Swaziland MPs have failed in a bid to have a vote of no confidence in the government.
They say the Swazi Cabinet, hand-picked by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, has failed to solve the judicial crisis in the kingdom that has rumbled on for more than two months and failed to deliver services to the Swazi people.
The MPs tried to have a debate yesterday (26 October 2011), but failed to get it on the agenda for business at the House of Assembly.
According to a report in the Swazi Observer, a newspaper in effect owned by King Mswati, the motion of no confidence stalled because there were doubts whether it was lawful to call for the sacking of the cabinet. The MPs are now seeking clarification on whether they can move a motion sometime in the future.
The Observer reports, ‘They are however authorised by the constitution to pass a vote of no confidence on cabinet if they see the necessity for that. Section 68 (5) of the national constitution reads, “Where a resolution of no confidence is passed on the cabinet by a three-fifths majority of all members of the House, the King shall dissolve the cabinet.”’
The motion reads in full:
To move that the Honourable House of Assembly having;
n Carefully considered the worsening socio-economic problems engulfing the country and affecting all sectors of society culminating in regular strikes and mass protests;
n Mindful of section 69 (2), read together with section 106 of the constitution;
n Deeply concerned about the absence of a concise and precise road-map to economic and financial recovery or quick win solutions;
n Discouraged by the Cabinet’s stubbornness and non-action in resolving the judicial crisis, leading to the infringement of citizens’ rights to legal representation and fair trial ;
n Concerned about the abrupt stoppage of the elderly grants, scholarship awards and irregular OVC payments at schools;
n Whilst acknowledging the fiscal challenges but remaining confused by cabinet’s display of personal greed and selfishness in its adamant refusal to review and adjust Circular No.1 of 2010 in line with the prevailing financial climate instead, choosing to be insensitive to the national outcry;
n Disturbed by the cabinet’s decisive and swift action on issues that benefits some of its members, directly or indirectly in total contravention of Section 240 of the constitution and;
n Having failed the Swazi nation in service delivery on all fronts, due to poor leadership and bad governance causing rising unemployment, turmoil in the transport industry, shortage of medical supplies, falling education standards, etc.
Therefore resolves that:
1) A vote of no confidence is passed on the cabinet in accordance with section 68 (5) of the constitution; and thereafter,
2) The Speaker should make a formal and humble representation to the Head of State on the matter.