Dr PQ adds expert weight on calls for elected PM

Dr PQ not sure how direct PM election will be carried out


Can the direct election of a prime minister in the Kingdom of eSwatini be possible under the present system of governance, a topic which has been dominating social platforms in recent days. 

To shed light on the issue that has seen all corners of the landlocked kingdom seemingly endorsing what Siphofaneni MP Mduduzi ‘Gawuzela; Simelane, Hosea MP, Mduduzi ‘Bacede’ Mabuza and Ngwempisi MP Mthandeni Dube shaking foundations for the Tinkhundla System of government.

Retired University of eSwatini, Political Science Lecturer, Dr Petros Qambukusa Magagula, better known as Dr PQ, feels it could cost an arm and a leg for the country if it were to be held under the present system of governance if held under the Tinkhundla system, that would require any individual who wants to contest the position to have loads of money to be able to visit all corners of the country.

Dr PQ told Siyalu Media that it was possible to have the premier directly elected as an independent candidate, and he was quick to say that the individual should not belong to any constituency. He believes a multi-party system was more workable, where it will have checks and balances like having MPs from the opposition to make it more vibrant since the leader will do everything to ensure that they remain the ruling party in Parliament.     

“Such candidates will need to have a clearly defined election manifestos which they can sell to the corporate world, so that those companies that will endorse that individual will need to agree on a strategy meant at boosting the ailing economy and how to attract foreign direct investment. Such an individual must have been endorsed by the business world.

“Such can also mean that the three viral MPs want to open the system for political transformation that can later see political parties contesting the national elections. However, I have not yet engaged them on how they hope to go about the issue of electing the prime minister in a country without political parties,” Dr PQ said. 

the direct election of the prime minister will not make the country democratic in as far as principles of democracy are concerned. Dr PQ wanted to know if the trio was saying something new as compared to what other organisations such as Sive Siyinqaba, Sibahle Sinje had  been saying as they also wanted to change the system from within, as he wondered if that was possible.

He challenged them to look at how emaSwati viewed the late trade union leader Jan Sithole before he took part in the Tinkhundla engineered elections and how he was received after losing his parliamentary seat when he wanted to rejoin the mass democratic movement. 

Dr PQ was of the view that the absence of a level play field was depriving the country of an opportunity to know its political direction or know or discuss the pros and cons of the route the MPs wanted the country to take.

Meanwhile, it should be noted that political parties were banned from contesting political office on April 12, 1973, when it was said that those who were in power stated that it was unworkable for a country like Swaziland at the time.   

The last elections to be held under the multi-party system in the then Swaziland was in1972, that saw the now defunct Imbokodvo National Movement (INM) losing two seats of the three contested to the then main opposition the Ngwane National Liberatory Congress (NNLC), which created panic to authorities at the time. 

An NNLC member, Bhekindlela Ngwenya, who had won in the Mpumalanga constituency, was deported on grounds that he was not a Liswati, an argument that is still being debated even to this day. Disputing nationalities of leaders of campaign groups was not the last, as the late unionist Jani Sithole was once disputed to be a bona fide liSwati when he led the notorious strike in 1996, which was dubbed ‘Khukhulela Ngoco’.   

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