Mbabane: The Parliament bribery allegations as made by former deputy speaker in the House of Assembly, Mpendulo Ngomuyayona Gamedze, are worrisome to the king, said Speaker in the House of Assembly, Petros Mavimbela.
The bribery allegations were made against Members of Parliament by Former Senate Deputy President, Mpendulo Ngomuyayona Gamedze and come after another one in 2018 when former senator in the 10th Parliament, Lungile Gama, alleged that she had been conned over E40 000 by MPs in bribery money for a senate seat in the 11th Parliament, for which she was not voted. Gama went haywire after the results were announced where she had amassed only two votes of the 12 needed, charging at MPs and demanding her money back.
The former deputy president alleged that some MPs had asked him for money in return for their vote, some bidding to the tune of E10 000, which led to his withdrawal at nomination stage through a letter addressed to the Returning Officer of the Senate Elections Act, who is Clerk to Parliament Ndvuna Dlamini. Along others the former deputy president had been nominated to replace late senator Mike Temple who passed away untimely at his home in Malkerns on June 1, 2019.
The Speaker indicated that Parliament being an honorable house should be known to be integral and credible as well as exemplary and without blemish, however, the claims made by Gamedze has left a dirty mark which must be cleaned out as a matter of urgency. He added that he was shocked to read in the papers how that the MPs had been accused of bribing the former deputy president and wished that the latter had reported the matter to the relevant authorities like the police and the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACC).
Said Mavimbela; “Gamedze is the most seasoned politician to have worked in the August House and knows too well all the channels that need to be followed where the Senate Elections Act is violated.” He added that the Act condemns dishonesty, which includes the illegal procuring of money for services done. Mavimbela said it might be a good idea for Gamedze to pin point the culprits who are responsible for attempting to solicit money from him in return for a senate vote. The Speaker wondered if the former deputy president meant to say that for the three terms he had been in Parliament he had seen MPs taking bribery money from senate hopefuls before casting their vote, adding that unless Gamedze came through and exposed the culprits something would have to be done, without mentioning what it would be.
Said the Speaker; “All along until now, Parliament has been seen as a credible institution, which played a key role in the country’s administration and trusted by the electorate,” while mincing no words that from Gamedze’s claims the country’s higher authorities have raised a big question.
“Gamedze ufatile wehluleka kulandzela umtsetfo,” said the Speaker in vernacular, loosely translated, ‘the former deputy president spoke without any basis of the law.’