By Ncaba Ntshakala
It’s all set for the 2023 – 2028 Cabinet Ministers who were sworn in by Attorney General Sifiso Mashampu Khumalo before Prime Minister Russell Dlamini and Nation. The colourful ceremony took place at the Cabinet offices in Mbabane on Tuesday and the Ministers braced for the cold and drizzling weather and attended their swearing-in ceremony.
Secretary to Cabinet, Victor Nxumalo who was the director of the proceedings welcomed the Ministers who were dressed in their finest regalia and as distinguished individuals, they took their places on the floor, ready to partake in a momentous occasion – their swearing-in.
The room shimmered with an opulence befitting the splendour of the event. Crystal chandeliers bathed the marquee hall in a warm, golden glow, casting a harmonious light on the gilded furnishings. The majestic tapestries adorning the walls depicted scenes of valour and honour, reflecting the noble virtues expected of those who were about to take their solemn oaths of allegiance and loyalty.
Nxumalo asked Archdeacon Bhekindlela Magongo to open the ceremony in prayer. After the prayer, Nxumalo welcomed all those present according to their statuses. He further presented the programme of the day which mainly was the swearing-in ceremony.
One by one, the ministers stepped forward, their faces a mixture of anticipation and solemnity. With measured steps, they proceeded to the centre of the stage, where they would be administered their oaths by the Attorney General (AG). Khumalo first highlighted the importance of the role and duties everyone was assuming.
The AG’s words hung in the air, carrying weight and importance, encapsulating the gravity of the responsibilities bestowed upon these esteemed individuals. Each minister, with unwavering determination, recited their pledge, their voices resonating through the hall. The first to be sworn in was Deputy Prime Minister Thulisile Dladla who recited her oath with jubilation.
Dladla was followed by Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Pholile Shakantu who was accompanied by her spouse, Inyatsi Group Chairman Michelo Shakantu. Minister Shakantu recited words which proved to be a testament to her unwavering loyalty, echoed with a sense of purpose and commitment.
Amidst a backdrop of solemnity and grace, the cabinet ministers, some accompanied by their spouses, took the stage to pledge their allegiance to His Majesty King Mswati III and vow unwavering dedication to their service to the country.
Each minister, with their respective partner by their side, expressed their commitment to fulfil their responsibilities diligently and selflessly, ensuring the welfare and progress of the nation. The presence of their spouses who were dazzling in their glamour outfits symbolized the shared support and unity in their mission, amplifying the significance of their promises as they embarked on this noble journey of public service.
Those who were accompanied included, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Pholile Shakantu, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs HRH Prince Simelane, Minister of Home Affairs HRH Princess Lindiwe who was in the company of her husband, Jesus Calls Worship Centre leader and Eswatini Conference of Churches President Bishop Robert Kasaro.
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Others who were surrounded by the astonishing support of their spouses include Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Mancoba Khumalo, Minister of Health and Social Welfare and Siphocosini MP Mduduzi Matsebula, Minister of Agriculture and Mkhiweni MP Mandla Tshawuke, Minister of Tourism and Environmental Affairs and Mbabane West Jane Mkhonta, Minister of Education and Training and Manzini South Owen Nxumalo, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources HRH Prince Lonkhokhela Dlamini, Minister of Public Works and Transport Chief Ndlaluhlaza Ndwandwe, Minister of Economic Planning and Development and Lubuli MP Dr Tambo Gina, Minister of Public Service and Maphalaleni MP Mabulala Maseko, Minister of Sports, Youth and Culture and Sandleni MP Bongani Nzima and Minister of Labour and Social Security Phila Buthelezi.
Also present at the swearing-in were different Principal Secretaries of the various cabinet ministers. Principal Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, HRH Prince Sicalo was also present to observe the proceedings. Clergymen were also there to grace the ceremony with divinity and offer prayer.
Mbabane Alliance Reverend Johannes V Mazibuko shed the word of God and further asked the Ministers to the podium so that they could be blessed with prayer. Amongst the pastors present was Voice of the Church Director Pastor Zakhele Mthethwa.