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King commissions people's parliament

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LUDZIDZINI – His Majesty King Mswati III yesterday instituted the People’s Parliament almost eight years after this long-standing practice was last held.

The ancient tradition is expected to end on Thursday.

Almost 12 000 people gathered at the Sibaya to hear what message the King had for them after being summoned to assemble in their numbers at the traditional headquarters.

The monarch gave the nation and open-ended agenda of what they had to discuss but he mentioned national issues including the state of the economy, the 2013 National Elections, job creation, peace and respect, legislation, tourism and governance as worthy to be explored.

The last time the King commissioned a People’s Parliament was on September 20, 2004 and the agenda was specifically the then draft constitution.

Yesterday, people came to the Cattle Byre with a lot of expectation, especially with the ongoing protests by public servants.

When the King entered the Cattle Byre just after 1pm, he was enthusiastically welcomed by the throngs, who whistled, ululated and sang his praises, to which he responded with a majestic wave as well as a broad smile.

As he began delivering his speech at almost 1:15pm, His Majesty said he was excited to see so many people and that it had been a while since Sibaya had been called.

"It has been a while that we did not get the chance to have Sibaya and the nation was wondering what had happened to it. Sibaya is the backbone of the country, where the nation is built. Everything begins at the Sibaya," the King said.

He continued: "It is good to get an opportunity for Sibaya to come together and say all that needs to be said in as far as nation-building is concerned.

This practice has been in existence since time immemorial, for building the country and where everyone is welcome to come with their suggestions. Building a nation is not a one-man job but for everyone. All people have to be part of the process where we all contribute towards nation-building."

The King said there was a lot that the Swazi nation had achieved through gathering at the Cattle Byre.

"These include building of the economy, drafting of the constitution and the election process. All these began at the Sibaya. You can tell that this is where the nation’s livelihood is. Sibaya gives the country direction," he said.

Although he acknowledged the significant contribution of the advisory councils in driving the country forward, the King, however, pointed out that Sibaya was the ultimate forum for decision-making.

"We are going back to that process. It has been a while since Sibaya convened to give the country the direction it should take," he said.

His Majesty said the large number of people who converged at the Cattle Byre was a sign that culture was still embedded in them.

"The Cattle Byre is full and that is a good thing. I believe that the ideas you will come up with will build this country. I wish you to have fruitful deliberations," he added.

The King then instructed Ludzidzini acting Governor TV Mtetwa to inform the nation that deliberations would begin this morning.

People outside SD intent on causing turmoil - King

LUDZIDZINI – There are people in foreign countries who are intent on causing turmoil in the country, His Majesty King Mswati III has observed.

The King said these people, whom he did not identify, were eager to see havoc taking place in Swaziland but it was not clear why they wanted this to happen.

The King said the time had come for the nation to ask these people what it was that Swaziland had done to them to deserve such treatment.

Such people, the King said, are the type who see something good in you, which they want to take away and then laugh behind your back once they have succeeded in doing so.

In vernacular, he said ‘bayakuhhe-letela’.

"You wonder why they want turmoil in Swaziland. Today we ask them what it is that we took from them (siyabuta kutsi sabadleleni). Let them show us what we took from them. We are surprised by what they are doing. We want to live in peace instead of having people who want bad things for Swaziland," His Majesty said.

He noted that in the past couple of years, the same people wanted something bad to happen in Swaziland but that did not occur.

The King said it was encouraging to see Swazis holding onto their belief of a peaceful and stable nation, which he said should continue.

"Sibaya has always been the medium to promote peace like it has always happened in the country. We always promote peace as Swazis. Respect is always at the forefront and so is peace. A country that loses these two principles faces division. Where there is finger pointing there is no success. But if you talk in harmony there is a lot that can be achieved, we applaud Swazis for always putting these at the forefront," said the monarch.

King’s arrival excites 12 000


LOBAMBA – There were deafening whistles and cheers as His Majesty King Mswati III walked into the Sibaya yesterday at the Ludzidzini Royal Residence.

Having waited for the King since 10am, the about 12 000 seated people shouted, cheered and waved when the King made his majestic entrance just after 1pm.

The excitement had been building up since the morning, and as the day wore on praise singers, who entertained the crowd, creatively conveyed their plea for the King to grace the occasion with his presence.

When the Indlovukazi walked into the byre at 1:10pm, followed by the noticeable arrival of senior members of the royal family who sat by the entrance used by the King, the setting looked ready for His Majesty’s entrance.

