MPs DEMAND KUNHLANHLATSEKA APOLOGY
PRIME Minister Sibusiso Dlamini was yesterday told to apologise for his recent statement that Members of Parliament (MPs) were going astray (bayanhlanhlatseka).
Ludzeludze MP Nonhlanhla Dlamini and Gege MP Musa Kunene said they did not take kindly to the PM’s statement as they believed they were doing their job. They said the PM must apologise for the statement, which they termed as disrespectful.
The PM made the statement in a press conference about a month ago immediately after MPs had passed a vote of no confidence on cabinet.
The PM called a press conference at midnight, where he assured the nation that they should not panic over the MPs’ vote as they were not going anywhere. He highlighted that MPs were straying by passing the vote of no confidence.
He said they were going astray because they passed a resolution on a matter which the courts had already made pronunciations on, thus breaking the rule of law. The PM said MPs ayanhlanhlatsa. Yesterday, the PM did not apologise for the statement.
Instead, he simply gave a definition of the word, saying it meant one was losing track. He explained that the statement was used within context. The PM had appeared in parliament during the first quarter performance report of his office.
The portfolio committee of the prime minister’s office said it had not been easy working with the premier during the current parliament. The committee members said throughout the term, which began in 2008, they only had a few meetings with the prime minister, which made their work very difficult.
MP Princess Ncengencenge was first to raise this, saying had they been able to meet they could have achieved a lot.
Khubuta MP Charles Myeza also supported his colleague, saying they had challenges meeting with the PM despite that they were a committee responsible for the PM’s office. Siphofaneni MP Gundwane Gamedze said the PM was a very difficult person and never stopped punishing people. He said the PM never stopped strangling one even when he saw that the person was helpless.
He said this was how the country got into difficult situations as the ones it had to go through when some of them could be avoided.
“PM wekhama angayekeli noma sekeva kutsi soyasuta uyasheka, he said, meaning the PM never stops strangling even when one loses breath.
PM brags: This cabinet has achieved a lot
WHILE Prime Minister Sibusiso Dlamini and his cabinet have been accused of failing the country, the head of government seems to hold a different view as he says he is proud of his achievements during his term of office.
He said a lot had been achieved during their office term and as a leader, he was very proud of his work. The premier was challenged by MP Princess Ncengencenge to state if he was content with his work as head of government.
She asked him to state if he thought he had improved the state of the government of which he boldly responded to the affirmative. “What has the PM contributed to the government during his term. Does the PM think he is leaving the government in a better state, “asked MP Ncengencenge?
Dlamini said even though there were people who ridiculed his work, he still believed he had done very well. He said the ninth parliament as a whole worked very hard and there were too many things to point out to prove his assertion.
He said it was normal for people to get tired of someone with time. “The ninth parliament worked very hard. Let us forget about those who are ridiculing us. The country was in serious problems that were not caused by us but we managed to pull through,” said the premier.
Highlighting some of the achievements the PM said government was able to pay civil servants salaries since December last year to April under very difficult circumstances and that was a very big achievement on its own.
He also listed some other things which were achieved by the current government and these included malaria elimination, saying the country has done very well on that regard. He also highlighted the issue of HIV saying a few countries had reached the level that Swaziland reached.
For example, on the issue of prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT), the PM said Swaziland was ranking highly in that less children now contracted the virus from their mothers. Provision of access to clean water was another highlight. Dlamini said about 70% of the population now had access to clean water.
He said not many countries had achieved that. He added that the introduction of the Free Primary Education would also be in the history of the current government as well as the construction of 12 secondary schools which were built in one year.
PM makes fun of vote of no confidence
PRIME Minister made fun of MPs yesterday as he responded to their questions regarding the vote of no confidence.
He said he was going to compile a report on his achievements at the end of the term. He said that would be possible though, if they didn’t pass another vote of no confidence on him. This was when he gave responses to MP Princess Ncengencenge’s question on what the premier had achieved during his term.
“We are going to compile a report on our achievements if we are not slapped with a vote of no confidence. If you want that report, forget about a vote of no confidence,” he said.
MPs need workshop on separation of powers - PM
PM says members of parliament need a workshop on separation of powers.
He said it was already late but that could only be done at the beginning of the term. The premier was speaking during the debate of his office’s first quarter performance report yesterday. He acknowledged parliament had an important responsibility but seemingly, it overlapped sometimes. He said though it was late now it could still be done with the coming parliament next year.
The Constitution gives certain duties and obligations to the three arms of government, that is, parliament being the legislative arm, cabinet which plays the executive duties and the judiciary.
These arms work together in the administration of government but the term has been a rollercoaster of confrontations between the three arms.
Dlamini said there needed to be a clarification on the separation of powers of the three arms so that none of them got in the way for the other, thus making the operation of government smooth in as far as that was concerned.
He said each of them needed to know their obligations well.
‘PM failed to protect King on jet’
NKHABA MP Enoch Dlamini has said Prime Minister Sibusiso Dlamini set up His Majesty the King against the nation by refusing to divulge where the King’s jet came from.
He said people thought that the jet was bought using public funds just because of the prime minister’s failure to tell the truth. He said there was nothing wrong about stating from whom the gift came from.
