Eswatini Daily News

By Ntombi Mhlongo

The need for the construction of a much bigger Parliament structure continues to arise. This was evident during the final rehearsals of the State Opening of the 5th Session of the 11th Parliament where it was announced that only 200 people will be allowed inside the chambers and gallery.

The State Opening is scheduled for Friday, February 17. His Majesty King Mswati III is expected to deliver the Speech from The Throne. Announcing the number of guests and officials to be allowed inside was the Clerk to Parliament Benedict Xaba.

The Clerk mentioned that they would have loved to accommodate at least 5 000 people but that it was impossible due to the size of the Parliament structure.

“What we can assure you, however, is that a marquee has been set up where other guests who will not be inside the chambers and gallery will sit and follow the proceedings as the ceremony will be broadcast live. The emphasis we want to make is that only invited guests will be allowed, the rest will follow the proceedings on YouTube or the national broadcasting stations”, Xaba said.

Meanwhile, a stakeholders meeting was held where logistics were discussed including the time slots. It was explained that a pastor will be given five minutes to open the ceremony with a word of prayer after which the Senate President, Pastor Lindiwe Dlamini will make her remarks for 10 minutes and welcome Their Majesties as per the procedure.

Also announced at the meeting was that it will not be mandatory for people to produce positive Covid-19 tests but that those who feel unwell will be expected to wear facemasks. The meeting closed with a speech by Prime Minister Cleopas Sipho Dlamini who advised all those who will attend the event to be on their best behaviour and bear in mind that the whole world will be watching.

“All that we request is the respect of everyone during the whole session. There should be order so that Their Majesties can be able to address the nation in a proper manner,” the PM said.

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