MBABANE: Trade unions and political parties have rallied behind Siphofaneni Member of Parliament Mduduzi “Magawugawu” Simelane.
This comes after certain MPs, particularly Robert Magongo from Motshane has asked the Speaker Petros Mavimbela if it was proper for a member to record himself within the house.
Since COVID19 crisis started, the Siphofaneni member of parliament who is also known for “Makhelwane Simubona Ngetento” a program which was also stopped has been vocal about the government’s snail’s pace in dealing with the pandemic. Simelane posted himself and his 3 children on the 16thof March 2020 urging parents to keep their children at home since government seemed indecisive about closing schools at the time.
Reached for comments by this Swaziland News, Secretary General of SNAT, Sikelela Dlamini the conduct of the MPs who want ‘Magawugawu’ stopped from recording his Parliament submissions amounts to censorship.
“This amounts to censorship, Parliamentary business is normally recorded, that is why we have a radio program which gets followed by many people. If parliament belongs to the masses, they have a right to know everything that goes on in that chamber” said the SNAT Secretary General.
Dlamini wondered how Simelane\'s recordings differs from the radio program that airs submissions that were made in Parliament. The Siphofaneni Member of Parliament is on record where he confirms the matter to this newspaper. He clarified that his primary intention when recording his submissions was to report back to his principals who are the people of Siphofaneni who elected him to be a Member of Parliament.
Reached for comments, Lucky Lukhele, the Spokesperson of the Swaziland Solidarity Network described the conduct of the MPs who are fighting MP Simelane as undemocratic.
“They bluff their principals who elected them into Parliament and I feel sorry for the people who elected such MPs that despise the truth and accountability. Magawugawu did nothing wrong, people must listen to their MPs as they represent them” said the SSN Spokesperson.
Lukhele wondered if the environment in parliament would be conducive for Simelane to make submissions anymore.
Bheki Mamba, the President of Swaziland Democratic Nurses Union(SWADNU) said this was meant to create fear and tension within the hearts of anyone with the interest and future of Eswatini. Simelane has been raising serious issues and it is his recorded submissions that make us know we still have MPs who care about the people. Only credible MPs like Simelane were able to talk about PPEs which are vital in the fight against COVID19. Medical practitioners must be protected lest they get infected” he said
Wandile Dludlu, the Secretary General of PUDEMO said MPs should uphold freedom of expression adding that Simelane should not be intimidated by people who are suppressing the truth.
“Simelane should not be intimated by people who are economic with the truth. MPs should not stop Simelane from being heard by the people”
Dludlu minced no words and was quick to remind the MPs that Parliamentarians must speak for the Nation and to the nation, which is what Simelane is doing.
Siphofaneni MP Mduduzi Simelane