Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini

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Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini
Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini (cropped).jpg
Prime Minister of Eswatini
In office
27 October 2018 – 13 December 2020
MonarchMswati III
Preceded byVincent Mhlanga (acting)
Succeeded byThemba N. Masuku (acting)
Personal details
Born(1968-03-05)5 March 1968
Mbekelweni, Manzini Region, Protectorate of Swaziland
Died13 December 2020(2020-12-13) (aged 52)
South Africa
Cause of deathCOVID‑19
Political partyIndependent
Spouse(s)Portia Thwala-Dlamini
Alma materUniversity of Eswatini
Hampton University

Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini (5 March 1968 – 13 December 2020) was a Swazi business executive who served as the tenth prime minister of Eswatini, holding the office from October 2018 until his death on 13 December 2020.

Born in Eswatini's Manzini Region, Dlamini completed his degree at the University of Swaziland and an MBA at Hampton University, going on to work in the banking and telecommunications sectors. His career of more than 18 years in these sectors included positions as managing director of Nedbank and as CEO of MTN Eswatini.

Following the death of Prime Minister Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini in 2018, Dlamini was selected by King Mswati III to succeed him. He was the youngest prime minister in the country's history, and had no prior government experience. His work in government included cutting of nonessential expenses and making plans to improve the country's economy and ease of doing business ranking. He was also the head of the country's AIDS council.

Biography[edit source | edit]

Dlamini was born on 5 March 1968 in Mbekelweni in Eswatini's Manzini Region.[1] His great grandfather, Prince Malunge, was an uncle to King Sobhuza II. Dlamini was married to Portia Thwala-Dlamini,[2] and they had three children. He graduated from what was then the University of Swaziland and obtained an MBA at Hampton University.[1]

Dlamini worked in the banking sector for more than 18 years, including as managing director of Nedbank from 2003 to 2010.[1] From 2010 to 2018 he was the CEO of the telecommunications company MTN Eswatini,[3] part of the South African MTN Group.[4] In 2017, he approved the company's sponsorship of the MTN SWAMA Awards, a ceremony held by the Eswatini Arts and Music Association (SWAMA).[5]

Prime Minister of Eswatini[edit source | edit]

On 27 October 2018, King Mswati III announced in a gathering at the royal kraal at Lobamba that Dlamini would be the country's next prime minister after the 2018 elections; he would succeed Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini, who died the previous month. At the time, Dlamini had no prior experience in government.[6] He was the youngest head of government in Eswatini's history.[1] The U.S. ambassador Lisa J. Peterson called Dlamini's appointment unconstitutional, as he was not a member of the House of Assembly at the time.[7]

As the new prime minister, Dlamini announced that he would work on an "economic recovery" plan for the country. In preparation, he cut nonessential government expenses by reusing his predecessor's official vehicle, banning first class air travel for politicians and government employees, and restricting official international travel.[8] The following year, he had to defend the government's decision to suspend cost of living adjustments for public sector employees.[9] In 2020, he published opinion pieces in Business Day and the Financial Mail which outlined plans to develop the economy by improving the country's ease of doing business ranking and supporting economic diversification.[10][11]

Dlamini was the head of the National AIDS Council and Eswatini's Country Coordinating Mechanism for The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.[12]

Death[edit source | edit]

Dlamini suffered from diabetes,[13] and tested positive for COVID-19 on 15 November 2020. He was hospitalized eight days later after developing mild symptoms.[14] He was transferred to a hospital in South Africa in early December, when Deputy Prime Minister Themba N. Masuku said he was in stable condition and responding to treatment. He died there on 13 December at the age of 52.[15] According to the Constitution of Eswatini, Masuku will serve as Acting Prime Minister for a maximum period of three months.[16]

References[edit source | edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Mbono Mdluli (28 October 2018). "Ambrose Dlamini Is Prime Minister". New Observer Eswatini. Mbabane. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  2. Mzilikazi Wa Africa, Zweli Dlamini And Karabo Ngoepe (4 April 2020). "eSwatini prime minister in 'fraudulent' SA ID row". South Africa: Independent Online (South Africa). Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  3. Government of Eswatini (28 October 2018). "Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini as the new Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Eswatini". Mbabane: Government of Eswatini. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  4. Masuku, Lunga (25 February 2020). "MTN eSwatini appoints Wandile Mtshali as units CEO". Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  5. Nhlabatsi, Thembelani (15 December 2020). "Swama Mourns PM's Demise". Times of Swaziland. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  6. Nthakoana Ngatane (27 October 2018). "Mandvulo Dlamini appointed eSwatini Prime Minister". Johannesburg: South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  7. Frykberg, Mel (1 November 2018). "Eswatini king's PM appointment could threaten crucial aid: US ambassador". Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  8. AfricaNews (24 November 2018). "eSwatini PM bans first class air travel amid economic crunch". Africanews. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  9. AfricaNews (25 September 2019). "eSwatini public servants clash with police in salary protests". Africanews. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  10. "Grabbing the bull by the horns to grow the Eswatini economy". BusinessLIVE. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  11. "AMBROSE DLAMINI: Eswatini's big tax plan". BusinessLIVE. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  12. "UNAIDS saddened by the death of Ambrose Dlamini, Prime Minister of Eswatini". Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  13. HLATSHWAYO, SITHEMBILE (15 December 2020). "FAMILY REFUTES PM POISONING CLAIMS". Times of Swaziland. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  14. BNO News (13 December 2020). "Eswatini PM becomes first head of government to die of COVID-19". Tilburg, The Netherlands: BNO News. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  15. "Ambrose Dlamini: Eswatini's PM dies after testing positive for Covid-19". BBC News. 14 December 2020. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  16. "Eswatini – Constitution – 2005". Collaborative Africa Budget Reform Initiative (CABRI). Retrieved 14 December 2020.

External links[edit source | edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Vincent Mhlanga
Prime Minister of Eswatini
Succeeded by
Themba N. Masuku


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