STRANGLE THOSE UNIONISTS - PM
LOBAMBA – Prime Minister Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini has called for the strangulation of workers union leaders who went to Washington under the pretext of going to save AGOA.
AGOA is an acronym of the African Growth Opportunity Act.
Dlamini made these remarks yesterday when addressing Members of Parliament (MPs) during the debate of his ministry’s performance report for the first quarter of the financial years 2014 – 2015.
So far it’s only TUCOSWA’s Vincent Ncongwane and Lawyers for Human Rights’ Sipho Gumede who have attended the summit.
The PM said leaders of workers unions had sneaked into Washington DC, in the United States of America without even informing government or the workers themselves. “They leave your constituencies and do not even inform you where they are going and once they come back and you find out that they are from your constituency you must strangle them,” said Dlamini.
In vernacular the PM said: “Nakabuya mukhame,”.
Dlamini was responding to concerns from the MPs on what government was doing to ensure that the country regained its eligibility to AGOA.
As he had stated during the breakfast meeting with editors last week, Dlamini emphasised that it was the workers who did not want to come to the round table to map a way forward and address the benchmarks set by the US Government in order for the country to retain AGOA.
“Government has already sent a team to Washington which is supposed to address the matter, instead we have heard that some workers leaders have sneaked into America,” he said.
Dlamini said, in his opinion, it was the workers representatives who did not want AGOA restored. He told the MPs that were it not for Parliament standing orders, he would then mention the names of those people who had travelled to the US.
“The crucial question you should ask yourselves is why they have gone there without informing us,” said Dlamini. “Tisebenti tinyenye taya eWashington” said Dlamini.
He used the old Swazi adage that ligama lemuntfu yinkhomo and said on their return they should be questioned on why they had gone to the US as government had already sent a team to the US to ensure that Swaziland’s eligibility was retained.
“When they return you must ask them why they went there when they refuse to come to the table to negotiate with government so that we go to the Americans to speak in one voice,” said Dlamini.
First to ask the PM on what government’s position on AGOA was and whether the King had gone to salvage the situation was Siphofaneni MP Gundwane Gamedze, who asked if the King would have a chance to be in a position to discuss the matter. Manzini North MP Jan Sithole also wanted to know at what speed government was working to ensure that AGOA was retained.
MP Patrick Pha Motsa from Mangcongco constituency also asked the PM to inform the MPs what government’s present position was.
The PM reminded the MPs that there were five benchmarks which had to be met by government and explained that they had requested the US Government to assist them in amending the Anti-Terrorism Act and further asked the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to assist with the Public Order Act among the other five benchmarks.