Sunday Observer : 2019-01-06

FEATURES : 22 : 22


FEATURES SundayObserver 22 January 6, 2019 government’s obligation is a contractual one related to his employment as a government official. Consequently, now that he has passed on, these benefits must accrue to Dr Dlamini’s estate where they will be appropriately distributed in accordance with the law of administering deceased estates. Government is a debtor in this case and cannot unilaterally decide to renege on its obligation. We have seen this in the past and are worried if the new government seeks to similarly abuse its power. WHEN GOVT DOES NOT HONOUR ITS COMMITMENT, WE MUST BE VERY AFRAID By Comfort Mabuza ThelatePremier, Dr Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini, served our Kingdom of Eswatini with great distinction and honour. He started as a Finance Minister, and under his tenure this country witnessed economic growth before he resigned to take a lucrative post with International Monetary Fund (IMF) overseas. He then returned home to serve as premier and remains the longest serving prime minister of this country. We cannot be blind that as a leader who commanded so much respect, he could be treated with such disrespect immediately after his demise. Like any leader even if he made a lot of mistakes and enemies during his tenure as Prime minister of the Kingdom of Eswatini, having passed on, we cannot afford to drag his dignity in the mud and erase his memory in history with ill-conceived plans to have him appear as if he is not worthy of honour. One issue that has since risen after his demise late last year that should concern us all, not merely us human rights defenders but the entire populace, is that at the c l os e of 2018, Percy S i melane, t he Government spokesperson, issued a shocking statement on behalf of government concerning his retirement home that was to be built by government. One was hoping that taking into consideration the status of the late premier, perhaps a senior person rather than a government spin doctor could shed more light, and should have been the one to issue any statement relating to this issue. It is such a huge embarrassment of the highest order that the Dlamini family had to learn through a government spokesperson’s comments that government will no longer honour its commitment of building “the retirement home.” This of course was a benefit package that was due to him after having served the Kingdom so remarkably. Now, how on earth can the family and RESPECT DLAMIINI FAMILY DIGNITY Dr Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini, though now deceased has a family and heirs who should by right be beneficiaries of all that was rightfully his retirement package and retirement gratuity. He was legitimately married to a wife early last year, and has fathered children, who by law are entitled to any benefits from his very retirement package that by law were due to him. No sane leadership then can in a twinkle of an eye decide to deprive this family of such entitlements. For goodness sake, we are not blind that all these people are alive and well, and have not vanished but are still with us. Where is the wisdom to deprive them in what I would call day-time robbery by a government that was served with honour and distinction by the late Premier? Who are these hawks and hyenas with hearts of a stone that can abuse and violate the dignity of the family and play with the feelings and emotions of those who remain? Whatever happened to human sensitivity and dignity – where we are to give high respect for the family still in mourning and in the difficult process of winding the estate of the deceased? It is a violation of the highest order to deprive the widow and the family of what is rightfully and legally due to them through the late Premier. Just accord respect and be sensitive to the dignity of the Dlamini family and treat this matter of such public interest with due respect. Government must stop playing dice and act so irresponsibly on this matter, the family must be accorded due humane dignity- Emaswati citizens should be reminded that we are a constitutional Kingdom, as such supremacy, the Constitution, must be respected. The Constitution as the supreme law and has a bill of rights and as a matter of fact so no one does this as they so wish without consulting what it says about individuals’ protections that should be respected by all ter when violating the rights of a respected citizen who has served this country so well? Could we not have waited for Parliament to be on session and officially constituted? Why the rush on such a sensitive matter and the making of a pronouncement which as far as we are concerned is way above the office of a government spokesperson, who is far junior? It surely needed an appropriate and collective response. This certainly touches on the very constitution as the supreme law of the kingdom and the rule of law and justice is surely being put to test. what it says about individuals’ protections that should be respected by all. As the pillar that underpins the rule of law in this kingdom, no one is above the constitution, who can on their own decide on matt ers affecting ri ghts of others. Parliament as the highest institution when it comes to upholding the constitution must ensure that respect of people’s human rights and fundamental freedoms is guaranteed. What trash is this then we are hearing that while the parliament is still to officially start its this very year, government can unilaterally so decide to stop what was legally due to Dr Dlamini? I thought the handling of this matter should at best be discussed by the parliament in a joint sitting for that matter, not just a government alone, which is still on a learning curve for that matter. Where is the rule of natural law and respect of the very constitution and other relevant laws on such a salient national public interest mat- the nation learn of such disturbing news t hr ough a Government Spokesperson, one Percy Simelane and not even the head of government, considering the sensitivity of this matter? A bad precedent is being set here, and I am afraid government’s commitment to respecting its own policies is being put to test here, let alone the poor handling of this matter. Can the Premier come out and speak, we certainly cannot believe that a mere government spokesperson could be the final authority herein. Mr Prime Minister, sir, speak out please, we are keenly awaiting to hear your voice on this very sensitive matter. buntfu, THE RETIREMENT PACKAGE AS ACCORDING TO LAW PARLIAMENT NOT IN SESSION Emaswati citizens should be reminded that we are a constitutional kingdom, as such supremacy the constitution must be respected. The Constitution, as the supreme law and has a bill of rights and as a matter of fact, so no one does this as they so wish without consulting It is true that the Circular containing these benefits was controversial, but it was ultimately passed and should now be respected. The excuses that Dr Dlamini is no longer with us, and purported silence of the Circular in the event of death of the beneficiary, hold no water - Kutekani!! ‘ PRINTED AND DISTRIBUTED BY PRESSREADER +1 604 278 4604 . . . . . ORIGINAL COPY ORIGINAL COPY ORIGINAL COPY ORIGINAL COPY ORIGINAL COPY ORIGINAL COPY COPYRIGHT AND PROTECTED BY APPLICABLE LAW

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