LOBAMBA: Petros Mavimbela, the Speaker in the House of Assembly tried and failed to stop vocal Members of Parliament from recording their Parliament submissions.
Addressing MPs on Monday, the Speaker said Parliament debates must be edited first before reaching the public that MPs who might want to receive their edited submissions must first seek permission from him, he said there were issues discussed in Parliament that should not reach the public domain.
“I would like to emphasise the issue of recordings, it’s not right that while we are working here, the issues are already on social media, this is illegal.If a Member here wants to have recordings, he must first seek permission from the Speaker, who will then instruct the hansard office responsible for that, you will then get your edited recording” said the Speaker.
Hosea MP Mduduzi Bacede Mabuza challenged the Speaker to produce a law or any legal instrument that allows him to ban MPs from recording themselves and report back to the people who elected them, the Speaker failed to do so but maintained that it was an honorable thing for the MPs not to record themselves.
“Can the Speaker quote any law that prevents us from recording ourselves because we want to account to the Nation. As a Member of Parliament I am not representing myself but the people and I don’t want my submissions or anything that I said in Parliament to be edited”, said the Hosea MP.
Nkilongo MP Timothy Myeni said he was also against the MPs who recorded themselves because people now assume they were the only ones who were working in Parliament, he urged MPs to allow the traditional media being the Times, Observer and other State controlled media houses to inform the Nation regarding Parliament issues.
“We have the media here in the House, nawaya ema-journalists ”, said the Nkilongo MP pointing to reporters of the State controlled media.
However, other MPs laughed-off while Myeni was pointing at journalists of the State owned media saying “khohlwa-ke ngale media leyo” meaning:( just forget about that media)".
Hosea MP Bacede Mabuza wanted to know what the Speaker was trying to hide as Parliament debates were broadcasted live in other countries.
Siphofaneni Member of Parliament(MP) Mduduzi ‘Magawugawu’ Simelane asked the Speaker to clarify what he meant when he said MPs must request properly edited recordings from the hansard office through him.
“Mine ngicela kuvisisa kahle Speaker, nawutsi kutabe seku-edithwe kahle,ku-editha kukhipha lokunye. My question is, why do I need to edit what I said because that’s what I want the people to know. Parliament in other countries have live channels, where is the problem if the Eswatini Nation knows exactly what is happening in Parliament?”, asked the Siphofaneni MP.
The Speaker failed to produce a legal instrument to stop the MPs from recording their Parliament submissions during debates.
Hosea MP Mduduzi Mabuza and Siphofaneni MP Mduduzi Simelane.