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OPINION:Elections Act unconstitutional, aspiring MPs who lost elections must be allowed to contest for Senate seats.

Thursday, 5th October, 2023

The provisions of the Senate Elections Act that restrict citizens who lost elections from being eligible to be elected into Senate, are not only unconstitutional, but undermine democratic principles and the right to vote and be voted for.

It was Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini, the then Prime Minister(PM) who facilitated this law through the office of the Attorney General(AG), he was targeting to send Lobamba Lomdzala Member of Parliament(MP), former Ndzingeni MP Lutfo Dlamini,ex-Motshane MP Robert Magongo and former Khubutha MP Charles Myeza among others,into the political wilderness.

Lutfo Dlamini was, at the time, a threat to Barnabas’ position as Indlovukazi was lobbying for him to become the next Prime Minister or return to Cabinet while the other MPs were vocal, holding the then PM accountable.

Re-elected Lobamba MP Michael Masilela challenged the law and won in court but seemingly, the State wanted to analyse the political situation to systematically restricts individuals who might be against the Tinkhundla system from being elected into Senate, that is after they lost elections at Constituency level.

But after the full bench of the High Court ruled that the law was unconstitutional, the State ran to the Supreme Court, challenging the judgement and this legal battle launched by government is not in any way in the public interest but, to protest the interests of royalty or the King in targeting certain individuals.

Elections must be free and fair and competing at Constituency level is far different from being a Senator, what if MPs see a potential from a person who lost elections and are keen to elect him/her to represent the House of Assembly in the House Senate?.

Barnabas messed-up this country, he took advantage of the trust, King Mswati bestowed upon him and started to use State institutions and resources to fight his political enemies.

The Senate Elections Act is one of the political tools that he used to fight some of his foes, this law must be amended.

OPINION:Elections Act unconstitutional, aspiring MPs who lost elections must be allowed to contest for Senate seats.
Attorney General Sifiso Khumalo(r).