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Following the attack on Mlungisi Makhanya’s property, the reigning People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) President, speculations have again been high as to who is responsible for the attack. As citizens we have varying opinions and suspicions as to who might be responsible for the attack, but according to Makhanya, as cited by the Times of Eswatini, he strongly believes that the Government of Eswatini is responsible for the attack. I, personally, do not have anything concrete to suggest that Makhanya’s suspicions are in anyway inaccurate, however, what I know is that Makhanya and government have been known adversaries for quite some time now. Through his political influence and his devotion to the revolutionary struggle, the PUDEMO president has, on many occasions, openly criticised government even in international platforms.


We have expected government to act on Makhanya through criminalising his actions using the infamous Suppression of Terrorism Act and the country’s stance on political parties, which would subsequently result in his arrest as government has done with other political leaders such as the late Mario Masuku, Mphandlana Shongwe, Sibongile Mazibuko as well as other political activists. In years past, where we have been closely following the country’s politics, the burning, destruction and the attack of certain individuals, including the targeting of the armed security personnel, is a relatively new phenomenon, which has brought mixed feelings on the real agenda for the call for democratic change.

This observation has triggered my curiosity and made me to investigate the formation and the existence of the Swaziland Liberation Movement (SWALIMO), which is led by the exiled former Member of Parliament, Mduduzi ‘Gawuzela’ Simelane. I have further taken interest in observing the organisation’s internal affairs, which have been making headlines in the short time the organisation has existed. My analysis on the existence of SWALIMO has made me notice a trend of disunity, not only among the political formation itself, but also in the entire nation.

Maybe it is true that at some point the country’s political situation will most likely escalate to the volatile stage that it is currently in, however, it is very tempting to think that the formation and the existence of SWALIMO is one of the worst nightmares that has ever hit the nation. Did Magawugawu create a monster and subsequently ran away from the monster he created? When SWALIMO introduced its executive members and its strategy, most of us were quite impressed when ‘Gawuzela’ introduced and further brought into the political space people who we believed had the capacity to understand politics and its dynamics in an advanced level.


The growing followership of the movement was a true testament of an organisation with a capable human resource. Through their influence, and what we suspect to be external assistance from international organizations, the organization demonstrated a no backward approach in achieving the freedom that their leaders had promised. And fast-forward into recent events, in line with the existence of SWALIMO, we have experienced the endless shooting of police officers, attacks on people’s properties, including the property of the very same ‘Gawuzela’, who is now painted by the same executive that he appointed as a bad leader. A series of threats and intimidating messages have been circulating on social media, where certain individuals have vowed to free the country, no matter what the cost of doing that is.  One of the very disturbing developments with the whole ‘Gawuzela’ saga is when government opposed MP Bacede Mabuza and MP Mthandeni Dube’s bail application, citing Gawuzela as a living example of a person who has been successful in evading trial.


When it comes to the country’s political situation, we are all hoping that government will eventually do the right thing in engaging its people and respond to the calls for a dialogue. It is very unfortunate that movements such as SWALIMO are slowly fragmenting the credibility of political parties in the country, yet political parties are known to safeguard the application of democracy in democratic States. If emaSwati do not stand up and dismantle this monster that was created by ‘Gawuzela’ , which is in the process of swallowing the same person that founded it, my guess is that we will keep on pointing each other in the eyes, accusing each other of all sorts of heinous crimes such as the burning of people’s homesteads. This will happen up until the country finds itself in a civil war, which will destroy everything people have worked for. And my parting question with the existence of SWALIMO is, what is ‘Gawuzela’ running away from? Is he running away from government or the monster that he created? The monster that is hell-bent on creating a trail of destruction and disunity among the people of Eswatini and even worse, the political parties that have been fighting for recognition for a very long time.

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