MBABANE: Siphofaneni Member of Parliament (MP) Mduduzi Simelane’s submissions within the Honorable House that seeks to hold government accountable on issues surrounding the COVID-19 crisis has created political tension among other MPs.
The sentiments of the MP were seeking to hold government accountable regarding the food shortages in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis and how the relaxed lockdown might result to the country being isolated by other countries. It has been disclosed that on or around 23 April 2020, shortly after the Siphofaneni MP gained more popularity and his submissions caught public interest, other MPs particularly Robert Magongo from Motshane asked the Speaker Petros Mavimbela if it was proper for a member to record himself within the House.
Reached for comments by this Swaziland News, MP Mduduzi Simelane confirmed the matter but clarified that one of his intentions to record his submissions was to report back to the people of Siphofaneni who elected him to be a Member of Parliament.
“Yes, there was some mumbling in the House. I used my own gadgets to record the first clip of my submissions in order to keep it in my archives and further report primarily to my constituency and the entire country. The second clip, I got through Parliament hansard and all this, I know it’s in my line of duty. My conscience is clear that God has deployed me in the 11thParliament for a reason” declared the Siphofaneni MP.
But Speaker in the House of Assembly Petros Mavimbela when addressing the matter within the House allegedly promised to consult whether it was within the rules for a Member of Parliament to record his submissions or not.
Efforts to reach Robert Magongo, the Motshane Member of Parliament proved unsuccessful as his number rang unanswered.
The tension in the House of Assembly came after concerns from MPs that could be traced back to the previous Parliament when the media, particularly the two daily newspapers were accused of being selective when reporting, by promoting a handful MPs who are then seen to be the only vocal ones in the eyes of the public.
In 2017, Themba Msibi, the then Speaker in the House of Assembly told this journalist during an exclusive interview that the media was destroying the political careers of many MPs by sabotaging them and promoting a few individuals.
“I have noted that the media is covering few MPs, we have many members in the House who are vocal in addressing national issues, but they are being sabotaged. This is ethically wrong because journalists should provide equal mileage to everyone and be seen to be fair to all the members of the House” said the then Speaker.
House of Parliament-Eswatini