General Swaziland Information: Political
By Richard M. Patricks, SNTC. July 2000.
Swaziland is one of three national monarchies remaining in Africa (others: Lesotho, Morocco). (King Zwelithini Zulu, for example, is King of the Zulu People, not King of Zululand)
In 1973 Sobhuza repealed constitution designed by Britain and banned political parties. However, the state has tolerated party activity in last ten years, except for participation in elections.
The Swazi National Council (22 members, princes, chiefs & commoners) report to the King.
Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) of 30 members led by a Prince, has been working on new constitution since 1996.
Swaziland currently has 55 constituencies called "tinkhundla" (singular - "inkhundla").
Bi-cameral parliament (since 1967):
House of Assembly (65 members) - 55 elected by secret ballot elections, King appoints 10.
House of Senate (30 members) - 55 elected M.P.s select 10 senators, King appoints 20.
Total number of parliamentarians: 95
Female members: Currently 10 (3 elected, 1 selected, 6 appointed by King)
King appoints Cabinet:
Prime Ministers (eight Dlaminis since 1967)
Deputy Prime Minister (never a Dlamini)
Ministers (currently 14, including 2 women)
All members of parliament.
Previous Prime Ministers:
1. Prince Makhosini
2. Prince Maphevu
3. Prince Mabandla
4. Prince Bhekimphi
5. Sotja Dlamini
6. Obed Dlamini
7. Prince Mbilini
Current Prime Minister:
Dr. Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini (B. Comm., B. Chem., Doctorate - honorary) Minister of Finance in 1980s, then IMF in Washington, USA, until recalled by King.
Independent. Hampered (or helped?) by "Non-bailable Offences Act". People accused of serious crimes (treason, murder, rape, armed robbery, car theft and poaching of endangered animals) remain in custody until trial.
High Court: Chief Justice & three judges administer Roman-Dutch law
Magistrates Courts: Roman-Dutch law
Swazi National Courts: smaller offences, with mixture of Roman-Dutch and Swazi customary law
Chiefs' courts: petty cases, chief can fine his subjects, but not give jail sentences.