By Sifiso Dlamini | 2022-08-05
Lobamba - New Siphofaneni MP Nomalungelo Simelane has officially been welcomed into the House of Assembly.
This happened during the MPs’ swearing-in which took place during yesterday's sitting.
Speaker Petros Mavimbela, women MPs and Cabinet representative Minister of Public Service Mabulala Maseko all welcomed the new member and assured her of their support.
They further urged her to familiarise herself with the Constitution as well as Standing Orders.
Her election brings the total number of women MPs to seven, four of whom were appointed regional MPs and three elected, namely Manzini South’s Thandi Nxumalo and Mafutseni’s Lady Howard Mabuza, who is also Minister of education and Training Siphofaneni constituents and family members were present in their numbers to show support to their new representative.
Simelane replaced her husband and former MP, Mduduzi Simelane who vacated his seat last year.
Speaker Mavimbela was the first to welcome Simelane into the august House.
He relayed his gratitude to Siphofaneni constituents for entrusting a woman to represent them in Parliament.
“I would like to take this opportunity to officially welcome our new member who is gazetted and now a full-fledged member of this House," said Mavimbela.
He urged his colleagues to support her in her new journey and show her the ropes since they were now experienced.
The speaker further urged Simelane to feel free and assured her that it was possible to work and fulfil her duties only if she wanted to and was committed to the task at hand.
Mavimbela said she would be provided with her own copy of the Standing Orders and the Constitution, which were the two most important documents they were all expected to uphold and adhere to.
“You are the third elected woman MP this term.
This should encourage all women in Eswatini to take their place in leadership positions.
We need more women in Parliament,” he said.
He further urged the new MP to be cognisant that she was there because of the people who voted for her and advised her to respect and work hand-in-hand with them.
Manzini South MP Thandi Nxumalo relayed that she was one of the three women MPs who made their way into Parliament through elections.
“I am glad and honoured that Emaswati now appreciate and trust women to contribute towards developing the country and reviving the frail economy,” said Nxumalo. She said it was not an easy road to be elected into Parliament, especially for women, but assured Simelane that she and the rest of the MPs were there to support and guide her throughout the remainder of the current term.
Nxumalo also recognised and appreciated the support they got from the male MPs and urged Simelane to feel at home.
She also advised Simelane to honour and abide by the Constitution and Standing Orders.
“This is my second term and I still get called to order. When called to order, do not take it personal as we follow procedure and learn each day.
This is not a direct attack but how we all learn the ropes,” advised Nxumalo.
She further reminded her colleague that she was there through a Constitutional mandate and the entire nation depended on them to lead them forward.
Her sentiments were echoed by Hhohho Region MP Nokunceda Bujela who acknowledged that her election increased their representation in Parliament as women.
Meanwhile Ndzingeni MP Lutfo Dlamini assured Simelane of his support and respect for her as an MP.
"As per our Constitution, Emaswati should trust and support women and as men, we also support the election and appointment of women into leadership positions," said Dlamini.
He said she may not have been everyone's favourite but now that she was her constituency's representative, she must work hand in hand with everyone from her constituency so she could stand a better chance to return next term.
Following her swearing in, Simelane took time to address her supporters, some of whom remained at the entrance for the entirety of the sitting.
She thanked them for their support and stated that it was a sign that they did not sell her out.
She also assured her commitment to taking their best interest at heart.
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