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LET’S STOP BEING IGNORANT ABOUT POLITICS

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Sir,


The American Government has warned the Kingdom of Eswatini. Lisa Peterson, the US Ambassador to Eswatini believes that the country is on the brink of collapse because of too much attachment to luxury.
The ambassador noted with apprehension that government officials and oversized delegations were travelling in first or business class and spending days, sometimes weeks, in luxury hotels, using funds from public coffers.


Peterson was speaking during the celebration of her country’s 242nd independence celebration at the embassy last week, where she quoted the late King Sobhuza II’s words: “The Roman Empire collapsed because of too much attachment to luxury, and also because of the complacency of its people.”
To be fair, many Swazis don’t care about how public funds are spent, but they always complain about lack of service delivery by government.

basic information


A high percentage of the public is ignorant of even very basic information such as the role played by political parties and how the government is supposed to spend our tax money. Not so many people seem worried about how the country is governed.
I get it. Not everyone is as guilty as I am for being politically ignorant for so long.


Not everyone wakes up early in the morning every day to buy a newspaper at the bus rank so that he can get the latest political news. Maybe you’re bored of hearing about the same people and the same issues, or maybe you get sick of hearing people calling for political change.
But the time we’re living in right now is not a normal time, and it’s a time when you simply don’t have the luxury of ignoring politics.

politics is tantamount


“Caring about politics” now has a simpler meaning at a time like this — love for the people. Saying that you don’t care about politics is tantamount to saying that you don’t have any love for the people. So buck up, and look around you.
The Kingdom of Eswatini is made up of its citizens.


If you care about the country at all, if you care about the people you surround yourself with, if you care about social justice, then you also care about politics right now. The warning from the American Government is loud and clear. Imagine if the US Government stopped helping us in the health sector. That could be catastrophic!


It is Lungile’s view that to be politically ignorant in such a situation is to be lazy and perhaps to betray the course of justice.
You can dress it up as being ‘politically neutral’ if you like, and talk about it that way and probably no one (even a person like me who had always considered herself as such) will think you stupid.
But I reserve the right to judge you for apathy and poor values.


I know this sounds harsh, but here’s the thing; it is vitally important that smart, rational, sensible people engage with politics and stand up to call for change in the Kingdom of Eswatini.
Because there are people who are taking advantage of your failure to pay attention, even counting on it, and they are making things worse for everyone and the downward spiral continues, and you are part of it.

Lungile Sukati.

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