Legislators introduced to parliamentary processes

November 27, 2023

Dignitaries pose with Members of Parliament at the induction conference.

UNDP/Ayanda Nhlabatsi

Following the recent national elections, Parliament held its induction conference to familiarise legislators with parliamentary processes. The theme of the conference is Execution of Parliament Core Mandate (Representation, Oversight and Legislation) With Excellence. 


Among the key challenges facing the legislature as identified in the Parliament Strategic Plan of 2022-2026, the clerk to Parliament, Benedict Xaba, noted the misconception about the role of Members of Parliament both within the institution and society at large. In response, the Legislature facilitated a five-day induction conference for the 12th Parliament of the Kingdom of Eswatini held at the Happy Valley Hotel, Ezulwini, from 27 Nov. to 01 Dec. 


Addressing the members of both the Upper and Lower Houses, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Hon. Jabulani Mabuza, said the conference aims to enhance the MP’s appreciation of the constitutional mandate of parliament. The conference will also cover topics such as the rule of law and the separation of powers of Government, the history of the Kingdom of Eswatini and the Tinkhundla System of Governance. 


“This workshop has been tailor-made specifically for us, and its primary objective is to capacitate legislators in all aspects so that we effectively and efficiently execute our constitutional mandate,” said Hon Mabuza.


The conference, which UNDP supported under its offer to enhance effective and participatory governance in Eswatini, was officially opened by the Right Honourable Prime Minister, His Excellency Russel Mmiso Dlamini. Among the high-level speakers was the United Nations Resident Coordinator, George Wachira, who was accompanied by UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Nessie Golakai. 


UNDP also provided technical support to the Elections and Boundaries Commission in facilitating the 2023 elections that saw an election of nine women – a dramatic improvement from two in 2018. 

Prime Minister, His Excellency the Rt Hon. Russell Dlamini.

UNDP/Ayanda Nhlabatsi

The Hon. Prime Minister applauded parliament for hosting the conference adding that he was impressed with the lineup of topics under discussion. 

“As we have attained leadership positions, we have become role models to many and it is imperative that our conduct reflects proper ethical standards at home, in society and especially where we represent the country externally,” he said. 


He further pledged his commitment to working together with Parliament during his term and requested all to put the country first and strive towards the common goal of a turnaround that His Majesty King Mswati III and the nation have entrusted the new leadership with.


“We are all looking forward to interactive sessions and I have been informed that this is not the last capacity building because Parliament has designed a comprehensive continuous capacity-building programme for parliamentarians,” he said.


The Prime Minister also took the time to condemn the escalating Gender-Based Violence, adding his voice following His Majesty’s call to end GBV at the recent national end-of-year prayer service. Eswatini has joined the world in commemorating the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, from 25 November to 10 December. 

UN in Eswatini Resident Coordinator, George Wachira.

UNDP/Ayanda Nhlabatsi

Speaking at the same event, George Wachira, the UN Resident Coordinator, said parliamentarians play an indispensable role in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. He further appreciated the partnership between the UN and Parliament demonstrated in various activities such as ensuring business continuity amid the COVID-19 pandemic. UNDP supported Parliament with IT equipment and digital services to ensure that parliamentarians met online during the pandemic to ensure that the legislature continued with its work. 

“The support of this conference by UNDP is testimony to the UN’s commitment to the success of this institution, and we look forward to engaging more during the life of this parliament,” he said. 


UNDP also supported Parliament with the development of its strategic plan and aligning it with the Sustainable Development Goals and National Development Plan. UNDP also supported Parliament with training on appreciating crucial issues including climate change and energy. Through the UNDP-supported Eswatini Youth Empowerment Programme (EYEP), Parliament is hosting 19 youth interns who are providing much-needed support in different departments.

Senate President, Ps. Lindiwe Dlamini

UNDP/Ayanda Nhlabatsi

Expressing her gratitude to UNDP for the EYEP graduate interns, Senate President, Ps. Lindiwe Dlamini, said within a very short period, their footprint within Parliament has been, and continues to be significant.Expressing her gratitude to UNDP for the EYEP graduate interns, Senate President, Ps. Lindiwe Dlamini, said within a very short period, their footprint within Parliament has been, and continues to be significant. 


“I hope that the different public and private institutions will be able to absorb them permanently, or better yet, that the young graduates will be empowered enough to be able to start their own businesses,” said Ps. Dlamini. 


She said that handled with the requisite care, EYEP would go a long way in addressing unemployment, which was one of the major concerns during Sibaya.