Sunday 2023-12-03





The national elections for 2018 began in earnest yesterday with nominations in various centres.

The exercise was a full package,

with two former ministers a no-show at the nominations either in fear of embarrassment or being held up by other national duties. ICT and tourism ministers Dumsani Ndlangamandla and Christopher Gamedze did not show up in their respective chiefdoms.

They were both former MPs at Ngudzeni and Mafutseni. It was difficult to establish what prevented them from attending. Ndlangamandla hung up when called for comment.

The two ministers’ hope now lies with the MPs to be elected who are in turn expected to nominate candidates to serve in senate or the king to appoint them either in senate of house of Assemble.

Ndlangamandla is a teacher by profession while Gamedze is an accountant.

There were other former MPs who did not show up but it was understandable.

Former Mbabane West MP Johane Shongwe and MP Mphaya Simelane declared their non-availability.

Shongwe said he desired to serve in senate while Simelane said he had had enough with politics.

The nominations also saw a return of some old horses who served in the terms before the last one. If they win, they will come with experience as most of them served in cabinet.

The electorate showed faith in the old horses and availed them a second chance to run.

They include;

n  Former speaker Skakadza Matsebula

n  Former agriculture minister Roy Fanourakis

n  Former tinkhundla minister Rodgers Mamba

n  Former minister Macford Sibandze

n  Former MP Machawe Mavuso

n  Former minister Benedict Xaba

n  Former MP Mabhanisi Dlamini

Interestingly, former public works minister Ntuthuko Dlamini declined when nominated for the MP position under his chiefdom housed by LaMgabhi Inkhundla.

Dlamini politely told the electorate that he was not interested in running for election. Also to decline was Swazi Observer Sports Editor Mphikeleli Msibi.

In his case, it was the second time he declined. He did same in 2013.

Indeed, a number of MPs from the recently dissolved parliament were nominated to fight for their seats.

They include;

n  Phiwayinkhosi Mabuza (minister)

n  Pheneas Magagula (minister)

n  David Ngcamphalala (minister)

n  Phesheya Hlatswako (Siphocosini)

n  Sikhumbuzo Dlamini (Nkwene)

n  Phila Buthelezi (Matsanjeni)

n  J Souza (Lugongolweni)

n  Esther Dlamini (Mbabane East)

n  Sitezi Dlamini (Dvokodvweni)

n  Saladin Magagula (Hhukwini)

n  Sompisi Magagula (Ntfonjeni)

n  Mkhosi Dlamini (kwaluseni)

Some former MPs will know their fates today as nominations continue in some centres.

Also nominated yesterday were very interesting faces likely to give the rest of the candidates a run for their money.

They include a journalist, unionist, pastor, artist and a former manager.

They include;

n  Alec Lushaba (editor)

n  Elliot Mkhwatswa (unionist)

n  Pastor Buddy Msibi

n  Gawuzela Simelane (artist)

n  Strydom Mpanza (businessman)

n  Zephaniah Nkambule (mayor)

n  Charles Ndlovu (ex-SPTC manager)

Nominations at Gelane Zwane’s umphakatsi were monitored by armed police.

This was motivated by the sporadic clashes that normally erupt in the area owing to protracted disputes.

There were minor clashes at Kwaluseni where a resident was allegedly stabbed after a confrontation.

However, in general, the whole exercise went smoothly save for cases where it moved at a snail pace. In some areas, residents seemed to know what they wanted and allowed the process to run smoothly and efficiently.

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