China trip: Marwick’s ‘Sibahle Sinje’ secret political conspiracy exposed!


King Mswati


BY : ZWELI MARTIN DLAMINI

MBABANE: : Sive Siyinqaba ‘Sibahle Sinje’, a political party linked to MP Marwick Khumalo has embarked on a campaign to collect millions to seize control of more influential governing structures in the country.

These are findings of a high-level investigation regarding a secret political conspiracy by a group of powerful MPs who visited the Mainland China to discuss political tactics to oust Taiwan. After this publication exposed the visit by the MPs, government released a press statement clarifying that the legislators were not mandated by the State to visit China adding that diplomatic relations between Taiwan and eSwatini remain strong.

These MPs include among others; Victor Malambe, Robert Magongo, Prince Magudvulela and Marwick Khumalo, they were in the company of Prince Thumbumuzi, an influential member of the royal family. It has been disclosed that the Mainland China allegedly put in place $72million (about E1billion) to lobby eSwatini MPs as the tension regarding its re-unification with Taiwan intensify. Now, it has emerged that the secret visit by the MPs was not only motivated by promises of monetary benefits, but forms part of a huge political agenda by Sibahle Sinje to dominate the coming elections and subsequently seize power. Sive Siyinqaba is a silent but powerful political organization that operates within the confines of the Tinkhundla system of governance as political entities remain banned in the Kingdom and cannot contest for elections. In the midst of this investigation, a background research was conducted on the political party and it transpired that this was not the first time it embark on a campaign to seize power. On or around the year 2008, Zibuse Simelane, the then Sive Siyinqaba Secretary General openly informed the Nation that their members were encouraged to take over strategic powerful positions including the legislative arm of government.

When reached for comments by this publication, Zibuse Simelane did not deny his affiliation to the political party but clarified that he left the organization. He said MP Marwick Khumalo now occupied his position as Secretary General. “I am no longer with that organization, please contact Marwick Khumalo who is now Sibahle Sinje Secretary General,” he said. A questionnaire was sent to Khumalo on the latest developments, however he did not respond. But last week, after this publication break the story regarding the Mainland China trip, the MP ‘rushed’ to the Times of Swaziland where he was given a huge mileage to dispute the allegations and further campaign what the country stand to benefit from China. “Why would China do that in the first place? Why even lobby for such because the termination of diplomatic relations with another State is the preserve of the Head of State, not Parliament” Khumalo was quoted by the Times.

Government Spokesperson Percy Simelane, in an official statement sent to the media on the subject matter consistently maintained that eSwatini diplomatic ties with Taiwan were very strong adding that attempts by few individuals to change that will not succeed.

“Any cynical campaign of coercion threatening the relationship shared by the two countries shall not succeed “said the Government Spokesperson. On or around the year 2013, Mario Masuku, the then President of the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) told Kenworthy News, a Denmark based media organization that Sibahle Sinje was formed in 1996 with the objective of countering the moves by PUDEMO towards democratization of the country, claiming to defend the traditions and the sustainment of the Tinkhundla system of governance. “But from 1998, Sive Siyinqaba shifted goal posts to say that they are a political entity and that their method is to ‘change the system from within’. But as they do not interfere with the Monarch or the Tinkhundla system, the question we ask is-change what? Most of their members are former MPs or Cabinet Ministers, so they are seated on both sides of the fence” Masuku was quoted by Kenworthy News. But a political insider who is very close to Marwick Khumalo told this Swaziland News that the prominent MP wants this country to be a republic. “Marwick does not want a Constitutional Monarch, he wants to turn ‘this thing into a republic” said the insider.

It has been disclosed that the political conspiracy to seize strategic powerful positions by the political party previously worked as it actually accumulated more power in the 2003-2008 term when Khumalo was elected Speaker. However, he was subsequently forced to resign in a dramatic standoff that saw the opening of Parliament boycotted by Mswati pending the resignation of Khumalo. The reasons behind the powerful MP’s removal cannot be revealed for ethical reasons.

But in the midst of this investigation, the Swaziland News uncovered electronic evidence that substantiate how the tension between Marwick Khumalo and King Mswati escalated to such an extent that the King allegedly referred to Khumalo as ‘umsekenya’.

This is contained in an electronic recording of a high level meeting that was held at Nkhanini next to Ludzidzini Royal Palace. The meeting was attended by among others, Princess Nkosungumenzi, Ludzidzini Council member Ncumbi Maziya and Chief Gija Dlamini, the then Chairman of the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC). This publication gathered that as the tension between Khumalo and King Mswati to seize control of Parliament intensify, on or around October 2018, the King allegedly held a meeting with the 10 appointed MPs. These MPs among others include; Prince Kusa and Themba Ginindza, they were in the company of Prince Gija, the then EBC Chairman.

