LOBAMBA: King Mswati has ordered the arrest of vocal Siphofaneni Member of Parliament(MP) Mduduzi ‘Magawugawu’ who opposed various oppressive laws and policies in Parliament.
This is not the first time the influential MP becomes a target of the country's authorities, his Charity TV program ‘Makhelwane Simbona Ngetento’ that was assisting the poor in the rural areas was banned by royalty through the then Prime Minister Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini without any clear explanation from Cabinet.
Now, a confidential’ Intelligence information leaked to this Swaziland News suggests that the King allegedly ordered the Heads of Security agencies to find anything and deal with the vocal MP whom he accused of elevating himself to be the most important person in the country.
Reached for comments by this publication, Mduduzi ‘Magawugawu’ Simelane, the Siphofaneni MP confirmed receiving the information, however he clarified that he respected their Majesties but will continue advocating for a free society where all citizens are treated equally.
“It is not waving the flag, but striving to create a society that lays the best foundation for future generations. Generations that will enjoy the sacrifices we do today laying a barometer that reflects our Constitution making all of us to be true citizens of this great Nation and removing the evil satanic syndrome noted by George Orwell when he said 'all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others. May God Lead us as a Nation”, he said.
The MP had openly challenged the decision by government to manipulate provisions of the Prevention of Organized Crime Act(POCA) to grab properties of Swazi dagga farmers.
He also successfully moved a motion that stopped Finance Minister Neal Rijikernberg from banning import cars known as ‘Dubai’s saying most citizens are poor and cannot afford to buy expensive cars.
The Siphofaneni MP further influenced the removal of clauses that undermined freedom of expression in the Cyber Crime and Computer Crime Bill of 2020, government through the Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology(ICT) was pushing the Bill that carried up to E10million fine to target pro-democracy activists, independent journalists and human rights defenders among others.
A questionnaire was sent to Government Spokesperson Sabelo Dlamini, however, he had not responded at the time of compiling this report.
But Sibusiso Nhlabatsi, a human rights lawyer said the Siphofaneni MP remains protected by the Parliamentary Privileges Act to speak on public issues in Parliament and any attempt to arrest to him for representing the people of his Constituency will undermine the whole concept of portraying this country as a democratic State.
“This an elected MP, he was not appointed so whatever he speaks in Parliament is protected by the Parliamentary Privileges Act and represents the will of the people who elected him. Any attempt, therefore to arrest him for speaking in Parliament will undermine the whole concept of portraying this country as a democratic State”,said the human rights lawyer.
Eswatini, a tiny Kingdom situated in Southern Africa is ruled by King Mswati, an absolute Monarch, political parties are banned from participating in elections and the King normally unleashes the police to arrest independent journalists, political activists and Members of Parliament who are critical of the political system to silence them.
On or around 05 August 2020, King Mswati allegedly instructed his police officers to fabricate criminal charges and arrest Mduduzi ‘Bacede’ Mabuza, the powerful and highly influential Hosea MP who influenced a Parliament resolution to suspend the POCA thus frustrating a multi-billion King’s dagga project with a United States company, Stem Holdings.
Siphofaneni MP Mduduzi Simelane