By Wonderboy Dlamini | 2021-03-01
Siteki THE widespread incidence of women showing less interest in political positions was witnessed during the bucopho by-elections at Mpolonjeni Inkhundla, where the only two women who were nominated declined to stand for the elections.
The Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) on Saturday conducted by-elections at Mpolonjeni, Lugongolweni and Kubuta constituencies to fill vacant bucopho positions. Mpolonjeni was left without bucopho after Hawane Dlamini passed away in 2019.
Hundreds of residents descended to Mpolonjeni Umphakatsi to nominate potential candidates to stand for the elections later this month. A total of 12 male candidates emerged as the ultimate nominees.
During the nomination process, at least two women were nominated to stand for the elections. However, each of them declined the nomination.
First to have her name called out was Thembi Gwebu, an active resident in the community.
When an EBC official asked if Gwebu was accepting the nomination, her response was negative. Gwebu cited ill-health, saying she could not withstand the pressure that comes with the duties of bucopho.
“I am not well and I just want to concentrate on getting my health back on track before I can take up such responsibilities,” she said. health Gwebu said, however, she was hoping to stand for the elections in 2023 provided she is in good health. In fact, she disclosed that she also contested the same position during the 2018 elections.
Another female resident, Vuyisile Vilane also declined a nomination. When interviewed, Vilane said she felt she did not stand a chance to win against the male candidates who had already been nominated.
“It would be a waste of time to accept the nomination when there are already obvious candidates who have been nominated to contest for the same position,” she said.
Vilane also pointed out that there was a number of residents who came from the same community, whom she will be voting for. Meanwhile, EBC Elections Officer Siboniso Nhleko said it was worrying to note that women were still reluctant to contest in national elections.
Nhleko said the EBC was advocating for women to take charge and contest for leadership positions and ensure that both genders in all age categories were represented when making decisions.
“We are hoping to see more women taking part and contesting for the elections in 2023,” he said.
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