LOBAMBA: King Mswati allegedly ordered Petros Mavimbela, the Speaker in the House of Assembly to remove Hosea pro-democracy Member of Parliament(MP) Mduduzi Bacede Mabuza as the Chairperson of the National Defense Portfolio Committee.
Parliament Portfolio Committees are responsible for scrutinising Bills, analyse budgets and further play an oversight of the work done by the various Ministries.
The attempt to remove the MP comes in the midst of political tensions in this tiny Kingdom of eSwatini as the calls for the country to adopt democratic reforms intensify, MP Mabuza has been vocal in Parliament demanding that Swazis should be allowed to elect their own Prime Minister who would prioritise the needs of the people.
Evidence in our possesion suggests that the Speaker was at Ngabezweni Royal Residence on Tuesday evening where he allegedly received the order, he subsequently called all MPs including Mabuza who are members of the National Defense Portfolio Committee into a meeting where the attempts to remove the MP as Chairman were made.
Reached for comments, Mduduzi Bacede Mabuza, the Hosea MP confirmed that the Speaker called a meeting on Wednesday where the attempt to remove him as the Chairman of the National Defense Portfolio Committee was made.
He said when he called the Speaker on Tuesday after learning that a meeting was called without his knowledge as the Chairman, the Speaker told him he was at Ngabezweni.
“It’s true, the Speaker who was acting on a order from the King tried to remove me as Chairman of the National Defense Portfolio Committee, however, he was stopped by MP Robert Magongo who told him it was wrong in the first place to call such a meeting without my knowledge as the Chairman. It has never happened in Parliament that the Speaker would call a Portfolio Commitee meeting and further chair that meeting. But it must be known that whether I’m removed or not, I will continue advocating for democracy particularly the election of a Prime Minister. I don’t speak for the people because I am Chairman of the National Defense Portfolio Committee or Chair of Chairs, I speak as a Member of Parliament and I will continue doing so”, said the Hosea MP.
Insiders told this publication that during the meeting on Wednesday the Hosea MP blasted the Speaker for violating Parliament procedures just to implement the royal order from the King. The source said Mabuza even reminded Mavimbela that he voted for him to the position of Speaker and was surprised that he has been captured by royalty.
A questionnaire was sent to Petros Mavimbela, the Speaker in the House of Assembly, however, he had not responded at the time of compiling this report.
Reached for comments, Sibongile Mazibuko, the President of the Ngwane National Liberatory Congress(NNLC) said the conduct of the King to influence the Speaker should be an eye opener to Swazis that if the absolute powers are not stripped, he can influence even an elected Prime Minister to advance his interests.
“The Speaker was not appointed by the King, he was elected by the people but now the King is influencing him to remove Bacede. We must learn from such things as we call for democracy and make sure the King is completely removed from politics because he can even influence an elected Prime Minister. Bacede is calling for democracy and he is speaking the language of the people”, said the NNLC.
Meanwhile, Mduduzi 'Magawugawu' Simelane, another vocal MP who advocates for democratic reforms was summoned into a meeting by King Mswati’s Chiefs and a Regional Administrator for the Lubombo region.
Questions were sent to Government Spokesperson Sabelo Dlamini, however, he had not responded at the time of compiling this report.
King Mswati rules eSwatini as an absolute Monarch with Executive,Judicial and Legislative powers, he chooses the Prime Minister from his ruling Dlamini clan. Cabinet Ministers, Judges and all members of the various Governing Councils are also appointed by the King.