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Sunday, 16 January 2011

SWAZI PM ‘FACES NO-CONFIDENCE VOTE’

Barnabas Dlamini, Swaziland’s illegally-appointed Prime Minister, faces a vote of no confidence in parliament.


Swazi MPs are fed up with his handling of the land corruption scandal and want him and all his Cabinet ministers to be sacked.


The no-confidence vote on the Cabinet could come at the same time MPs vote on the future of Lindiwe Dlamini, the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, who allowed the Prime Minister; his deputy, the millionaire Themba Masuku; four members of the Swazi Royal Family and at least nine cabinet ministers (past and present); an array of Mbabane City Council officials and others to purchase government land illegally at discounts of up to 50 percent.


Although MPs are keen to get rid of Lindiwe Dlamini, they believe the entire Cabinet and the Prime Minister should also be sacked.


According to the Times Sunday, an independent newspaper in Swaziland, today (16 January 2011), ‘The MPs felt the housing minister did not unilaterally take the decision to award the land illegally to the ministers but cabinet as a whole, was responsible. On his return from Libya, the Prime Minister admitted that cabinet took decisions as a team.’


One MP, close to the revolt, told the newspaper that a report into the land swindle is due to be presented to Parliament soon. ‘The report to be presented to us by the Parliamentary Select Committee probing the matter will show us the direction we should take but we won’t just pass a vote of no confidence on Lindiwe alone. We want the whole cabinet to go home en masse.’


Swazi MPs are angry about a range of bad decisions the Cabinet has collectively made recently. These include the purchase of land from Essa Holmes for E31 million in violation of government procedure and the impromptu closure of the Royal Jozini Big Six development project.


One MP told the Times Sunday, ‘In a period of two years, they have committed three serious mistakes. This is the worst cabinet ever and it has to go home as fast as possible.’


Cabinet has 20 ministers. Never before in the history of Swaziland has a vote of no confidence in Cabinet been passed.


If the MPs did succeed in passing the no-confidence motion, it would not necessarily mean that the Cabinet would stand down. King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, who appointed the PM and cabinet, would make the final decision.

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