The Clerk to the Swaziland Parliament Ndvuna Dlamini threatened to call police after newly-elected MPs challenged him on his understanding of standing orders.
The MPs have to elect a Speaker of the House of Assembly and had sought guidance on the correct procedures to do this.
But when the MPs questioned the Clerk’s interpretation and asked him to show the exact standing order that dealt with the issue Dlamini turned on them.
‘If there is an MP who does not respect me I will call the police to come pick him up,’ the Times of Swaziland newspaper reported Dlamini saying.
At no point did the new MPs become rowdy or disrespectful, according to the Times. The Clerk decided not to answer further questions.
Parliament is due to resume soon following the election of 55 new MPs on 20 September 2013.
There is confusion in the kingdom as to whether Swaziland has a Prime Minister. Barnabas Dlamini, PM until the election, had his term in office extended by King Mswati III until 4 October. Dlamini was appointed as and MP to the House of Assembly by the King (he did not stand at the election) last week and is widely tipped in Swazi media to be reappointed Prime Minister.
MPs questioned on Monday (14 October 2013) whether Barnabas Dlamini was still PM, even though the deadline for the extension of his term in office had expired.
The Times reported that Barnabas Dlamini was at the House of Assembly to meet the new MPs. He had at least eight state security officers protecting him, leading to speculation that, Dlamini, at least, believes he is still PM.