Mbabane: Eswatini Prime Minister Cleopas Dlamini has advised parliament that the right procedures as stated in the constitution should be followed to amend the constitution.
Dlamini was speaking on Thursday in parliament making his submission before the house of assembly.
Section 246 of the Constitution requires that a constitutional amendment to any of the provisions of Chapter III requires a vote of three-quarters of the members of both the Senate and the House, voting in a joint sitting.
Speaking Inside parliament Dlamini stated that it was prudent for him to remind the House that the country’s Constitution provides procedures and provisions to be followed when amendments are proposed to invoke changes in the Constitution.
“We are all custodians of this Constitution which was a result of nationwide consultations with emaSwati. No one should avoid these processes under any circumstance and resort to shortcuts with threats of violence,” said Dlamini.
Dlamini was speaking addressing the issue of the recent unrest in the country, which started with the delivery of petitions in all Tinkhundla centers across the country. He noted that the petitions raised concerns in two categories which are centered around; Governance and politics as well as Service delivery issues.
Dlamini noted that during the recent Sibaya, His Majesty King Mswati III gave guidance on national dialogue, where he assured the nation that such a dialogue will be held once COVID-19 is no longer a threat and physical meetings can be safely held.
Dlamini stated that some of the reforms that are being advocated for by a section of the society require constitutional amendments and can therefore only be achieved if the Constitution is followed and all emaSwati are engaged.
He said the government strongly discourages threats and intimidation against those seen to be of different political views, including the cyberbullying that we recently witnessed as a country.
“Eswatini is a country that respects the freedom of expression as enshrined in our constitution. However, threats and violence against those we do not agree with are misplaced under the banner of freedom of expression and so is hate speech. We need to make a clear distinction between freedom of expression and inciting violence that threatens lives. The rule of law should be upheld at all times and the Government will not hesitate to bring to book anyone who instigates violence under the guise of freedom of expression,” he said.
Speaking on the arrest of Members of Parliament, Mduduzi ‘Bacede’ Mabuza of Hosea Inkhundla and Mthandeni Dube of Ngwempisi, Dlamini said they were aware of the matter but their arrests are in no way politically motivated.”
He urged the country to united in creating a better Eswatini for everyone and future generations.