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Eswatini Elections Commissioner's 'discriminatory' statements on disabled people triggers tension

Friday, 5th March, 2021

MBABANE: Dr Njabu Dlamini, the Commissioner of the Elections and Boundaries Commission(EBC) allegedly uttered statements in the State owned radio suggesting that people living with disabilities were not represented in politics because they don't have a desire to participate and the political environment in the country was not conducive for them.

Speaking to this Swaziland News, Sipho Dlamini, the President of  the Federation of Organisations of the Disabled in Eswatini (FODSWA) said the sentiments made by the EBC  Commissioner were irresponsible.

“We were shocked to learn that such sentiments could come from an office whose task is to conduct elections while the United Nations’ resolutions are clear that the disabled community also needs representation in the house of Parliament.The Commissioner needs to clarify on what she meant when she said we were not willing to partake in politics and the house of parliament was also not ready to accommodate us”, he said.

When reached for comments and asked to clarify her statements,  Dr Njabu Dlamini, the EBC Commissioner said as the EBC they were trying by all means to make sure people with disabilities are accommodated politics.

“I said in the past few weeks, we were encouraging all the sectors of society, women, youth and people living with disabilities to come forward and participate in the elections. I never said the environment is currently not conducive, I said  the Commission will continue to make sure that all resources needed by those people are available to make sure it’s easy for them, like braille and good infrastructure”, said the Commissioner.

Eswatini Elections Commissioner's 'discriminatory' statements on disabled people triggers tension
FODSWA President Sipho Dlamini and EBC Commissioner Dr Njabu Dlamini