Eswatini Daily News
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House of Spies?

The release of a leaked audio of Members of Parliament in a private caucus undermines public trust and confidence in our Honourable Members of Parliament.

Clearly there is a spy or spies in the Honourable House. The circulating audio clip of discussions in chamber calls into question the honesty, dignity and decency of some of our members of Parliament who hold the title HONOURABLE. Which title means worthy of honour and respect. It calls to question whether they are really worthy to be called Honourable. There is a reason why MPs are allowed to hold discussions in caucus or in camera and why they are granted certain privileges to allow freedom of speech and debate in parliament. Yes we get excited to eavesdrop in your conversations Honourables, but at the same time It is concerning to the nation that there seems to be a new trend of recording and leaking of information allegedly by MPs to spite each other or to lead the nation on some wild agenda.

A few days ago we heard an audio of a conversation between Manzini MP Lorraine Nxumalo and the Commissioner of Police William Tsintsibala Dlamini. It is not clear how a conversation between such high level members of society got to the public domain. Nevertheless, it left a bitter taste.

The spying does not end there, we have seen screen shots from a WhatsApp group of our MPs. Unity in Diversity it is called. You may want to consider changing the name because you are divided by diversity. Evidently, you do not tolerate each other’s views that is why some of you resort to cheap tactics of spying on each other.

There are matters that can be shared by Members of Parliament with the public because they are of public interest, but sharing your WhatsApp group chats is an abuse of our dignity. Whoever did this is not worthy to be an MP. We are tired of being used as your battle ground as you fight your personal wars. It is regrettable that Members of such an Honourable house are using us the people who voted for them to fight personal interests under the guise of a political agenda for democracy.

I am sure you all know by now who did this to your good selves. If you don’t, listen closely to the audio, you will hear voices chatting in the background. Distinctly a male and female voice. The submissions of those closer to the recording device are louder and clearer like Hon Macford. Submissions of those further will be faint. You know how you were seated during this meeting. That should give you a clue on the location of the spy gadget. The Speaker is guided to call the spies to order. Name and shame the spy.

DR. Yogendra Narain
Secretary-General of the upper house of the bicameral Parliament of India says this on parliamentary decorum and etiquette, “Parliament basically is a place where issues are thrashed out and divergent views are reconciled as far as possible by debate, discussion and persuasion. Any fruitful discussion and debate calls for certain amount of discipline, decorum and order in the House. It is, therefore, essential that members of Parliament observe a certain code of conduct, follow a certain norm of behaviour and run the parliamentary system according to rules, customs and conventions. Whether inside the House or outside of it, members’ conduct should be in keeping with the dignity and the prestige of Parliament. Observance of parliamentary etiquette, customs and conventions, which have been evolved over the years from practices, rulings of the Chair and unrecorded traditions of Parliament, is essential for enhancing the dignity of Parliament.”

It is about time that our Parliamentarians tackle this cancer head on to avoid further division and to regain public trust and confidence. Members of Parliament should not be allowed to disclose information they gathered in the course of duty for advancing their personal interests. Keep us informed on matters of genuine public interest but do not use us for political and publicity stunts. We elected you to be Members of Parliament not socialites. Other countries have a code of conduct that governs the behavior of a member in and outside Parliament. The boom in use of social media by MPs is becoming a liability more than a benefit because it is now becoming a popularity contest than for public interest.

We are also alive to the fact that some influencers are hell bent to render the house ungovernable so that our democracy is seen to be a failure. Stand strong MPs, don’t be pushed over by people who have become slaves to foreign gods . Uproot the evil among you and focus on your constitutional duties.

Honourable Members, you are respectfully requested to make means to mend the corrosive relationship we are now observing in the house, before our Parliament is rendered ungovernable and ineffective. A great majority of you are sound, sensible and deserving to be called Honourable. Stand and defend your title.

Open Letter to Members of Parliament
received via email from
Vukani Maswati

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