By Lunga Masuku
MBABANE – The Speaker of the House of Assembly in the Kingdom of eSwatini, formerly known as Swaziland, Petros Mavimbela will come out a strong fellow if he were to survive the looming vote of no confidence against his chairmanship.
Sources within the august House have confided to Siyalu Media that Mavimbela was now suppressing dissenting views in the House, yet MPs claim they should enjoy freedom of speech and the right to hold different views.
It all started just after two vocal MPs, who are currently jailed, attempted to raise motions of national interest, that led to the Speaker convening a meeting of the select committee on defence without the knowledge of its former chairman, one of the incarnated MPs Mduduzi Bacede Mabuza. Despite rumblings, the speaker was able to have Mabuza forcefully removed from the committee.
Immediately after this incident, Lobamba Lomdzala MP Marwick Khumalo tried to have a motion debated under-standing order number 32. The long-serving MP was said to have intended to move that His excellency, the prime minister, or Cabinet should give a concise, clear and unambiguous position of government on the following issues raised by petitioners in the majority of Tinkhundla centres in the country, directed to their elected members of Parliament to make means of amending the Constitution, so that the country could have an elected prime minister as compared to having an appointed one.
“The electorate is calling for a directly elected prime minister, that never again shall this country be led by an appointed PM, there were those who called for a fully-fledged multi-party system of government.
“They want answers on the unexplainable situation of the shortage of drugs and other medicines in hospitals and clinics. The cancellation of the contract signed by government with the Indian Government for the construction of new Parliament building,” read the motion in part.
The motion movers wanted government to explain as to how deserving Swazi students were denied the opportunity to further their studies. During the debate they wanted cabinet to give measures it was to employ in an attempt to address the sky-rocketing figures of unemployment amongst the youth, which was growing at an alarming rate.
They also said the tiny landlocked country’s rural roads were in a bad state yet people’s taxes were being remitted almost every month without fail.
“We call upon government to give us its accurate, detailed and official position on the murders that were allegedly committed by security forces. Some cabinet ministers who had a say in the matter gave conflicting statements and incoherent messages to the international media. We want to know as to what prevented it from acting swiftly and set up an inquest or inquiry this time around, like it did not long ago.
“We want a fully-fledged independent inquiry into the alleged brutal killing and alleged assassinations, so that the assassins can be brought before the law. We, therefore, call upon the government to act swiftly in addressing the above matters and many others that the electorate applied themselves to, we would like have a detailed report in two weeks after we have adopted the motion,” it further read.
The motion was moved by the sharp shooting Lobamba Lomdzala MP Marwick Khumalo who was seconded by pro-democracy faction’s prodigal son; Nkilongo Member of Parliament Timothy Myeni.
On Monday this week, a sitting of the house was called off in the morning hours of the day; this was after the Speaker notified MPs that the ongoing protests were placing business of the house under threat. It was for this reason that the Speaker indefinitely postponed the sitting much to the disapproval of most of the MPS, who later on convened their own caucus to deliberate on the issues at hand. The group of 18 MPs has called for an urgent sitting of the house, where they wanted a number of issues debated, including the fate of the Speaker as their leader. The motion on the issues of concern is still to be debated and adopted whenever it gets into the order paper.