By Bodwa Mbingo | 2018-04-14
Following reports this week attributed to Manzini North Member of Parliament (MP) Jan Sithole to the effect that Tinkhundla system of governance has failed the Swazi people, government has come out to set the record straight on the legislator’s assertion.
Government Press Secretary Percy Simelane in a statement has told the MP that the Tinkhundla system of governance is no political piracy as it is in place because the people of Swaziland have many a time freely submitted their support to its continuity. He states that it has been reviewed, tried and tested since its conception 63 years ago.
Sithole argues that the system has failed because, among other things, there are no sufficient grants for the elderly and no scholarships for higher education. Simelane in his statement adds that the highest decision making authority in the land, Sibaya, has consistently endorsed the system and it has been periodically strengthened over the years.
“In accordance to the principles of true democracy, no lone political wolf can change this. We want to believe Mr Sithole was voted into Parliament by people who believe in the System and that it would be a fallacy for him to then turn around and kick them in the mouth. “We view Mr Sithole’s submission that a Head of State from a neighbouring country is to come and whip leadership into line as single handedly passing a vote of no confidence on His Majesty the King and Ingwenyama, the Head of State. The King shall always be open to international advice but not orders,” argues Simelane. Simelane says democracy is about a people defining their destiny and not about other nations shouting orders. He says Swaziland is a sovereign state and its destiny is in the hands of its people and not at the mercy of lone political wolfs operating like jukeboxes.
“The Swazi Nation has put together one of the best constitutions in the world according to seasoned judges around the world, including justices from Mauritius and South Africa. The way the nation goes to parliamentary elections in this country is constitutional as attested to by the last party of international elections observers only five years ago,” further reads the statement.
He says social grants shall always be determined by the size of the economy at a point in time and laid down rules and regulations to ensure continuity. He says that there are no scholarships is a fallacy of the first order.
Simelane adds that the State continues to grant scholarships to thousands of deserving tertiary education applicants every year despite its economic challenges at a time when a majority of countries in the region and abroad do not. He says the state funds Free Primary Education (FPE) and subsidises stable food, medication and fuel, among other services to the people.
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