Mamba was a Swazi senator, but he was never elected by anyone. No one elects senators. King Mswati, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, appoints 20 members of the 30-seat Senate, and the rest are selected by the House of Assembly.
With Mamba gone, his vacant seat is in the gift of the king.
Now is the time for those close to the king to fight for his favour.
The Weekend Observer, a newspaper in effect owned by the king, says today (7 August 2010), with commendable understatement, ‘Such vacancies create an interesting scene in the country’s political arena, as people close to the powers that be start to jostle for appointment.’
I have written before about how King Mswati ignores the Swaziland Constitution when it comes to putting his people in positions of power.
Section 67 (iii) of the Swaziland Constitution says that a half of government ministers must have been elected to parliament. If you count the Prime Minister and his deputy, the number of ministers appointed to office by the King unelected, exceeds half.
In another part of the parliament, Swaziland has four women MPs fewer than the constitution demands.
It’s a mess, but don’t think that will worry King Mswati any. He’ll appoint someone who will do as he (probably it will be a ‘he’) is told and hang the Constitution.