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ESWATINI SLEEPWALKING INTO CHAOS

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Sir,

This nation is at war and yet we continue to pretend that these are birth pangs of a glorious entity. Seriously, Eswatini is on the brink of a catastrophe because of the bloody violence that has ensnared it on the watch of this government. There is a sense of domain with this government in charge. The current government has not shown any will power to steer Eswatini out of this violence. Its failure is playing out extensively. The police and soldiers are terrorising people every minute of the day. They want to wipe out the whole nation just for demanding political change. The current cowardly savagery coincides with the notable voices, all calling on the State for political change and to return the country to its true meaning.

Control

Plainly, this government has lost control of non-State actors. The human and economic costs of this anarchy are simply unsustainable. The police, soldiers and government are the main culprits. There is hardly a day that goes by without people being beaten up. Lives are being lost, lives are being wasted for absolutely nothing and this government is looking the other way. Beyond empty rhetoric, it rushes to blame the victims; saying they brought that to themselves. Are these people human? Insecurity is ravaging Eswatini with an uncontrolled influx of government extremists. They have taken over with the help of this government. We have not seen this before, where a whole government can groom extremists to bash innocent people to the point of killing them for absolutely doing anything wrong.

I have not heard it before where criminals seize control of a whole country. All over now the threat level is higher than what triggered the June 29 revolution. Poor governance triggered the June revolution. Lack of strong institutions and terrible governance are reflected on roads, hospitals, schools, to name a few, which triggered the people’s anger. Added to existing corruption, ineptitude and lack of vision, this government has elevated sectionalism, sectarianism, nepotism and exclusion to be the guiding principles of its existence.

Divided

Politically, the country is divided like never before. Calls of a free country for all have collided with militant reactions from government.  Poor governance has reached an unprecedented level. The country already hosts 90 per cent of extremely poor people, having overtaken India as the global poverty capital. Corruption in this country parades all aspects of national life. Corruption is a governance deficit – a result of malfunctioning State institutions due to poor governance. This government needs to shame off incompetence, greed and corruption, and work hard to remove the kingdom from the world’s worst rankings. It is also ranked as the worst terrorised country on the Global Terrorism Index right now.

Reversing

Reversing this ugly trend requires a drastic change in the choices the leadership makes. Corruption must be slain as it interferes with merit, transparency and service delivery. This government should look at the deep connection between good governance and the nation. Public service should be driven by meritocracy. This country is at war because of poor governance and poor service delivery. The country is at war because people are fed up with their government. There is no reason to see Eswatini in the storm tossed State it is today. Sadly, 55 years later, the kingdom cuts a sorry image of a caricature of a nation as unbridled corruption and misery continue to freely ravage. All high hopes, lofty dreams and aspirations that heralded independence have all percolated, leaving a fractured, insecure and predatory nation, where life is brutish, short and nasty. Fifty five years later, Eswatini is a sprawling land of tears, where insecurity and poverty have combined to make mincemeat of a hopeless and hapless citizenry.

Despised

EmaSwati have become loathed and despised in their land by their leaders, who should be protecting them. We have a wrecked and wobbled country; it is a country that best typifies human failure. It’s case is worsened by the loss of hope that things will ever get better. A majority of emaSwati don’t even know if tomorrow will ever come because they sleep with one eye closed, and where their next meal will come from. The country is so messed up you would think the devil is in control. Anyway, when the insecurity and all this hatred and wicked episode become history, emaswati will not forget how they were treated. We will remember how we begged our leaders to show leadership.

We will remember how government did things wrongly. We will also not forget those who went beyond the call of duty to bring succor to their fellow countrymen. This is one period we will never forget in the annals of our contemporary history. On all sides we are confronted by a hydra-headed invincible enemy that threatens the lives of hundreds of our people and livelihoods of even more. Everyone is feeling the heat.  

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