It was during that meeting where the King allegedly expressed his desire to have Themba Msibi, the then Speaker in the House of Assembly re-elected to the position. But unfortunately, those desires of the King were short-lived; they were allegedly shattered by MP Marwick Khumalo and his political party. It is alleged that upon hearing that the King favored Themba Msibi, the powerful MP and his Sibahle Sinje allegedly convened an urgent meeting at Malandela in Mahlanya where they successfully lobbied MPs to elect current Speaker Petros Mavimbela. When reached for comments, Msibi who was later appointed Regional Administrator for the Lubombo region confirmed that he received motivation from the appointed members to stand for elections as Speaker. However, he was diplomatic in his response and declined to reveal whether the motivation came from the King saying it wouldn’t be proper for him to deny or confirm things that were discussed with the Head of State. “I can only confirm that I did receive requests and motivation from the appointed MPs to stand for elections as Speaker” he said. Reached for comments, appointed Senator Chief Mvimbi Matse advised this journalist to contact appointed MPs in the House of Assembly saying that was where the political drama on these issues manifested. “I think you should contact boKusa nabo Ginindza, they are in a better position to know what happened in this matter. I am in Senate not in the Assembly where these things manifest” said the Senator.

But an insider within the royal family who was part of the meeting said by successfully lobbying for Mavimbela, Marwick Khumalo literally defeated the King. “The power from the King was weakened when Sibahle Sinje successfully lobbied for their preferred candidate and defeated Msibi. You will note that even in other countries like South Africa, a Speaker comes from the ruling party and he must be loyal to the Head of State because Parliament is the engine of a country. A decision taken by Parliament reflects the position of the country at international level. We tried to lobby for the election of Msibi as per the wish of the King but Marwick said: “never!” if the King wanted Msibi to take that position he should have appointed him to Parliament” said a royal insider.

When reached for comments, MP Prince Kusa said it wouldn’t be proper for him to be seen commenting on issues that were discussed with the King. “What I can confirm is that as appointed MPs we were lobbying for Themba Msibi to become Speaker but unfortunately we were defeated through democracy,” said the Prince. Speaker in the House of Assembly Petros Mavimbela, when asked to share his comments on the subject matter, said he was busy with something and promised to return the call, however he never did. “Can I call you later as I’m currently busy with something, I will return the call” he said. Lucky Lukhele, the Spokesperson for the Swaziland Solidarity Network (SNN) said the tension between the King and Marwick was not new adding that the diplomatic standoff was actually between King Mswati who was pro-Taiwan and Marwick Khumalo who supports the Mainland China. Speaking to this publication, Lukhele described Khumalo and his Sibahle Sinje as ‘bloody opportunists’ who just want to cash money from China knowing very well that they cannot oust Taiwan.

“You need to understand that this ‘Sibahle Sinje’ consists of members from the royal family who are fighting their internal battles with the King. Marwick is a cousin to Mswati and their tension dates back to some years ago. However, we are concerned why China decided to work with ‘Sibahle Sinje’ because these people want money, they won’t change anything” said the SNN Spokesperson.

Lukhele further described Marwick’s Sibahle Sinje as a political organization that want to benefit from both sides by joining the Tinkhundla system while putting one foot on multi-party so they could quickly transform and become relevant once the country unban political parties. An independent investigation by this publication uncovered that apart from aligning with Marwick Khumalo’s political party, the Mainland China has embarked on a similar campaign in Taiwan by supporting the Nationalist Party ahead of the 2020 elections in that country. On or around 15 June 2019, the New York Times, quoting Taiwan newspapers, reported that Han Kuo-yu, a pro-China presidential candidate for the Nationalist Party was in full support of the re-unification of Taiwan with the Mainland China.

Han Kuo-yu who described the full independence of Taiwan from the Mainland China as “more scary” than syphilis will lock horns with President Tsai Ingwen in the highly anticipated elections scheduled for January 2020 that might decide the future of Taiwan as an independent State. But it appeared that as the political tensions intensify, the Mainland China, before facilitating the high level ‘secret’ meeting with eSwatini MPs around April this year, used a similar strategy in Taiwan when senior Chinese officials met opposition leader Han Kuo-yu to sign trade agreements. The trade and or investment deals were signed with four Chinese entities to sell agricultural goods worth $165million (about E2, 5billion). But here in the Kingdom of eSwatini, despite the political drama regarding the alleged plot to oust Taiwan, Government and King Mswati’s Spokesperson Percy Simelane consistently maintained that Taiwan-eSwatini diplomatic relations remains strong.