By Bahle Gama
Pigg’s Peak Member of Parliament and former Minister of Agriculture Jabulani ‘Buy Cash’ Mabuza is the new Speaker of the House of Assembly for the 12th Parliament.
Mabuza was elected in Parliament on Friday after a nomination and voting process by Members of Parliament (MPs). Mabuza was nominated alongside with Mhlangatane MP Madala Mhlanga for the Speaker position, however, Mabuza outclassed Mhlanga with 41 votes while the latter amassed 28.
After their names were called for nomination, letters of acceptance were presented by their ‘campaign managers’. Canvassing for Mabuza was Maphalaleni MP Mabulala Maseko who encouraged the House to vote for the newly elected Speaker because of his previous works in parliament.
Meanwhile, Mhlanga was campaigned for by Siphocosini MP Mduduzi Matsebula who said his position as deputy speaker in the previous term was reason enough to see that he is the right man for the joke. After biting the dust, he contested for the deputy speaker position with Nkwene MP Sikhumbuzo Dlamini which he won with a whopping 46 votes, thus retaining his position.
Mabuza and Mhlanga did not hold back in making light of the situation by cracking jokes in Parliament. After losing to Mabuza, Mhlanga asked that he at least share 12 of his votes to which he responded that it would be great if the Deputy Speaker gave his entire 28 votes to him leaving the House in stitches.
Reacting to the election of the Speaker and his deputy, the new MPs expressed their delight, especially towards a new face taking the seat.
One of those was Hhukwini MP Alec Lushaba who said both Mabuza and Mhlanga were good candidates for the positions despite that they are from the same region. They are both from Hhohho, so we hope that when they work in the house, they will do so for the entire nation and not just their regional homes.
We are happy that there is a new Speaker and a returning Deputy which means they will help each other based on their experiences and take the country to greater heights,” he said.
However, Lushaba noted with dismay that in this term, there is no woman as has been the case over the years. He said he did believe that the available women would be elected to the respective committees where they would work diligently.
He was echoed by Mbabane East MP Welcome Dlamini who said Mabuza and Mhlanga coming together will result in up to standard decorum along with the participation of new MPs in the house. About Mabuza as the new Speaker, Dlamini said he brings new experience as he has been seen in certain positions where he acted including that of being the Acting Prime Minister.