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I shudder to think what this country will look like in 10 years time. I won’t be anywhere near retirement, but I’m asking myself if we will still have a country, that is; a government in place, a population, geographic boundaries and sovereignty, all of which are elements that make up a State, a summation that is normally given by international politics scholars.

My thoughts, as you may all be aware, are borne from the obtaining scenario in this kingdom. I don’t think there is a need to delve on the obvious, being the ‘stalemate’ regarding the diffusion of the political impasse in the country. It’s not funny anymore, there is certainly nothing amusing about everything nje.

Of course the killing of State security personnel is what has got everybody worried, and we are all squirming in our seats, beds or wherever, on who is next. I was reading a piece the other day, authored by Cliff Buchler in The Citizen (a daily newspaper in South Africa (SA), where he was sharing his thoughts about how murderers get away with their act while the victims and all concerned are left to pick up the pieces and try to move on with their lives. In fact, he was quite unforgiving about what he thought to be unjust and lax laws when it comes to murder.

Just an excerpt of what he wrote; “Murder is the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another. And when found guilty, the punishment in SA is life imprisonment that may last for the remainder of the offender’s life. It’s a harsh sentence in any book and surely should act as a deterrent. Wrong. It has been proved beyond doubt to be a dismal failure. There’s no denying that our nation has become a killing field…….I know murder has become common in every sector – homes, offices, schools, pubs, churches and the streets. Bullets, knives, hatchets and poison are the tools used to commit wanton executions………It’s as if murder has been demystified, accepted as just another crime. It’s as if we have been mesmerised by an unseen evil magician found in Batman-like comics.”

As I mentioned earlier, Buchler was simply calling for tough laws to deal with the scourge of murder in SA. I couldn’t help but draw some similarities between the acts of murder in SA, driven by diverse elements, which could be femicide, robbery, removing evidence, etc. And Eswatini is not immune to this blight, save to say we have added another reason for killings, politics. Could we have avoided the addition of this pillar in the thousands of reasons why people kill each other? Of course yes. Was there a reason to allow the political situation in this country to reach such a boiling point? Of course no. Can we still do something about the situation? Of course yes. By no means am I justifying the killing of any citizen but from my perspective, we could have avoided this.


The Catholic Church, earlier this week, through Bishop Jose Luis Gerardo Ponce de Leon, shared its apprehension and concerns regarding the delayed national dialogue. When speaking to a news agency of the Vatican City in Rome, Italy, the bishop said his summary of the current state of affairs in the kingdom was ‘uncertainty’. I couldn’t agree more with him. On one hand, government wants an end to the violence and holds a strong belief that there would not be any talks until the situation normalises. But will things ever be normal? As a nation, we have already started this abnormal trajectory and from the look of things, it is yet to get worse.

On the other hand, we have those calling for democratic reforms who have also shared that they will not back down until their demands are addressed. So which should come first in such a situation? The debate is still ongoing on that one. However, certain promises were made that I think should be kept. Just like the bishop noted in his interview with the news agency, government, since the riots broke out, has wanted to appear to be taking care of social problems and has tried to improve basic services and roads. He says there is a political cry that goes beyond the social cry and will not be heard. He noted the risk of His Majesty King Mswati III, who is going into ritual retirement in a couple of months and will not meet the public until early next year, coupled with the fact that elections are imminent and it remains unknown if the dialogue will be held prior to going to the polls.


Maybe it’s high time government rethinks its stance regarding the pending dialogue. From my limited knowledge, it won’t hurt to listen to the other side and, at least, start the conversation other than this stalemate that is causing grief to everyone concerned. The avoidance of engaging in dialogue has allowed other illegal elements to invade and take advantage of the impasse. Crime has become the new norm, and the victims are blatantly told that the police will not come to their rescue. Resources that would otherwise be put to good use have been channelled to rebuild structures that were burnt during the unrest last year and more protective gear will be bought for the State security personnel.

Why are we reacting to a situation that could possibly be avoided? Already, government has voiced out its concerns regarding the devastating effects left by the COVID-19 pandemic, of taking care of about 5 000 children left orphaned following the demise of one or both of their parents due to the deadly flu. This has just added to the many woes that we face as a country.  Something has to give, we cannot pretend things are normal when you are scared to send your teenage child to shops or to school or even attend huge gatherings. Can we be relieved from this misery already? Can someone show leadership and act decisively. The issues on the table will not vanish into thin air, they will not be easily thrown in the garbage bin like a piece of rubbish, someone has to say or do something!

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