MBABANE: Ngomyayona Gamedze, the former Senate Deputy President has withdrawn as a candidate for the vacant Senate post, he warned of alleged corrupt practices in the campaigning process that threaten the existence of the Tinkhundla system of governance.
Speaking to this Swaziland News on Sunday ahead of the Senate elections on Monday, the highly regarded politician said he took the decision to withdraw from the race after learning that most Members of Parliament (MPs) were demanding large amounts of money from him in exchange for votes. The House of Assembly is highly expected to vote for the replacement of the late Mike Temple who died last year while jogging at his home at Mahlanya in the Manzini region.
Efforts to reach Petros Mavimbela, the Speaker in the House of Assembly proved unsuccessful at the time of compiling this report. Gamedze noted that the Tinkhundla system was now broke and collapsing and politicians were using that opportunity to enrich themselves. He added that the one who will eventually take the Senate post will be a corrupt individual who will meet the MPs demands. Gamedze said the post was up for grabs and the highest bidder will have more votes. He strongly warned that the situation now suggests that anyone with money can climb the political ladder by bribing MPs and subsequently topple the system.
“I would like to thank all those who nominated me, they did so without demanding any cent from me, but the problem now is the campaigning process, most MPs are demanding large amounts of money. Anyone who aspires to take over the Senate must be prepared to pay not less than 15 MPs, E20,000.00 each, minimum totaling E300,000.00, this shows that with the corruption in Parliament, it is now easy for people with hidden motivates to organize money, climb the political ladder and subsequently overthrow the Tinkhundla system government” he said.
The Ex-Senate Deputy President said even though he has vast experience in politics having worked as Parliament Presiding Officer for over 15 years after serving in the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC), corruption has deprived him an opportunity to serve the country.
“But I decided to withdraw in the race because I couldn’t manage a situation whereby an MP demand a large amount of money that I didn’t even earn in my political career. If the Prime Minister as Minister of Parliament affairs would sit down and watch this corruption manifesting it will result to serious consequences because if money is used in this manner to get Parliament seats, outsiders who are jealous with our peace and stability may gain entry into parliament and capture all the structures forming Parliament. Kutawuchamuka labantfu labatophatamisa lokuthula bafike bayifumbe lemali kulama-MPs, avume konkhe labakushoko, ngoba letimali setitsatfwa officially nyalo, ubeva nje batsi unawo yini ema-gelebisi and that’s the most difficult part that forced me to withdraw” said the former Senate Deputy President.
Wandile Dludlu, the Secretary General of the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO)said while there are indications that the system was now divided and collapsing, it was too early to celebrate its downfall.
“We need to understand that these people are not fighting for political transformation, but its factional scramble for looting. The battle for political change is fought in the Palace where decisions are made not in Parliament, so these fighting has nothing to do with political change. It should be understood that the system has been fighting like this even before, but it survived, so political activists should do a final push, we not yet there but almost there” said the PUDEMO Secretary General.
Ex-Senate Deputy President Ngomyayona Gamedze