Pan African Parliament Member Senator Michael Temple Laid To Rest - AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY NEWS



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Monday, July 1, 2019

Pan African Parliament Member Senator Michael Temple Laid To Rest

Hon. Chief Charumbira with the wife of late Senator Mike Temple during the burial

The remains of late Senator Michael John Temple who passed on last week was laid to rest last Saturday after a funeral service in Mahlanya, Kingdom of Eswatini where he served as a Member of Parliament.

Until his death, Senator Temple was a member of the Pan African Parliament (PAP) where he served as the Chairperson of the Permanent Committee on Finance and Monetary Affairs and had on May 15, 2019, presented the Budget of the Pan African Parliament for 2020 fiscal year to the plenary.
It was indeed, an emotional moment when a five-minute documentary of Senator Temple in the Chambers of the Pan-African Parliament was played, with the footage showing him talking and defending both the Kingdom of Eswatini and His Majesty the King for what he described as malicious statements calculated to portray the Kingdom in bad light.

Late Senator Temple was shown on the screen calling upon journalists, bloggers and media houses disseminating false information on Eswatini men having been instructed to marry more than one wife to retract those reports unreservedly.

The farewell occasion was attended by PAP delegation led by the Fourth Vice President, Hon. Chief Fortune Charumbira (Zimbabwe), captains of industry, politicians from Eswatini and beyond, royalty and Ambassador of the United States to the Kingdom Lisa Peterson.

In his speech, Hon. Charumbira described Senator Temple as someone everybody loved because he was genuine, compassionate, competent, and truthful to the people he served and also believed in them. Charumbira recalled that African MPs were reluctant to replace him as chairperson of the Committee on Finance and Monetary Affairs until he was re-elected by Eswatini Parliament back to the continental Parliament.

The seat remained vacant for eight months until the late senator was re-elected in May 2019. Can people reserve a seat for you just as they did to Temple,” asked the Zimbabwean MP.

He described Temple as a consummate parliamentarian who was very versed in both parliamentary procedures and financial matters as well as a believer in Pan Africanism.

In his speech, Ndumiso Mdluli, the Deputy Senate President of Eswatini, who represented Senate President Pastor Lindiwe Dlamini, stated that Temple’s absence from the parliamentary sitting of June 27, 2019 was deeply felt and somewhat palpable.

Mdluli described Temple as a business person, a traditionalist, a philanthropist, a patriot, a humble somebody, a champion of the arts, a different breed, a free-spirited person, a reservoir of knowledge, and a hero. 

“These are all the attributes of the consumate politician that he was, a perfect candidate for the Upper House, that is Senate,” he said.

“These are probably the characteristics that endeared him to the members of the House of Assembly, acting as an electoral college over the years, to elect him four (4) times into Senate.”

Mdluli recalled, with nostalgia that the late Senator Temple began his ‘love affair’ with Senate in 1993 as a 38-year- old ‘lad’, full of drive, passion and ambition. 

“Over the years he accumulated a wealth of knowledge and experience,” he said.

He said the deceased statesman served in various committees in Senate that included but not limited to chairperson of the Portfolio Committee of the Ministry of Finance, the chairperson of the Standing Orders Committee, the chairperson of the Portfolio Committee of Information, Communication, and Technology, and a representative of the Parliament of the Kingdom of Eswatini to the Pan-African Parliament. 

He was also the remaining member of the Sessional Committee that drafted the Standing Orders that Senate is currently using. 

Mdluli described him as an asset to Senate when it came to parliamentary practice and procedure. 

“His seat, directly opposite the president, made it easy to observe his non-verbal cues which often indicated that something was not right,”

“Our debut into this world is preceded by a mandatory nine months, sometimes shorter, but our exit is often sudden and unexpected. It is in that respect that the sadness in our hearts makes us feel that we have been robbed, surely death must be a thief, a reckless one at that.”

“Today, I deliberately choose not to mourn but to celebrate the life of a true patriot, a trusted lieutenant who stood in the frontline in defence of this beautiful Kingdom of Eswatini, a country he loved very much.”

On his part, Mangomeni Ndzimandze, an ex-Army Commander, and representative of the royal family, described the late politician and businessman as an asset, not a liability to his country. 

“Many of us are liabilities but Temple wasn’t. He was an asset,” said Ndzimandze much to the amusement of the mourners and added that Eswatini needed honest people like the late Senator Temple.

He then made a presentation on behalf of  His Majesty the King to the Temple family. There were also condolence messages from former members of the Pan African Parliament. 

Dr. Bernadette Lahai, Fourth Vice President in the Fourth Parliament of the Pan African Parliament, wrote: “I could not believe my eyes when I read about the sudden death of Hon. Temple. He was so very much alive in May 2019 during the PAP Session. I can see him in my mind’s eye when he took the floor several times to make his contributions, especially on PAP members allowances. He was so confident and fit, without any sign of illness. His memories will remain very much alive in PAP, AU and in his country.

“On behalf of the Sierra Leone Parliament and my own behalf, let me extend my sincere condolences to his country, family and PAP for this irreparable loss. May his souls and all the faithful departed members of PAP rest in perfect peace” she concluded.

In his message, Françoise Labelle, former Second Vice President of PAP wrote:”I have learned with great sadness the demise of Hon Temple. I have worked with Hon Temple while being a member of the Financial and monetary affairs committee. Hon Temple will be remembered as a man of great rigour who wanted the best for our dear continent Africa. May his soul Rest In Peace and may God be by the sides of his wife and children to whom I convey my deepest condolences.

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