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Peace is an ingredient, a fundamental for economic growth.

I am so excited to wake up in the morning to discover that there were no assassinations. Day after day we were wailing. Our brothers and sisters perished. They are cold in their graves. Sadly, we lost them.Things appear to be back to normal. I don’t want to believe that there is a retreat or suspension of operations. The nation cannot afford to be taken off guard. We are enjoying the fruits of this calmness. We are a great nation with a stronger spirit. EmaSwati should move on and live in harmony as brothers and sisters, thrash out our differences politely and maturely.

When the dialogue takes place, it looks like the platform or the environment shall be friendly and conducive for free engagement of thoughts, dissection of issues and agreeing to disagree in some issues of nation building. Perhaps, some of our people were afraid of taking mortgage loans to build beautiful houses because they did not want to waste money on structures that were targeted for arson. The banking industry will see some improvements in mortgage loans.Losing a home after having spent so much money on its foundation and roofing is a bitter pill to swallow. Losing a loved one is a painful experience as well.Now that there is calm, let us maintain the calmness.

We can maintain it if government can keep on demonstrating to us that we shall, at some point, find each other, engage each other over critical issues of national importance. This is what prospective investors want to see in a country – calm, peace, unity and love. I suppose that the business community is happy with the current political situation. You can’t divorce business from politics. They intertwine. Business can now think of expanding their operations, increase the staff complement and penetrate alternative markets to improve revenue. In that way, the gross domestic product goes up and the economy of the country invariably performs better. Due to a better-performing economy, emaSwati stand to benefit from quality and consistent government services. Roads should be tarred, potholes fixed, laboratories built, in mainly rural schools where chemistry and other related subjects are not offered, wages increased, etc.

This is the life we shall live when we work together as a nation, regardless of political beliefs. After all, we share the State and its affairs. In his 2023 Speech from the Throne, His Majesty King Mswati III encouraged the spirit of dialogue to address differences. Officially opening the fifth session of the 11th Parliament, the King said the country was a nation capable of achieving great things when emaSwati worked together.  Ingwenyama said the spirit of dialogue should find lasting solutions to all challenges that confronted the country. He did not state the format of the national dialogue but talked about this issue, a demonstration of his political will.  


The King said it was gratifying to note that the country’s monarchical democracy had evolved over the years, as evidenced by the fact that the national election were being held every five years. The head of State mentioned that the country’s general elections were one of the most democratic. “We are a nation capable of achieving great things when we work together, so we continue to encourage the spirit of dialogue to address our differences and find lasting solutions to all challenges that confront us,” the King said.  He said MPs and aspirants should be wary of the use of foul play, bribery and false promises to gain a seat in Parliament. He said false promises, foul play and bribery could only be aimed at achieving selfish ambitions at the expense of national development.

“We wish the election process all the success it deserves,” the King said. He also mentioned that the country would have a double celebration of 55 years of independence and 55th birthday of the Monarch. His Majesty said MPs should carry the mandate and voice of the people, since they were voted for freely based on individual merit from their constituencies. He said he and emaSwati were looking forward to the incoming members of Parliament to carry on the national development agenda, that sought to elevate the country to a First World status.


He warned that nobody should be left behind in playing a part towards addressing the social, economic and political challenges and, tapping into the opportunities for growth and development that were lying ahead for all people. He urged emaSwati to go all out to exercise their right to cast their valid votes. He reminded the nation of its slogan; “ngete ngasala nasakha live (I cannot be left out when we build the nation).” In vernacular, he said: “Impilo yemaSwati ayitsengisi bekunene. Akuphele lokubulala sive (the lives of emaSwati are priceless, stop the killing).” That was a command from the Throne.  His Majesty the King called for an end to murder, violence, arsons, destruction of property and homes. He sent words of comfort to all families that were affected by these developments, calling upon all elements to stop the killing of people. The speech touched on the need for unity and tolerance in nation building. He alluded to that God gave each nation its own identity and strength.


He said as unity was entrenched in the customs and traditions, emaSwati have a duty to guard and protect this heritage for the benefit of the coming generations. His Majesty the King said emaSwati were given this country by God (Mvelinchati) to live in it. Ingwenyama mentioned his address that God expected emaSwati to love and be tolerant of each other. He advised the nationals that their diversity and beliefs should not create hate among it, but rather show true patriotism “to who we are as a people of this great kingdom.” The King ordered emaSwati to co-exist despite their different ways of looking at the development and social landscape. He said each and every liSwati should be guided by the principles of the holy book; “thou shall love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these”. 

Resultant, of his speech, Minister of Finance Neal Rijkenberg announced an allocation of E30 million for the national dialogue. In his previous budget speech, the minister of Finance had allocated a sum of E22 million for the dialogue.  Rijkenberg pointed out that His Majesty the King wanted all emaSwati to constructively engage in dialogue, within the framework of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Eswatini and Sibaya – the people’s Parliament where emaSwati express themselves on national issues at Ludzidzini Royal Residence’s cattle byre. He said the nation experienced unrest and politically motivated acts of violence resulting in the loss of lives and damage to property. He mentioned that government responded appropriately and proportionately to these threats and called upon all stakeholders to denounce violence, constructively engage and work collectively to establish a framework for dialogue.

He said such engagement required the immediate end to violence and an uninterrupted period of peace and stability to ensure all emaSwati could safely and meaningfully contribute to this process. He pointed to the fact that emaSwati would fail to thrive as a nation and as an economy if there was no end to violence and uninterrupted period of peace and stability. “Simply put, unless the violence stops, we cannot rebuild our economy, create jobs, and deliver services,” said the minister of Finance. “In this regard the budget is providing E30 million to facilitate the National dialogue.”

International Alert states that peace through prosperity is the wide and fair participation in the creation and proceeds of growth: Jobs, incomes and livelihoods. It means giving people the opportunity to save and invest, as well as ensuring tax revenues are raised and spent fairly, wisely and transparently. Economic activities that are both socially and environmentally sustainable also contribute to peace.This is the opportunity for all of us to use our peace to transform the country in a dynamic work. When Saudi Arabia ended its ban on Somali livestock imports, the level of maritime piracy fell. Why? Because clan leaders were able to tax the livestock trade, so no longer needed piracy as a source of income. It was a step towards peace. We can improve on our peace by supporting development of all kinds, in the rural and urban areas. I am looking forward to the construction of malls in Bhadzeni II in Mankayane. Of course, I am looking forward to the tarring of the Ngwempisana-Mponono and Tsawela-Sandlane roads.  In Peru, banks contribute to social peace by requiring borrowers to complete a conflict map as part of their loans process, so investing in the economy means investing in good relations.

Business people in Uganda helped improve relations between tribes by using trade to rebuild trust between them. In Colombia, over 100 companies support progress towards peace by linking their own advertising to the peace campaign. Business Eswatini and FESBC, assisted by government and civil society organisations should work hard to develop the country economically so that we can enjoy peace.
Without development, peace is impossible.

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