He said instead of announcing the arrival of the plane, the prime minister should have kept quiet than to announce its arrival yet still refuse to state where it came from. He said keeping quiet would have been better.
The King’s jet was unveiled early this year. It was announced by the Prime Minister, saying it was a gift but never stated exactly whom it came from. He did not name divulge its price saying “when one gives you a gift, you do not ask how much it cost them.”
Follow the procedure on radio ban, PM tells MPs
THE Prime Minister Sibusiso Dlamini has said MPs were never blocked from going on radio.
He said the MPs had guidelines to follow when they wanted to make announcements or ask any form of assistance on national radio and that was to go via their areas’ chiefs. He said it was wrong for them to just go on radio with issues which the chiefs were not even aware of.
The premier was asked for the first time by the MPs if he was aware that the radio staff was not letting them on air, saying it was an instruction from cabinet. Dlamini said that was not true. He said the issue was wrong in the first place as the MPs were allowed to go on air as they pleased without following the right channels.
He said as far as he knew, the MPs were allowed to go on air as they were featured in the programme, ‘tasephalamende.’
DPM accused of sabotaging MPs
who supported confidence vote
DEPUTY Prime Minister Themba Masuku has been accused of playing cheap politics by members of parliament.
They alleged that he promised to give preferential treatment to MPs who supported the reversal of the vote of no confidence on cabinet.
MPs who attended the debate of the first quarter performance report of the deputy prime minister (DPM’s) office yesterday said there was a rumour circulating that the DPM was getting back at those who supported the vote of no confidence by not giving them things they need for their constituencies so that they would seen as unproductive by their constituents. Such things include food parcels that are usually given to MPs to distribute to the needy.
Manzini South MP Thandi Nxumalo asked the DPM to state his position on the allegation.
Masuku was infuriated by the MP’s submission. He interrupted as she continued and said he did not take kindly to the allegations levelled against him. “I take exception of the submission because of these allegations,” he said sternly.
He was, however, interrupted by Chairperson MP Trusty Gina, who told him not to receive the issue with emotions because the rumour was there and he would definitely be given a chance to respond.
However, Siphofaneni MP Gundwane Gamedze said everything that was said in parliament must be substantiated with evidence. He said MP Nxumalo must submit evidence as well. Masuku tried to interrupt once more but he was told to wait for his chance to respond.
He murmured, saying: “I want to correct this now because the debate will take long and I might end up not getting a chance to respond to ‘the woman’s’ allegations. “Sitawuphuma ngingakamphendvuli lomake lo.”
However, Gina cut him short, saying MP Nxumalo must continue with the debate. She said: “when you are in leadership; you don’t react with anger,” and warned him that she heard that she called MP Nxumalo a ‘woman’. The DPM was quick to apologise for the statement.
MP Thandi said there was no reason for the DPM to be heated up as she was just posing a question which he would have a chance to respond afterwards. She said if the allegation was true, then the DPM must know it was taxpayers’ money that they would be using to fight their personal battles.
Nkhaba MP Enock Dlamini said if there was any fighting that the DPM or cabinet wanted to engage in, it should be between the MPs and them (cabinet) but must not affect the people at grass-roots level. He said the people must not suffer for the MPs’ sins.
Marwick asks DPM to come clean on allegations
LOBAMBA Lomdzala MP Marwick Khumalo told DPM Themba Masuku how highly he thinks of him and that if the allegations about him were true, he would be disappointed.
He asked the DPM to clear his name of the allegations that he was giving special treatment to the MPs who supported the reversal of the no confidence vote of cabinet, saying such was unlike Masuku.
“This is so unlike you honourable DPM. I know you and consider you highly and playing chiwawa politics is so unlike you,” he said, adding that he had never believed the rumour even though it was circulating widely because of the respect he had for him. He said he would not be surprised though because everything had a first time.
He asked the DPM to declare his feelings on the MPs who supported the vote of no confidence on cabinet.
MP Khumalo added that there were now divisive elements in parliament. He said he was praying that they should not win the elections next term so that they would not come back to parliament, adding that it was probably first time comers. He said: “This is so cheap and I am not a champion of cowardice.”
‘I won’t entertain cheap politics’
DPM Themba Masuku has termed the allegations that he favoured MPs who supported the reversal of the vote of no confidence as cheap politics.
He said he would not stoop so low to entertain such. He said this in response to allegations by MPs which they said have been widely circulating.
“I’m above cheap politics and I won’t even talk about this. To say I am now refusing to support MPs is just a clean lie. Recently, I was in Hosea where I had attended an event under the MP’s invitation and I did honour it. That MP and I recently had a confrontation here in parliament but I did not hold a grudge against him. I would never do such a thing,” he said.
He said the MPs who still wanted the vote of no confidence could always lobby others and move the motion again. “Lobbying is always allowed in politics, they should just do that,” he said.
Who protects Nonhle Mthethwa? MPs ask DPM
SIGWE MP Sivumelwano Nxumalo has said government must come up with a law to protect children from being exploited.
He said children had been exploited for their talents to the benefit of some people, including their parents. He made an example of young gospel singer Nonhle Mthethwa, whom he said his parents had declared that they benefitted from the child’s talent.
Nxumalo asked the DPM what his office was doing to protect children from such abuse. He said should children be made to herd cattle, their parents would be accused of child labour but in some cases, they were encouraged.