Then from outside the byre, loud praise singing seemed to compel the 12 000 people seated inside the Sibaya into silence as anticipation grew.

At 1:13pm the King entered the cattle byre and the people erupted into cheers, and praise singing. His Majesty the Ingwenyama waved and smiled before he sat down.



Unemployment worries King


LUDZIDZINI – The country has a high unemployment rate and this is a worry, His Majesty King Mswati III has observed.

The King said life nowadays demanded that everyone should be employed so as to be able to provide for their families.

"It becomes bad when people are unemployed, especially if they are old and have to care for their families. They have people who are dependent on them and, therefore, they have to put something on the table everyday without any excuses," he said.

The challenge of unemployment, the King said, should be overcome so that future generations do not face a similar situation.

"We have to come up with lasting solutions so that future generations find a good environment has been laid for them. As a country we have to talk about these issues. A country earns respect if it is able to take care of and sustain itself. We cannot always rely on foreign aid yet we have all this technology and know how to succeed. We need to use these to better ourselves," he said.

The King said there were many income-generating projects that could be pursued but the main problems were how to get them started.

"We need to share our different ideas so as to come up with solutions. We have to sit down with one another and plan how to do this. There are many things that Sibaya has to discuss. There are many ideas among you that we need to discuss," he said.

‘Country must be prepared for financial crisis’

LUDZIDZINI – The fiscal crisis that Swaziland went through should not happen again and, if it does, the nation must be prepared.

These were the words of His Majesty King Mswati III at the Cattle Byre yesterday. The King said last year the financial challenges were so bad ‘we did not know where to get the next meal’.

The cash situation was so dire government struggled to pay civil servants’ salaries and was even forced to draw on the country’s reserves at the Central Bank.

"It was a very bad situation but we overcame it. We found ways to fight it and succeeded. But it does not mean it is over. It is evidently still there. The whole world is facing similar problems. You can even see television reports on this," the King said.


He said while the country had, in the past, witnessed growth in the tourism sector, the number of tourists had, however, dwindled in recent years because of the bad global financial situation.

"We need to find solutions as Swazis so that if this happens in future, we are ready.

"We should not face similar problems. Once bitten twice shy. We need to find ways to study the situation and return to normalcy," he said.



December 8, 2011, 7:00 am, Lobusika Dlamini

 If Swaziland really upholds freedom of expression, the Times will publish my comment. Calling people to make submissions in a forum or platform that is prohibitive for some will not take the country forward. So long as group submissions are viewed as anti-state and not allowed, proper analysis of the current problems and proper solutions will not be found. It is a waste of time. Of course, the people who heeded the call do have a right to go there and express themselves, but does it really solve anything? Why is Barnabas still occupying office? When is the government going to take its international and constitutional obligations seriously?
December 8, 2011, 7:01 am, Sphelele Mazibuko

 Sibaya should only accept one submission, that of getting a prime minister who is willing to take this country out of all the problems it is facing. Then promulgate laws that will foster FDI.
December 8, 2011, 7:01 am, Malungisa Dlamini (malungisa@me.com)

 What would Sibaya achieve that has failed the already established structures,what would be achieved from a forum that doesnt permit robust political debates, the question we need to ask ourselves, is Sibaya still relevant to this day and age? we are being involved and so forth yet we are just being made puppets and rubberstamps of the current status quo, what happened to the last Sibaya submisions, what happened to the smart partnership dialogue submision that let there a a POLITICAL DIALOGUE?
December 8, 2011, 7:01 am, Hynd Shongwe

 bayethe, there is a very big problem with 1man having the brains and trying to use those brains if he won't get any support.people who are running government are not willing to take the country forward but they just want money for themselves, no matter what good ideas the king can come up with for as long as he is not in full control of government of which he is not-the PM is then the is nothing that can happen. the king needs to be a true dictator then this country will move forward, he must have no respect for any court and pay no money to anyone that he has fired then the country will move forward. he must hire ministers who are already rich and fire them at anytime if they not performing well. today in my knowledge the is no political party in swaziland that can run the country same as in south africa the DA can not run south africa because they are being used by other countries that want minerals same or similer to swaziland the political parties there have not even said a single thing that they can do if they were to be in power.if you speak your mind then people will listen to you...long life to the king. he must just be a dictator and we will support him...I thank you
December 8, 2011, 7:01 am, michael (michael.mabasa@live.com)

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