Africa-Press – Eswatini. Nomalungelo ‘LaZwide’ Simelane’s win has vindicated the EBC, the Constitution and laws of the country.
This was according to the Chairman of the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC), Prince Mhlabuhlangene Dlamini, at the official announcement of the results of Siphofaneni Inkhundla vote at EBC’s offices at Nkhanini yesterday.Dlamini was addressing concerns that emanated prior to the elections that government would allegedly do all that was possible to bar Simelane from winning the elections on the basis that she was the wife of former Member of Parliament (MP), Mduduzi ‘Gawuzela’ Simelane, who had turned a fierce critic of government. The chairman said the win by LaZwide gave all the country’s election processes a stamp of approval. “This also demonstrates that our traditional system and the democratic process can work together in peace and harmony,” he said.
Dlamini said any suggestion that the local elections did not live up to ethical standards and were undemocratic had been watered down by the success of the elections at Siphofaneni this past weekend. “This election solidifies the fact that our elections are free and fair, and that the EBC is an ethical organisation that carries out its mandate in line with the provisions of the Constitution and laws of the land. If this was not the case, we would not be where we are today,” he said. The chairman further stated that the Siphofaneni elections provided a clear answer on the fairness of the monarchial democratic system.
He made an example that the Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) election standards incorporated provision of the African Union’s (AU) standards, while those of the AU had provisions from standards set by the United Nations. “This makes it easier for such bodies to monitor our election processes. It pleases the EBC that during the course of the Siphofaneni elections, we had observers from various countries. We believe they will also attest to the success we have observed,” he said.
Elaborating, Dlamini thanked all stakeholders who participated to ensure the success of the Siphofaneni elections. First and foremost, he thanked the King for allowing emaSwati to have a voice in governance, through the elections. He thanked traditional authorities, especially chiefs, for the important role they played in looking after the people. He also thanked the police, health officials, the Royal Science and Technology Park (RSTP) and all involved during the exercise.
“We also thank the community of Siphofaneni for the enthusiasm and good conduct displayed during the elections. We started the process with a cloud hanging over it, but the people of Siphofaneni were exemplary through respect shown throughout the process,” he said. LaZwide, as declared by the EBC, amassed 2 612 votes to win. The EBC congratulated her on her success and advised that she kept herself abreast with the country’s Constitution, as governance at all levels of government worked in line with the provisions of the Supreme Law.
“We have one level of our parliamentary system that is not functioning well, bucopho. I would like to encourage those elected not to forget about the people and by extension the whole country. They must familiarise themselves with the operation of ministries, because that way one is well positioned to provide effective leadership,” Dlamini said.