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TOXIC LIES NOW A SUB-CULTURE

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LIES, lies and more lies - which have become currency in public discourse and especially in defence of the political status quo and its leadership - are becoming definitive of a Eswatini society drowning in an immoral cesspool to the point that they have embedded themselves and evolved into a sub-culture feeding the gargantuan appetites of those that have made the obtaining polity their meal ticket as the truth lies prostrate, unable to raise itself up in the absence of moral compass bearers and conscientious ethical support pillars.

It is on the back of the truth being sacrificed on the altar of political expediency that this country lacks, or has a few, men and women of rectitude. Regrettably some of those include so-called men and women of the cloth and go by whatever title they have adopted who have allowed themselves to be captured because of greed and materialism.  

Truth

As ably pointed out by George Orwell when he posited: “In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” And yes, we certainly are in that season in this the Kingdom of Eswatini to the point that the pulpit has also not been spared as demonstrated during so-called national prayer services. Why, even the undeserving and ill-qualified to pontificate, routinely abuse the pulpit, spewing lies to endear themselves to those issuing meal tickets for the feeding trough, to further narrow and selfish interests. Indeed whereas dignity is important but it isn’t a moral constant but a time dependent variable. Unfortunately they are lacking on both counts; dignity and morality.

Peddling lies in public spaces has somewhat become a preoccupation of defenders of the obtaining social and political order. And to much chagrin, what has become a beloved national vice has also not spared Parliament where it appears some legislators are paid to lie for their political principals to secure their political longevity. Not only do lies manifest through the spoken word but also through commission and omission - in what they do or do not do, in what they say and do not say - as well as direct and tacit support for the immoral and injustice visited upon those on the foot of the political and socio-economic ladder. What a bunch of hypocrites and losers!

Reduced

Recently senators, a good number of whom have been reduced to small men and women for publicly prostrating themselves for strategic positions in pursuit of their favourite pastime of bootlicking, woke up from slumber land to decry the spike in the murder of police officers. Heinous as the murder of police is, none of these senators had anything to say when the security forces slaughtered an as yet undetermined number of protestors, which the Human Rights and Integrity Commission inspection report put at a conservative 46, with many more injured and maimed. Could it be that lives of members of the security forces are better and worthier than those of the people who were demanding to have a voice on how they are governed through the installation of a pluralistic body politic in place of the monopolistic and self-serving tinkhundla political order?

Paradoxically, the self-same senators claimed to be also representing the people across the country albeit this is hogwash. Perhaps with the exception of the minority elected by Members of Parliament (MPs), the people’s elected representatives in the House of Assembly, the majority of senators are serving their interests, which is their political principals, to secure their tenure. Consequently, they can hardly be said to be sensible, prudent and ethical lawmakers that the people deserve. Hence the only track record the senators can lay claim on has nothing to do with the people but everything to do with praise singing and peddling of falsehoods to secure their supper.  

In the circumstances, senators were, like the rest of the leadership, unable to provide a single solution towards stopping the killing of police officers. And it is not through a fire-fight between the police and the perpetrator(s), as irresponsibly suggested by National Commissioner (NATCOM) of Police William Tsitsibala Dlamini. Indeed beating war drums is not a core value of the policing eco system but is criminal. In his reported very public tirade, the police chief seems to forget the dozens of deaths attributed to his charges during last year’s pro-multi-party democracy unrest. Till this far, there is no evidence that any of those either killed, injured or maimed were armed and posed a threat to the police. Did he not see the busload of teachers who were suffocated with teargas and those attempting to flee through windows becoming moving targets for his trigger-happy charges? Does the police chief know the face of cowardice? If ever there were questions over his suitability to head the police service, then the fact needs no further emphasis. Of certainty is that the day of reckoning cannot be put off forever and change will make sure of that.

Loyalists and apologists of the tinkhundla political system, who are all complicit to the mass murders and ought to face the consequences in a future government of a reformed political dispensation, must stop pointing fingers elsewhere apropos the subject of murder of police officers. It is the State that is culpable for fanning and visiting violence on those on the other side of the political schism. And it is the state that can also stop the murders of police officer by facilitating the convening of a political dialogue instead of resisting inevitable political transformation. The time for change cannot be put off any longer lest change itself will manage the process.

As I see it, the first port of call is accounting for those killed by state security agents during last year’s civil unrest. Without accountability for the dead any hope of a return to normalcy is misplaced. The dead will continue to speak beyond their graves until justice is done. No political dialogue can take place under the circumstances until proper investigations and accountability for the dead happen. Government and the leadership must, from henceforth, take responsibility for each police officer killed.  

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