THE SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT

The system of Government in Swaziland is a democratic, participatory, Tinkhundla based system which emphasizes devolution of state power from central government to tinkhundla areas and individual merit as a basis for election or appointment to the public office (Constitution of the Kingdom of Swaziland, Section 79). Like most Commonwealth countries the system is constituency based.

The term Inkhundla or Tinkhundla (in plural) is a Swazi name for a constituency. The system therefore emphasizes that;

  • The system accords with the norms and values of the Swazi people in that it is home grown.
  • The Tinkhundla system is a non-discriminatory in that all Swazis regardless of their race, sex, creed, religion and social class are free to participate (to vote or to be voted for) in the elections, subject to them meeting the qualifications stipulated in Section 88 of the Constitution.
  • The empowerment of citizens is at the core of the country’s political system in that the Tinkhundla serve as engines of development and are the central pillars underpinning the political and economic structure of the country. Through the administrative structures that have been created at the local level, social and economic services are provided to citizens in the different regions and communities across the length and breadth of the country. In this way, social projects and programs that would meet the development needs of the people are initiated by the people themselves.
  • It is grassroots based in that one is nominated and elected by people from a chiefdom where the individual is known. Culturally, every Swazi citizen has his or her roots in a particular chiefdom.
  • Power should devolve to the people, services should be accessed by all and constituencies should be used as political organizations and popular representations of the people in Parliament and other legislative structures.
  • People be elected or appointed to public office based on individual merit. The individual right to participate in national activities like the constitution making process has been recently endorsed by the Supreme Court of Swaziland.
  • Unity, Peace and stability among the Swazi nation should prevail and be maintained.
  • The system is founded on the democratic principle of direct representation. The system provides the individuals to be elected directly into the Public Office and having been elected, become the direct representatives of the people who voted for them.