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image His Mjesty King Mswati III smiles as he listens to the legislators. (Pics: Linda Jele)

LOZITHA – SWADEPA president and Manzini North MP Jan Sithole has pledged support to His Majesty King Mswati III.

Sithole made the pledge in a five minutes long address to the King when the new legislators forming the tenth Parliament were introducing themselves to the King at Lozitha Palace yesterday. SWADEPA stands for the Swaziland Democratic Party and was formed by Sithole last year. He said his party respected the King, but he openly declared that he is a member of a political party.

The statement was met with mixed reactions by the legislators as some were heard murmuring and others expressing surprise at the declaration. He made the statements when explaining who he was and what he wished needed to be done to develop the country. He recalled that His Majesty King Mswati III had encouraged dialogue and said such would attract investors.

Sithole commended the King for the coming into being of the 2005 constitution and for signing various conventions in the past year. He said he wished to see the country developing something that was in line with the King to make the country a first world state by 2022. He said that could be achieved when all stakeholders worked together.
“Our vision is to see a country that is developed and an investor destination,” he said, adding, “Your Majesty, you signed the constitution that meets our needs and signed conventions last year, and those are milestones. The are at least ten countries in the world, such as Japan,  that are developed yet they are Kingdoms. They developed because they had governments,” he said.

He said the Members of Parliament had different backgrounds, some of whom were Pastors, police officers or teachers to name a few.
“Sibakho sonkhe mbangazitha (We are all yours, your Majesty). You do not change once you are here (Parliament). Even people whose mental state is suspect, organisations and, political parties are yours, but they serve the King. I cannot hide that I am a member of a Political party and my party respects you,” Sithole said. 
Sithole informed the King of the quandary and plush economic lifestyles of the Manzini North Constituents that existed parallel. He said there was a wide economic gap between the rich and the poor people in the area.

He said so worse was the situation, for the poor, that some ended up scavenging for food at the waste dump site. He said he hoped that he and government would work together to improve the situation. He said the youth of the area and the country as a whole were hard hit by unemployment.
“Most of the children finish school but fail to get scholarship from government. Research has shown that about 8 000 pupils finish school per year, only for government to offer scholarship to 500, which increases the rate of unemployment,”

“That is a time bomb for government. It is a challenge to the government.”
He said there was need for the country to produce the raw materials found in the country locally and diversity was vital in order to create ample employment opportunities. He suggested that more mines should be opened and the minerals turned into finished products locally.
“In that way the country would be the Switzerland of the South and we would fulfill the King’s 2022 vision,” Sithole said.

The 95 Senators and Members of Parliament paid a courtesy visit to the King and introduced themselves. However, only 65 were able to stand before His Majesty King Mswati III yesterday and the remaining 20 are expected to do same today at noon.
Senate President Gelane Zwane pledged support to the King.

“Mbangazitha mine ngatsatsa sincumo kutsi ngiyawufela enkhosini.,” loosely translated as, ‘Your majesty, I made a vow that I will die being your subject. She said she made that vow when she made her first cry as a new born.

Almost all the legislators thanked the King for re-appointing Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini as Prime Minister. They said he was the right choice as he had displayed good leadership qualities.  Each lawmaker was given a maximum three minutes to speak before the King.

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