By SIBONGILE SUKATI | 2023-10-05
Four former Cabinet ministers have been reappointed as Members of Parliament (MPs) by His Majesty King Mswati III.
This was during the announcement of the 10 MP appointees for the House of Assembly by the Attorney General (AG), Sifiso Mashampu Khumalo at 6pm yesterday during a press conference at his offices.
The former ministers are Prince Simelane, who was minister of Housing and Urban Development, Princess Lindiwe who was minister of Home Affairs, former minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Thulisile Dladla and former minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade, Manqoba Khumalo.
The attorney general also announced that Prince Lindani, Chief Mshengu, Chief Mvimbi Matse and Chief Ngalokhulu Mabuza were also appointees.
Completing the list was former Elections and Boundaries Commission commissioner Nkosingumenzi Dlamini and Tsembeni Magongo.
This now brings to total 69 MPs after 59 members of Parliament were elected last week Friday during the national elections held nationwide.
This now brings the number of women in the 12th House of Assembly to 12, as eight others were elected during the secondary elections last week.
The AG said subsequent to the holding of the national elections and the end of term for the 11th Parliament, it had pleased the King to make these appointments.
The appointment of the 10 MPs is in accordance with Section 95(1) (b) of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Eswatini, 2005 which relates to the composition of the House of Assembly.
The section states; “Not more than 10 members nominated by the King acting in his discretion after consultation with such bodies as the King may deem appropriate.”
Subsection 2(a) of the aforementioned section of the supreme law of the country states that the nominated members of the House shall be appointed by the King so that at least half of them are females.
Subsection 2(b) goes on to state that this is so as to represent interests, including marginalised groups not already adequately represented in the House.
The Constitution further provides for the election of four women into the House of Assembly in Section 95(1) (c) which states, “Four female members, specifically elected from the four regions subject to subsection (3).”
Section 86(1) states; “Where at the first meeting of the House after any general election it appears that female members of Parliament will not constitute at least 30 per cent of the total membership of Parliament, then, and only then, the provisions of this section shall apply.”
This means that the MPs are expected to the regional women as the additional four still do not constitute the needed 30 per cent.
The current percentage of women following the appointment of the four by the King now stands at 17.3 per cent.
Meanwhile, the Constitution also provides that the prime minister of the country shall be appointed from the House.
Section 67(1) states; “The King shall appoint the prime minister from among members of the House acting on recommendation of the King’s Advisory Council.”
In 2018, the late prime minister Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini was initially not appointed among the MPs however, after his appointment at Sibaya, Prince Hlangabeza was then moved to Senate.
A majority of the appointees, when called last night, had their numbers busy as news spread like wildfire that they had made it into the 12th Parliament.
As is the norm, social media websites like Facebook already had the list of the new appointees.
Former minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade, Manqoba Khumalo had a few words to say when reached for comment.
“It is an honour to be asked to serve as an MP,” he said and made salutations to the king, “Bayethe Wena Wa Phakathi”.
Others whose numbers were busy between 8 and 8:30pm last night were Prince Mshengu and Chief Mvimbi Matse, while Princess Lindiwe’s phone was answered by a person who reported that she was held up.
Dladla’s phone rang unanswered.
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