongco MP Patrick Pha Motsa and former Mtfongwaneni MP Mfomfo Nkhambule. Last week’s sitting was adjourned after the Clerk to Parliament said there was a candidate who had not submitted a letter of consent.

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