MBABANE: Mduduzi ‘Bacede’ Mabuza, the Hosea Member of Parliament(MP) said as MPs who are calling for democratic change, they never said they don’t want political parties as reported by the Times Sunday.
Speaking to this Swaziland News on Sunday, the influential MP said he was aware that State controlled newspapers have been unleashed to try and create confusion among them so that they can been seen contradicting each other in the eyes of the public. He emphasized that as a representative of the people there was no way he could call for democracy without the existence of political parties if that’s what the people demand.
“Political parties represent the people, we are calling for an elected Prime Minister but that doesn’t mean we don’t want political parties.It’s very surprising that there’s an agenda to discredit political parties yet the country is receiving donations from various countries with stable economies and ruled by political parties. Even though I am calling for an elected Prime Minister for now, if the Swazis can demand to be ruled through political parties with an elected President, I can support that as a representative of the people”, he said.
On Friday morning, Information Minister Princess Sikhanyiso, the first born daughter of King Mswati summoned State editors into a private meeting at Hilton Hotel where she instructed them to defend the country in the midst of the current political tensions and calls for democracy. However, the Times strategically published an article on Saturday saying its Managing Editor who doubles as King Mswati’s speech writer Martin Dlamini boycotted the meeting to regain public support before publishing a series of articles on Sunday in favour of the Tinkhundla system.
Reached for comments, Ngwemphisi MP Mthandeni Dube said they were calling for an elected Prime Minister adding that Swazis would decide whether this would done through political parties or the current system.
“Swazis should be given the opportunity through a referendum to decide whether they want political parties or an elected Prime Minister under the current system, we cannot say we don’t want political parties” he said.
Mduduzi ‘Magawugawu’ Simelane, the Siphofaneni MP said the headline by the Times Sunday was misleading adding that they wanted a democratic government and the people would decide through a referendum on how that Government would be established.
“What we want is a democratic government with an elected Prime Minister, the people will decide on how that Government is established. It should be understood that any person who campaigns for public office needs a supporting mechanism and the people who will campaign for him is a political party. But because we understand what they are trying to do, we don’t want to lose focus and start talking about political parties, we are calling for a democratic government with an elected Prime Minister. You can’t elect MPs only and call that a democratic Government, we want an independent head of Government who will report to the people not the King” ,said the Siphofaneni Member of Parliament.
Speaking to this publication on the subject matter, Wandile Dludlu, the Secretary General of the People’s United Democratic Movement(PUDEMO)said the progressive MPs must be allowed to share their political views freely without being attacked. He said the struggle is about freedom not political parties and everyone has to share thier view on how the democratic government could be established.
“The struggle is about political freedom not political parties, we shouldn’t lose focus and start talking about political parties. Even if these MPs did mention that they don’t want political parties, that’s their view but what is good is that both of us want a democratic Government. These MPs are calling for a democratic Government and they have a right to share their views on how they think the Government for the people should look like, we must embrace different views as we advocate for democracy. Under a democratic Government, everyone will be free to participate in elections either through a political party or individually, democracy is not about political parties but freedom. Phela ngiko lelesingakufuni, lokutsi umuntfu nakakhuluma umbono wakhe longafani nalowakho bese uyalwiswa, lama-MPs are calling for a democratic Government nabo banembono wabo kutsi bafuna loHulumende abe njani(meaning: This is what we are fighting for, we want people to be free to express their views, these MPs are calling for a democratic Government and they have a right to share their views on how that Government could be established. We shouldn't attack others just because they have different political views, we want a free society)”, said the PUDEMO Secretary General.
Siphofaneni MP Mduduzi Simelane and Hosea MP Mduduzi Mabuza