By Nokunceda Magagula
The clerk to the Eswatini parliament said that information circulating about members of parliament being bribed with money by aspiring Senators is just mere speculation.
In an interview, Xaba expressed his appreciation to the newly sworn-in members of parliament for their commitment to serving with integrity. He highlighted the significance of democracy during the election of the speaker and deputy speaker of the national assembly, where the principles of transparency and fairness prevailed.
During this process, Xaba explained that the election of the speaker adhered to the established laws of general elections. MPs participated in a secret ballot to select the speaker, resulting in the election of Jabulani “Buy Cash” Mabuza and Madala Mhlanga as the deputy speaker.
Turning his attention to the upcoming senatorial elections, Xaba advised aspiring senators to engage in effective lobbying efforts to garner support from MPs and articulate their ideas effectively. He underscored that the only legitimate means for aspiring senators to gain parliamentary seats is through lobbying, reaffirming that the use of monetary incentives to buy votes is strictly prohibited.
Xaba also reminded emaSwati that individuals who were unsuccessful in the general elections are ineligible to run for senator, per Section 5(3) of the Senator Act of 2013. Additionally, he encouraged women to seize this opportunity to contest for senatorial positions, addressing the under-representation of women in the House of Assembly.
Regarding the allegations of E60,000 bribes being offered to MPs, Xaba emphasized that MPs are individuals of integrity, having been elected by voters who recognized their leadership qualities. He noted that no formal complaints had been filed, indicating that these allegations were baseless and lacked credible evidence.
The Eswatini parliament’s clerk, Benedict Xaba, has refuted the speculations surrounding alleged bribes for MP votes, reinforcing the commitment of MPs to upholding the integrity of the electoral process.