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Swaziland Attorney General Lauds New Constitution


Swaziland’s attorney general, Majahenkhaba Dlamini, says the country’s newly enacted constitution is not perfect. He says it was produced in the Swazi spirit and everything should be done to make it acceptable for all.

The document, which was signed into law recently by King Mswati III, has been criticized for giving the king too much power. Dlamini, who is the secretary of the committee that drafted it, said it takes time and a lot of pain to have a good constitution.

Dlamini lauded the king and the kingdom for adopting the new constitution after thirty years of the country not having one. He compared a constitution to a tree; he said as organic law, a constitution grows…and to grow well, it needs to be watered and natured. He noted that the constitution of a country is as much the way of life of the people as it is a measure of achievement and a guide or roadmap to the future.

From the capital, Mbabane, Dlamini told VOA reporter Peter Clottey: “….the constitution is not perfect ….I have never seen a perfect constitution...this is the [same for] all constitutions. There is not a single one that is perfect….Yes, in a way I might have wished that [it had] other provisions in it…..people are entitled to disagree.”

One opposition criticism that the new constitution gives sweeping power to Africa’s only absolute monarch, King Mswati III, Dlamini replied, “The constitution has not been written overnight. It has come to the people over a period of time. And the things that are reflected in the constitution are not new….On the face of it, some people say yes, it gives the king sweeping powers. But I am not too sure everybody would agree with that … It depends on how the stakeholders react to it, how those so-called powers are going to be interpreted when it comes to implementing them.”

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