Calling for Multiparty democracy and condemning Abuse of National resources constitutional - Jan
Section 58(4) 0f the constitution in siswati reads thus:
“Tonkhe tinhlangano tepolitiki kanye netinhlangano tesive letifuna kungenela tembangave kuyawufuneka titfobele timiso letisekela intsandvo yebantfu kuleto naleto tindzawo lapho tikhona.”
I bring in the siSwati version of the constitution word for word, for the purpose of demonstrating beyond any shadow of doubt that both section 25 on the freedom of association and assembly and section 58(4) of the constitution boldly recognize pluralism and multiparty, that’s why we as SWADEPA continue to call for registration of political parties as non-recognition of political parties renders paralysis to their purpose and objective the same way a brand new car remains unroadworthy if it is not registered. So calling for multiparty democracy is constitutionally spot on, and denying political parties their full rights is both and unconstitutional.
The current state of affairs confirms what SWADEPA has always said that Tinkhundla system of government and the experiment as King Sobhuza II called it, has dismally failed to protect and treat the people of Swaziland the dignity they deserve as human beings made in the image of God and equal in the eyes of God.
Tinkhundla has successfully impoverished the people of Swaziland, blocked their constitutional given rights of free expression, speech and movement in total defiance of the constitution and perpetuating the injustices of the draconian 1973 decree.
Tinkhundla only views the citizens and businesses them as a cash cow for the interests of the few in total neglect of the peoples priorities and service delivery needs to quench the bottomless appetite and greed for self-aggrandizement of the few elite at the expense of the majority poor.
The statement in parliament by Her Royal Highness MP Sikhannyiso, is highly recommended as it comes as an admission of guilt by the royalty that they are the liability to the nations resources.
The other tragedy of this statement is that, it revealed that in cabinet the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing, as the Prime Minister denied any knowledge of the statement made by the Minister ICT in public and in the honourable houses of parliament, this is a serious collapse of protocol and chain of command in cabinet, fully demonstrating government system failure, particularly as the issue of transport and purchase of cars rests not with the ministry of ICT, but Works ‘Ministry.
The call by the public on abuse and wastage of public funds is a fulfilment of their duty and obligation as enshrined in section 63 of the constitution which reads thus;
“The exercise and enjoyment of rights and freedoms is inseparable from the performance of duties and obligations, and accordingly, it shall be the duty of every citizen to;
(a) Uphold and defend this constitution of the law;
(b) Further the national interest and to foster national unity;
(c) Promote democracy and the rule of law;
) Protect and preserve public property, and to combat misuse and waste of public funds and property;
The calls and condemnations are not untoward but a constitutional citizens right and obligation in the Kingdom, and this should be done without fear or favour as it it would be constitutionally irresponsible for citizens not to challenge abuse of public funds and resources by whosoever wastes public funds.
In a democracy, political governance is the process of decision making to formulate policy, Administrative governance is the system of policy implementation, and the response from those the policy was designed for, determine whether there has been good delivery or implementation of the policy.
The concept of good governance is bringing democratic principles which are consultation and dialogue with stakeholders and the principle of the separation of powers. It is an intention of good governance to enable citizen/stakeholder participation in policy formulation in the formative stage of the process before eventually establishing a policy. There are inseparable similarities in some critical principles of good governance and democracy, particularly the following; Citizen/ stakeholder participation, separation of powers, respect for the rule of law, equality before the law, accountability, transparency and both frown at all forms of discrimination.
Before delving into some similar SWADEPA policies, I wish to take this opportunity to pick some positively compliant clauses from the constitution of the country, and this does demonstrate that there are some elements of the constitution that are already first world compliant as stated below;
Section 58(1)reads thus;
Swaziland shall be a democratic country dedicated to principles which empower and encourage the active participation of all citizens at all levels in their own governance.
Section 58 (2) reads thus;
In the conduct of public affairs, the State shall be guided by the principle of decentralization and devolution of governmental functions and powers to the people at appropriate levels where the people can best manage and direct their own affairs.
Unfortunately the current overlapping greed and non-prioritization of peoples interests, whilst there has been extravagance and wasteful expenditure that does not benefit the tax payer the basic regional development fund to develop the people at their areas has been stalled, as such service delivery to the people has been stalled, but there is contemplation of increase on the public transport, contemplation of increase on the electricity tariffs, increase on bread but still no CoLa for the civil servants for the last three years and no allowances for the tertiary students of the country. Purchase of luxurious cars in the face of these economic and social injustices is cruelty against the people.
Section 58(3) reads thus;
The State shall cultivate among other people of Swaziland through various measures including civic education respect for fundamental human rights and freedoms and the dignity of human person.
Unfortunately currently in the Kingdom access to freedom of expression through the public broadcaster that is run on taxpayer’s funds is completely privatised by the ruling elite a digression from the constitutional dictate on the freedom of expression. And this unless rectified remains a perpetuation of the 1973 decree state of emergency.
Before moving to the next section I want to state that as opposed to the 1973 decree, the constitution was developed with the complete re-acceptance of the Bill of rights that liberalise all freedoms such as the freedom of Association, freedom of assembly, expression, speech and movement etc. as such opened the door to pluralism
I want to continue demonstrating that whilst a lot of sections need to be put in line with some international conventions we are signatory to, it is fair to mention some of the clauses that positively promote democracy and good governance we should mention them and call for implementation for those, whilst we call for correction for others.
Section 58(5) reads thus;
All lawful measures shall be taken to expose, combat and eradicate corruption and abuse or misuse of power by those holding political and other public offices.
Section 58(6) reads thus;
The State shall promote, among the people of Swaziland, the culture of political tolerance and all organs of State and people of Swaziland shall work towards the promotion of national unity, peace and stability.
The current police brutality over peaceful marches of students does not promote peace and stability.
Right to representation
Section 84(1) reads thus;
Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the people of Swaziland have a right to be heard through and represented by their own freely chosen representatives in the government of the country.
As SWADEPA we still want to emphasise that an all –inclusive national political dialogue can bring about a national resolve and the dream of acquiring the Swaziland we all would be happy in, in full freedom social justice and greater nationhood.
Jan J Sithole