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YOUTHS WILL GET CHANCE TO VOTE FOR CHANGE – PM

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MBABANE – Prime Minister Cleopas Sipho Dlamini has said the youth that is on the streets calling for change will have their chance to vote for change.

Dlamini was speaking during a live interview with CNN TV on Tuesday. He said in 2023, the country would be going to the polls and that was where those calling for change would have a chance to vote for the Members of Parliament (MPs) who would be in a position to introduce the changes they wanted. Dlamini said they were at the Dubai Expo to showcase the country’s economy and cultures. He said they were hoping to tell the world about Eswatini’s potential for investment and trade.

Investments

He said just like many countries that were hit by COVID-19, Eswatini was planning to revive the private sector through attraction of foreign investments and also domestic investments.
He said the protest actions were not for democracy but in demand for economic delivery because of the high level of unemployment caused by the COVID-19 layoffs and shutting of the economy. He said primarily people have been protesting for poor service delivery. He admitted that people were also protesting for political reforms.

When asked why the army was on the streets for the second time as during the June/July unrest the army was deployed, the PM denied that the army was on the streets. He said it was only the police on the streets. “We have not yet deployed the army,” said Dlamini. He said in as much as sometimes the police got overwhelmed by the protesters, the army had not yet been released  because the protests were still peaceful.

Reforms

When asked if the country’s authorities understood what was meant by political reforms, Dlamini responded to the positive. He, however, said the reforms had to follow the Constitution which spoke very well on what needed to be done when one wanted these reforms. He said this originated particularly from parliamentarians who understood very well what they needed to do in order to achieve those reforms.

He said the country was proud of the fact that it was the last remaining absolute monarchy in Africa. He said the King did not have a tenure, but was there for life. He said the system had been the same for kings in the past. The PM mentioned that what needed to be done was that if there were any changes being proposed, they should follow the Constitution. He said what was seen on television was an exaggeration of what was happening in the country. “The majority of the people, more than 80 per cent are still in favour of the existing status,” he added.

However, social media users were of the view that the PM was not stating clearly what was happening on the ground. One particular issue that they thought the PM had misrepresented was that 80 per cent of emaSwati were in favour of the existing system.

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