IS THIS THE END OF THE ROAD FOR LUTFO IN POLITICS?
"Skelem at his hobby after politics", Minister Lutfo Dlamini wrote on his WhastApp status after losing at the Tinkhundla primary elections.
As soon as many saw his status tongues were sent wagging: was the Ndzingeni former legislature bowing out of politics for good or just making a cheeky comment? It is still too early to tell.
What is without a doubt though is that after over 20 years of active service in our country’s topsy-turvy politics, the results of the last elections were far more humbling than even the first defeat he suffered in 2013.
This time around he failed at Primaries, indicative of how he has lost favour even in his own constituencies. The margins didn't look pretty either. Wake up anyone who died before 2013 and no one would believe Dlamini´s political life would end in such a humiliating fashion.
There was a time when Dlamini belonged to a special cache of untouchable royal supreme boys.
Former Tibiyo TakaNgwane boss Ndumiso Mamba
Dlamini and former appointed member of Parliament Sandlane Zwane, former Swazi TV journalist Qhawe Mamba and former Tibiyo boss Ndumiso Mamba had a special golden seat at the high table of royal privilege. The rest were peripheral wannabes. We all wanted to be like them... if not them.
Who wouldn’t want to have the King and Queen mother on special dial?
And Dlamini´s unmitigated arrogance rubbed it on our faces; we were mere mortals and he was Jose Mourinho of our politics-- the special one(s). Like any political authority, internal royal dynamics also meant that somewhere plotters were orchestrating their ousting from the royal inner circle.
For all his brilliance Dlamini forgot he was not of royal blue blood. He was a mere Dlamini.
Former Ndzingeni Member of Parliament Lutfo Dlamini
Fast forward to 2023 and Zwane is an unrecognisable chilli vendor, Qhawe Mamba is a convicted criminal running a struggling television channel while Ndumiso Mamba was humiliated into obscurity after being found with King Mswati´s wife in a compromising position.
Lutfo? A soon to be cabbage vendor. How the mighty have fallen!! But it would be premature to write Lutfo´s political obituary. After all, this is the man who was the brain trust of the royal family´s public relations offensive while still a Minister of labour.
It was Dlamini who traded the textile workers´ labour for royal philanthropic projects. His relationship with Taiwanese investors was wrought with the most exploitative labour regime in the southern part of the hemisphere. It sucked the life out of the most wretched of our country.
In Taiwan foreign capitalists probably didn’t believe they could find a country where they could pay slave waves, pay nominal tax, pay nothing for the workers´s economic and social development and next to nothing to the environment they were degrading. It was manna from heaven.
Former Member of Parliament Sandlane Zwane being sworn into Council
For as long as they funded the royal family´s Philani Maswati charitable project then all was well. For each hamper of cheap maize, beans and blankets the workers down at Matsapha paid with their pension, housing allowance, and medical aid. For sure a street is named in his honour in Taiwan.
Do not discount the King recycling him either into Senate or some of the many committees the royal family dishes out as a feeding ranch to its unemployable bloated family.
Also, there is still the option of fawning like a deranged lunatic just as how former Minister Hlobsile Ndlovu begged for a job from the king while attending a royal event. That option has proven to work. Be sure to be at the airport when the king flies out again.
Blurt out the King´s praises if you have to. Otherwise, there is a real possibility of ending up like Roy Fanourakis, Sandlane Zwane, Sam Mkhombe, Mathendele Dlamini. The list is just endless.