Times of Swaziland
14 June 2011
Stop reporting about land saga
MATSAPHA – Prime Minister Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini yesterday told the media to stop broadcasting or writing about the protracted land purchase saga involving him and five Cabinet ministers.
The Premier said since His Majesty King Mswati III has already made a pronouncement over the matter, no one should speak about it any further.
Speaking yesterday at the Matsapha Airport upon return from the United States of America, the PM said once the King has spoken, what he says becomes a policy, command and the law.
Personally, the PM said he has also put the matter to rest and therefore hoped that journalists and the country at large will do the same.
"His Majesty said the issue should be put to rest. It means the matter has been concluded because the King’s word is a command and the law. I take it that it is over and I hope journalists will take it as having been concluded. There is no need for journalists to keep bringing this matter up and spicing it. It has to be taken out of the news," the prime minister said.
He continued: "I will never speak about the land issue again. Ngigcine ngci namuhla (this is the last time I speak about it). I hope newspapers and the electronic media will also not talk about this matter. Nigcine nitsi ngci (stop it right now)."
The PM said Swaziland was lucky to have a King and Indlovukazi because they are the ones who broker peace when there are problems in the country.
"That is how clever the Swazis are. With a King in the country, there will always be peace," the premier said.
Parliament was last week informed by both its presiding officers (Speaker Prince Guduza and Senate President Gelane Zwane) that the King had ordered the PM to withdraw his court action regarding the land issue and that the land in question be returned to government ownership.
Furthermore, Parliament was barred from debating the matter any further.
In the past month, the Executive and Legislature have been clashing over the allocation and sale of government land in Mbabane at ‘discounted’ prices to six Cabinet ministers including the prime minister.
The judiciary also found itself in the matter after the PM sought a court order barring MPs from tabling and debating a select committee’s report on the controversial land sale.