Mbabane: Siphofaneni Member of Parliament Mduduzi ‘Magawugawu’ Simelane has asked the Minister of Finance Neal Rijkenberg to withdraw the notice on import cars as the decision was taken haphazardly.
The notice came into force on August 28, 2020 and it revoked Legal Notice No. 80 of 2012. The new notice was issued by the Finance Minister and it has been gathered that the notice was already in place.
Speaking at the House of Assembly MP Simelane when making his submissions as the mover of the motion without notice which was meant to ask the Minister of Finance to forthwith justify the rationale of capping the seven (7) year period for importing used cars. MP Mabuza’s motion was seconded by Manzini North MP Macford Sibandze. Simelane believes that the Minister should have consulted the public as well before making this decision.
“To move that the Honourable Minister of Finance should forthwith justify the rationale of capping the seven (7) year period for importing used cars in terms of legal Notice No. 183 of 2020. In light of the strict provisions of Section 3 of The import Control Order, 1976 that the conduct of the Minister must take into account the public interest. Whether there were any consultative measures the Honourable Minister adopted with the stakeholders to arrive at the seven (7) year limit. Further, the Honourable Minister be directed forthwith to alternatively cap the period to twelve (12) years from the date of its purchase.” Reads the motion without notice.
Simelane got the whole house in silence, paying attention when he made his emotional sentiments on the aforementioned matter as he spoke mostly on the issue of putting the public interest first as the public are the most who will be greatly affected on this motion.
Simelane reminded the government, the Finance Minister in particular that they are the government of the people by the people and for the people. Simelane added that over and above, this motion was mostly concerned about the poor emaSwatini. “Why the poor man made poorer, while the rich man is made richer” asked the Siphofaneni MP.
The MP then urged the Finance Minister to go back and redo his assignment bearing in mind the public interest. Simelane made a lot of examples behind his motion, and that includes the fact that the import cars are the most affordable cars for the nation which is the 63 percent of the total population living under poverty line. Simelane said this are the very same cars used to transport sick to the hospital as the government is more often running in short of ambulances. He even quoted one tragic scenario where a lot of woman died while in labour in the Lubombo region as there were no ambulances to ferry them to hospital.
Eswatini Import Car Dealership Association’s Imitiaz Sahi.