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DEMOCRACY TALKS: MARIO, FOUR OTHERS EXCLUDED

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 MANZINI – The list of the 15 people who are set to meet His Majesty King Mswati III to hold talks on democracy has been leaked.


However, Mario Masuku and Mphandlana Shongwe are among the well-known leaders of the civic society groups and political formations who would not be part of the meeting.
A source privy to the information concerning the G15 team members, said the Swaziland United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) President Masuku, Second Vice Secretary General Shongwe, Swaziland United Democratic Front (SUDF) Coordinator Wandile Dludlu, Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) President Quinton Dlamini and SWAYOCO Secretary General Maxwell Dlamini were among those who were excluded from the team for different reasons.  In an interview yesterday, Shongwe, Dludlu and the TUCOSWA President, Dlamini confirmed that they were not among the G15 team members who would represent the different organisations in the meeting with the King. However, efforts to get a comment from Masuku proved futile as his mobile phone was switched off and the last call was made at 8:03pm. However, the source within the secretariat team confirmed that Masuku was not on the list of G15 team members.


This is despite the fact that the meeting was facilitated to give these well-known leaders of the political formations a platform to voice their concerns to the King. The idea of hosting such talks was conceived during meetings between the leaders of the political formations and Commonwealth Special Envoy to Swaziland, former Malawi President Dr Bakili Muluzi. However, they have since been left out of what could be termed their ‘brainchild’.  It is worth mentioning that Dr Muluzi was in the country last week but the purpose of his visit could not be confirmed.


The list consists of seasoned politicians, members of the civil society and some members of banned political entities. It was gathered that the seasoned and controversial activists have been ordered out of the team and replaced. It was expected that the team would meet His Majesty upon his return from abroad.


This publication was made aware of the people who will meet the King, however, when most of the members of the team were called last night, they declined to comment, citing the tension within the team.
The meeting between the King an  the political parties is as a result of Muluzi’s efforts.


Following Muluzi’s intervention to organise a civil society meeting with royalty, it has emerged that not all members of the different organisations involved in the process believe in it. Information received from a well informed source within the secretariat responsible for nominating those who would represent the different civil society groups in the country during the meeting, was that the members did not only disagree on whether the process would benefit them but they could also not agree on the agenda and who should represent them in the  meeting.

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