Administration

THE MONARCHY

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HIS MAJESTY King Mswati III


The Constitution defines the Monarch in terms of two distinct and separate offices. He is King and at the same time, Ingwenyama of Swaziland and as hereditary Head of State.

As such, the King is a symbol of national unity and the eternity of the Swazi Nation. In that capacity he is:

Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces made up of the army, the police an correctional services.

In terms of the 2005 Constitution, the King and Ingwenyama has such rights and obligations as are conferred on him by the constitution and exercises those rights, prerogatives and obligations in terms and in the spirit of the constitution.

By Swazi law and custom, the monarch holds supreme executive, legislative, and judicial powers. In general practice, however, the monarch's power is delegated through a dualistic system: modern, statutory bodies, like the cabinet; and less formal traditional government structures. The king must approve legislation passed by parliament before it becomes law. The prime minister who is head of government, and the cabinet, which is recommended by the prime minister and approved by the king exercise executive authority.

The present parliament consists of a 65-seat House of Assembly (55 members are elected through popular vote; 10 are appointed by the king) and 30-seat Senate (10 members are appointed by the House of Assembly, and 20 are appointed by the king). House of Assembly elections were last held on September 19, 2008. King Mswati III appointed a new cabinet on October 24, 2008.
For local administration Swaziland is divided into four regions, each with a Regional Administrator appointed by the King. Parallel to the government structure is the traditional system consisting of the king and his advisers, traditional courts, 55 tinkhundla (sub regional districts in which traditional chiefs are grouped), and approximately 360 chiefdoms.

The Chiefs are responsible for allocating land and administration of communal land and report directly to the King.

The King regularly consults the Swazi Nation by summoning all chiefs and open air meetings in the royal cattle byre where national policy direction is determined.

Constitution: A new constitution was ratified by the King on the 26th July 2005, King Mswati III and came into effect on the 8th February 2006.



In modern government, the King is Executive--monarch and Head of State.

The Prime Minister head of government and cabinet. He is appointed by the King. He in turn recommends names of cabinet ministers who are appointed by the King.

Legislative--Parliament consists of the House of Assembly (65 members: 55 elected, 10 appointed by the king) and Senate (30 members: 10 appointed by the House of Assembly, 20 appointed by the king). It is responsible for debating national policies and laws. Ordinarily, laws are presented to Parliament and Government Bills. Once approved by Parliament, these laws must receive the King’s consent become they become Acts of Parliament. Laws of Swaziland are described as Acts of Parliament and the King.

The independence of the Legislature from government control is expected to be secured once a Parliament Service Commission is operationalized.   

Judicial--a dual court system of traditional courts under chiefs and a Roman-Dutch system comprising magistrates courts, High Court, Supreme Court (formerly Court of Appeals). Judges are appointed by the King at the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission. To assure their independence, Judges of the High Court and Supreme Court cannot be removed from office until they retire at the age of 75.
Administrative subdivisions: 4 regions – Hhohho, Lubombo, Manzini and Shiselweni. Each is headed by a political Administrator who is appointed by the King. Once the Decentralization Policy is operationalized, the Regional Administrator will chair a regional development Council made up of representatives of Tinkhundla in the region.

There are 11 municipal governments made up of town councils. Local governemt is provided through 55 tinkhundla centers (traditional administrative units) which also serve as electoral constituents.
Political parties: Political parties are not formally recognized and their existence is acknowledged. Earlier this year, Government banned four political formations it accused of promoting terrorism. The banned parties are the People’s Democratic Movement (PUDEMO); the Swaziland Youth Congress (SWAYOCO) and the South Africa based Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN).

Parties not banned include the former official opposition, the Ngwane National Liberatory Congress (NNLC) and the royalist leaning Sive Siyinqaba.

Suffrage: Universal after 18.

Regional Affiliations: Swaziland is a member of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), with which the U.S. began negotiating a free trade agreement in May 2003. The other members of SACU are Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, and South Africa.

It is also a member of the Common Market of East and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).

Principal Government Officials
Head of State--King Mswati III
Head of Government--Prime Minister Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini
Deputy Prime Minister--Themba Masuku
Minister of Economic Planning--Prince Hlangusempi
Minister of Public Service--Mtiti Fakudze
Minister of Natural Resources and Energy--Princess Tsandzlle
Minister of Education and Training--Wilson Ntshangase
Minister of Health--Bennedict Xaba
Minister of Agriculture--Clement Dlamini
Minister of Information and Communication Technology--Nelisiwe Shogwe
Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs--Ndumiso Mamba
Minister of Public Works and Transport--Ntuthuko Dlamini
Minister of Tourism and Environment--Macford Sibandze
Minister of Home Affairs--Chief Mgwagwa Gamedze
Minister of Commerce, Industry, and Trade--Jabulile Mashwama
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation--Lutfo Dlamini
Minister of Local Government and Housing--Pastor Lindiwe Gwebu
Minister of Sports Culture and Youth Affairs--Hlobsile Ndlovu
Minister of Labour and Social Security--Patrick Magwebetane Mamba
Minister of Finance--Majozi V. Sithole

