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Strategic Plan

Strategic Objectives

The Parliament of Eswatini works towards attaining five strategic goals which provide guidance and a sense of operational direction as well as contribute collectively in making the Parliament effective. Each of the goals has a number of sub-objectives and specific activities that have to be implemented for the strategic goals to be realised.

The strategic goals have been crafted based on extensive consultations with various stakeholders from within and outside Parliament. Parliamentarians, Parliamentary staff, Civil Society Organizations, donor agencies, and academia were consulted during the process. A baseline of the current conditions and standing of the Parliament and best practices in parliamentary development also informed these goals.

The goals have been fashioned based on the need to strengthen Parliament as an institution as well as to ensure that it continues to enhance its capacity in legislating, providing oversight and representing the people while capitalizing on modern day technological advancements. The five strategic goals of the Parliament of Eswatini together with the corresponding major initiatives are summarized below:

Strategic Goal 1 - To develop an Efficient and Effective Parliamentary Service

Strategic result: An effective parliamentary administration, with sound institutional capacity that will support Members of Parliament and Senators in executing their constitutionally mandated role of legislation, oversight and representation.

The parliamentary service of the Parliament of Eswatini is an important and integral part of the country's legislative institution. It is the body that ensures that elected/nominated representatives (Members of Parliament and Senators) are able to perform their constitutionally mandated roles efficiently. The quality of the output of a Legislature, to a very large extent, depends on the quality of support that Members receive from the parliamentary service. It is for this reason that an effective and efficient parliamentary service is critical for the proper functioning of the Parliament of Eswatini. It is a top priority in this Strategic Plan.

Strategic Goal 2 - To Strengthen the Legislative Capacity of Parliament

Strategic result: Laws that are fair, just and reflect the needs and interests of all citizens.

Parliamentary Committees play a central role in the process of enacting laws. In all democracies, the power to legislate is vested in Parliament. The constitution of the Kingdom of Eswatini, article 106 (b), confers on the King and Parliament, the powers to make laws for the peace, order and good government of Eswatini. In exercising this constitutional duty, Parliament has a duty to pass laws that ensure that citizens' rights to services and complete development are guaranteed and realised.

Under this Strategic Plan, a number of initiatives will be put in place to strengthen the capacity of MPs and Senators in order to effectively perform this unique constitutional duty.

Strategic Goal 3 - To Improve the Capacity of Parliament to Provide Effective Oversight of the Executive

Strategic result: Equitable development through a fair distribution and appropriate use of national resources, brought about by the legislature's effective scrutiny and oversight of government actions.

Oversight is about ensuring transparency and accountability in service delivery. The primary responsibility in this field falls squarely on the shoulders of Parliament. Through its core oversight function, Parliament holds the government to account on behalf of the people, ensuring that government policy and action are both efficient and commensurate with the needs of the public. Parliamentary oversight is also crucial in checking excesses on the part of officials that have the mandate to disburse state resources.

After superintending over the passage of the Appropriations Bill, giving the Executive the go-ahead to incur expenditure on behalf of the people and in the name of providing public goods and services, it is absolutely necessary that Parliament follows through, by ensuring that service delivery to the citizenry is carried out in accordance with Legislative intent. Parliament has a particularly important role in this regard to ensure that government officials, particularly "Spending Officers" and those at the forefront of service delivery, discharge their duties to citizens faithfully and within their mandate. This is the core of oversight in a developmental state such as Eswatini.

Oversight is generally conducted in order to:

  • Ensure transparency and openness of Executive activities. Parliaments shed light on the operations of government by providing a public arena in which the policies and actions of government are debated, scrutinised, and subjected to public opinion;
  • Hold the Executive branch accountable. Parliamentary oversight scrutinises whether the government’s policies have been implemented and whether they are having the desired impact;
  • Provide financial accountability. Parliaments approve and scrutinise government spending by highlighting waste within publicly funded services. Their aim is to improve the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of government expenditure; and,
  • Uphold the rule of law. Parliament should protect the rights of citizens by monitoring policies and examining potential abuses of power, arbitrary behaviour, and illegal or unconstitutional conduct by government officials.

Under this Strategic Plan, Committees, particularly the Portfolio Committees, will be strengthened in order to carry out this important constitutional duty with the sole goal of making sure that the citizens of Eswatini receive the best in service delivery.

Strategic Goal 4 - To make Parliament Accessible, Open And Representative

Strategic result: A Parliament that is truly representative; one whose role and activities are understood by the people; and one in which citizens have an input in all aspects of its functions.

At the heart of every democracy is the concept of representation. MPs are elected to represent the diversity in society and to articulate the voices, opinions and perspectives of citizens in the public policy making space that Parliament creates. Parliament offers the forum for issues of local and national importance to be debated and for those debates to be translated into sound policies.

Effective representation requires that MPs consult with their constituents, know the issues that are germane to their welfare and bring them to the fore at the national level. It also requires that MPs provide feedback to their constituents on the work that they do in the House, the achievements, the setbacks, policies or laws that have been passed and their impact on electorates among others. Effective representation in essence, is about giving 'voice and participation' to citizens in the way they are governed.

In the Kingdom of Eswatini, the basis of the country's political system is the Tinkhundula, the traditional geographical and administrative unit from which MPs are elected. This unique system, makes the issue of representation even more relevant within the Swazi context. It is in that spirit that making Parliament accessible, open and transparent finds expression in this Strategic Plan.

Strategic Goal 5 - To Enhance the use of ICT in the Operations of Parliament

Strategic result: A parliament that capitalizes on modern technological advancements to be more effective and efficient in the discharge of its functions.

The global advancement in technology has made it nearly impossible to successfully undertake any human endeavour without some reliance on Information Communication Technology (ICT). The digital age brings with it a significant shift from the way things have been done in the past. On the parliamentary scene, a number of parliaments have made great strides in making their institutions function electronically - eliminating the use of paper as much as possible. Here in Eswatini, taking into account the modest gains made in the field of ICT, the Parliament will strive to make some effort towards having an E-parliament.