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‘UNREST STARTED WHEN KING BECAME ABSOLUTE MONARCH’

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MANZINI - “It all started when the King transitioned from being a constitutional monarch to an absolute monarch.”

This submission was made by Ngwane National Liberatory Congress (NNLC) before the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Troika technical fact-finding mission yesterday. According to an impeccable source, this was after the SADC Troika Team allegedly asked the political party, which was represented by its President Sibongile Mazibuko, what they thought could have led to the prevailing political unrest in the country. The source claimed that Mazibuko submitted that the NNLC was one of the political parties which played a major role in liberating the people of Eswatini from the British in 1968.

Banned

He said the leader of the political party told the SADC Troika Team that in 1973, when King Sobhuza II pronounced the 1973 decree, which banned political parties and assumed absolute power, the NNLC began another struggle; that of liberating emaSwati from the monarchy. He alleged that Mazibuko purported that what was currently happening in the country was a manifestation of the 1973 decree, when the king assumed absolute power and Eswatini became a one-party State. According to the impeccable source, the political activist submitted that after 1973, the King allegedly had power to control the national budget, Parliament, Cabinet and judges among others.

Thereafter, he alleged that Mazibuko asked the SADC Troika team to speak to His Majesty King Mswati III, who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Umbutfo Eswatini Defence Force (UEDF), to remove soldiers from the streets and put them back in their barracks and wait for a war, instead of allegedly killing innocent emaSwati. The source said Mazibuko put it on record that dozens of emaSwati were shot during the recent countrywide pro-democracy protests which culminated in vandalism, looting and burning of some businesses. In that regard, the source said the leader of the NNLC asked the SADC Troika team to also speak to the King to ensure that the families of people who were shot dead allegedly by State security organs, especially soldiers, should be compensated.

Again, the source said Mazibuko also asked the SADC Troika team to speak to the King to make sure that people who were shot during the protest actions, and were in hospital, should get treatment and remove bullets from those who still have them lodged in their bodies. Afterwards, the source said Mazibuko was asked what the NNLC thought could be a way forward and she said the current Parliament should be dissolved.

 

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