Minister of Tinkhundla Administration—Prince Gcokoma

Permanent Representative to the United Nations--Joel Musa Nhleko
Ambassador to the United States
--Ephraim M. Hlophe

 

 

 

Chief Justice: David Banda

 

Chief Electoral Officer: Prince Gija

Chairman of the Swazi Nation Council (Liqoqo): Prince Logcogco

Commissioner of Police: Magagula

Army Commander: General Sobantu Dlamini


Diplomatic Missions

Permanent Representative to the United Nations: Zwelethu Mnisi
High Commissioner to the United Kingdom:
Dumsile Sukati

Ambassador to the Brussels EU -- Joel Nhleko

Ambasador to Geneva -- Dr. Thembayena Dlamini

Ambassador to Kuwait -- Chief Senzangakhona

Ambassador to Taiwan -- Njabu Gwebu

Ambassador to Malaysia -- Mpumelelo Hlophe

Ambassador to Mozambique -- Prince Tsekedi

Ambassador to South Africa -- Solomon Dlamini

Ambassador to East and West Africa -- Mthunzi Dlamini

Amassador to USA: Rev Abednigo Ntshangase

Government and Political Conditions

Type: Monarchy

Independence: September 6, 1968.

Constitution: On July 26, 2005, King Mswati III ratified Swaziland's constitution. This is Swaziland's first constitution in over 30 years. It went into effect February 8, 2006.


Branches: Executive--monarch (head of state), prime minister (head of government),
cabinet (appointed by the king at the recommendation of the prime minister). Legislative--Parliament consisting of the House of Assembly (65 members: 55 elected, 10 appointed by the king) and Senate (30 members: 10 appointed by the House of Assembly, 20 appointed by the king). Judicial--a dual court system of traditional courts under chiefs and a Roman-Dutch system comprising magistrates courts, High Court, Supreme Court (formerly Court of Appeals).
Administrative subdivisions: 4 regions, 9 municipal governments, and 55 tinkhundla centers (traditional administrative units).
Political parties: None registered, though the new constitution does not forbid parties.
Suffrage: Universal after 18.

Constitution: On July 26, 2005 King Mswati III ratified Swaziland's constitution. It went into effect February 8, 2006. This is Swaziland's first constitution in over 30 years.

System of government: According to Swazi law and custom, the monarch holds supreme executive, legislative, and judicial powers. In general practice, however, the monarch's power is delegated through a dualistic system: modern, statutory bodies, like the cabinet; and less formal traditional government structures. The king must approve legislation passed by parliament before it becomes law. The prime minister, who is head of government, and the cabinet, which is recommended by the prime minister and approved by the king, exercise executive authority.

At present, parliament consists of a 65-seat House of Assembly (55 members are elected through popular vote; 10 are appointed by the king) and 30-seat Senate (10 members are appointed by the House of Assembly, and 20 are appointed by the king). House of Assembly elections were last held on September 19, 2008. King Mswati III appointed a new cabinet on October 24, 2008.

For local administration Swaziland is divided into four regions, each with an administrator appointed by the king. Parallel to the government structure is the traditional system consisting of the king and his advisers, traditional courts, 55 tinkhundla (sub regional districts in which traditional chiefs are grouped), and approximately 360 chiefdoms.

Swaziland is a member of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), with which the U.S. began negotiating a free trade agreement in May 2003. The other members of SACU are Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, and South Africa.

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Quick Facts About Swaziland

Category Information
Population 1,018,449 (2007)
Administrative Divisions 4 districts; Hhohho, Lubombo, Manzini, Shiselweni
Capital City Mbabane
Languages English (official, government business conducted in English), siSwati (official)
Currency Lilangeni (SZL) = 1 South African Rand
Main Economic Activities Agriculture, Textiles, Tourism
GDP per Capita $4963.634 (PPP - 2008 Est.)
Percentage below the Poverty Line 69% (2001)
Unemployment rate 40.6% (2007 est.)
Human Development Index 0.547 (2007)
Gender-related Development Index 0.529 (2007)
Percentage of Population below 20 years of age 51.9% (2007)
HIV & AIDS prevalence rate 18.8% (2007)
Primary Environmental Hazard Drought
Head of State His Majesty King Mswati III
Head of Government Prime Minister Dr. Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini
Government Type Monarchy/Parlimentary System