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MBABANE – Princess Sikhanyiso, the Minister of ICT, has alleged that mercenaries have invaded the country.

She told BBC Focus on Africa that the mercenaries were in army uniform and masquerading as the country’s soldiers and police. A mercenary is a soldier hired into foreign service, and sometimes known as a soldier of fortune. The mercenary takes part in military conflict for personal profit, is otherwise an outsider to the conflict and is not a member of any other official military. They actually fight for money or other forms of payment rather than for political interests. The minister said the mercenaries had been hired by people with an agenda to cause anarchy.


On the ground, she pointed out that there were arsonists, looters and abused people who were allegedly forced to join in the destruction of strategic buildings of economic interest. She said they also mounted roadblocks where they masqueraded as the security forces. At worse, she said they were shooting innocent citizens. Princess Sikhanyiso said they took videos of themselves shooting. She said they sent the video clips to social media to upset the public that the Eswatini security forces were abusing and killing citizens. The minister of Information, Communication and Technology said the order to shoot to kill did not come from His Majesty the King. Asked by the BBC journalist if the King was ready for a dialogue on democracy rather than absolute monarchy, she said she was not sure if the people who caused anarchy were prepared to negotiate with them. The minister’s audio clip was widely circulated on social media where she was criticised for allegedly peddling falsehood by beguiling the global community.


She said she portrayed the truth and factual version of what was happening on the ground against what she described as sensationalism. Princess Sikhanyiso said there were anarchists who hijacked the delivery of petitions by the youth at the various tinkhundla centres who had genuine needs for employment, service delivery and quality of life. While the youth was genuinely delivering the petitions to their MPs, she said there was a certain group that appeared at every petition delivery to create anarchy.
The eldest daughter of His Majesty said this particular group threatened MPs that they would return to the constituencies and become aggressive and violent towards them if the demands were not addressed or “come to pass.” She claimed the threatening  COVID-19 third wave caused government, particularly the acting prime minister, to think about the safety of the youth by suggesting for a virtual delivery of the petition. She said the acting premier also invited the three MPs to a roundtable for a dialogue, of which, they decided to withdraw; not willing to negotiate because of issues of distrust with government. “The King is open to the views of the people, and he had said it in his speeches,” said Princess Sikhanyiso.

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