Times of Eswatini

MPs left in the dark regarding national dialogue - Marwick


MBABANE – Lobamba Lomdzala Member of Parliament (MP) Marwick Khumalo has accused government of keeping Parliament at bay by starving the legislator­s of updates on the national dialogue.

MP Khumalo said Prime Minister (PM) Cleopas Dlamini had issued a statement on the dialogue, but when MPs asked questions, he was then heard briefing journalist­s on the issue. The MP also said there were several questions that the MPs raised on the dialogue, but while they were waiting for responses; the PM was heard speaking to the media. The MP said the legislator­s were relegated to mere ‘wheelbarro­ws’ on the subject of the dialogue.

“We don’t even know the shape and form that the dialogue will take. We have been made to rely on the internet for informatio­n. This is where we have gathered that there are committees that had been set up for the dialogue. Tsine asati lutfo, singemabha­la nje siyafucwa,’’ he said, meaning the MPs were treated as wheelbarro­ws without any informatio­n given to them.

He said it remained a mystery why government had opted to divulge policy issues in press conference­s where they would not be debated.

MP Khumalo said some people had advised the PM to take certain decisions to alienate himself from the House, after which the same advisors would make statements that denigrate the PM as the weakest premier the country has ever had.

He said Parliament was the right place to make the PM tough, as was the case with Mandvulo Dlamini, the late former Prime Minister.

“Umuntfu siyamakha tsine simente acine njengoba bekunjalo nje nakuMandvu­lo,” he said.

Khumalo said by the time Mandvulo died, he had started to enjoy his job because he had been trained. He said MPs were in the dark about the developmen­ts of the dialogue.

Minister of Finance Neal Rijkenberg objected to Khumalo’s submission­s and said it should have been put in a motion or question, so that government would come prepared with answers.

However, Khumalo said there was nothing wrong with raising the matter the way he had done.

“I see the minister is coming with a business mind. This issue has been raised correctly,” he said.

Ndzingeni MP Lutfo Dlamini, thanked Khumalo for raising the issue and said it was wrong for

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