A senior election official in Swaziland said corrupt members of the House of Assembly were selling their votes when they elect the kingdom’s senators.
In Swaziland no member of the 30-member Senate is elected by the people. King Mswati, the kingdom’s absolute monarch, appoints 20 and members of the House of Assembly elect the other ten.
Ncumbi Maziya, a Commissioner at the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC), told a workshop that members of parliament charged E60,000 (US$4,000) for their vote on Friday (31 August 2018).
It reported, ‘He said parliamentarians are the most corrupt people. He said he has since gathered that parliamentarians are swindling money from people who want to make it into Senate.
‘Maziya said he learnt that people are made to fork out money amounting to E60,000 if they want to get a vote to be elected into Senate. “If you have no money you won’t make it into Senate,” Maziya stated.’
He was addressing a workshop for candidates for the national election due in Swaziland () on 21 September 2018.
He also said there was a lot of corruption and bribery during the first round of the election (known as the primary election) that took place on 24 August.
The newspaper reported, ‘He said he learnt that there were people who were ferried in buses from the textile sector to vote in some areas around Manzini.
‘The commissioner said in some places he visited, people were bribed with beers in order to vote for people they didn’t even know.’
The Maziya said irregularities had been reported to the EBC from Manzini South, Kwaluseni, Ngculwini, kuhambanjani bafana constituencies. He said the EBC knew of cases of people being ferried in in buses or kombis. He said outgoing government ministers had illegally used government vehicles during the election.
The Times reported Maziya said there were also problems with people being drunk at polling stations. He said that at two places, Enjabulweni and Ngevini, he personally found voters intoxicated and some passed out on the voting booths.
The Times reported Maziya saying, ‘It is unfortunate that as much as we are aware that some aspiring MPs and candidates buy votes from textile workers and other people, the EBC does not have the rightful resources to tackle some of the acts of corruption.’
Polling Station Riot and Fresh Accusations of Vote-Rigging Reported at Swaziland Election
Fears Grow of Vote-Rigging and Malpractice in Swaziland Election. Ballot Boxes Not Properly Sealed
Independent Election Observers in Swaziland Barred From Some Polling Stations, Told to Sign Secrecy Forms
First Round of Swaziland Election Marred by Inefficiency and Fear of Vote-Rigging
Chaos and Violence Reported Across Swaziland as Voters go to the Polls
Organised Certainty, Why elections in Swaziland are not democratic