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MBABANE - “Emaswati should not be susceptible to deception.”

This was said by Government Spokesperson Alpheus Nxumalo when asked about the so-called dialogue terms of references, which are circulated on social media these days. In an interview during the Kusile Breakfast Show on Eswatini Television,  Nxumalo started by stating that he had not personally seen the terms of references since he assumed his position as government spokesperson. He reminded the nation that Eswatini was a sovereign State. Nxumalo said Eswatini being a sovereign state, meant that no origination or country could impose terms of reference on her in relation to the proposed national dialogue.


He made an example that Eswatini was affiliated to organisations such as the United Nations (UN), African Union, SADC and Commonwealth, stating that the organisations could not, therefore, impose the terms of references to the country and tell it what to do. Nxumalo stated that recommendations were not law. He said Eswatini would come up with its own terms of references, as the proposed national dialogue touched on domestic issues.

He said all countries had vital interests, which meant that they should guard against going beyond the red line. The government spokesperson said in as much as Eswatini respected what other organisations and countries said, the kingdom could not adopt things that would go against its vital interests and confuse its mind. He said emaSwati should guard against being confused by listening to foreign countries as opposed to listening to each other.
“Our principle as a country is clear that were are not an enemy to anyone but friends to all,” he said.

Coming to the issue of the much anticipated national dialogue, Nxumalo reminded the nation that the national dialogue was announced by His Majesty King Mswati III. He said it could not, therefore, be something else. He stated that the only question and discussion could be when, however, he said the ‘when’ part came with factors.
He said what was disturbing was the escalating violence directed to emaSwati by certain people. He mentioned that it was unfortunate that there were people who continued to threaten to deal with those willing to participate in the national dialogue.“There are people who are busy threatening others at a time the country is preparing for the national dialogue. They are threatening people with fire. They even mention that they would monitor what people would say at the dialogue,” he said.

Worth noting is that, some leaders of certain political formations have been saying on social media that they intended to boycott Sibaya. Some leaders went to an extent of threatening to disrupt Sibaya by delivering a petition on the day of the dialogue. Nxumalo stated that government and the authorities were not only concerned about the dialogue, but the safety and protection of the people who would participate. He said the threats and intimidation could result in a long wait. Nxumalo said government could not call a dialogue, while others issued threats. He stated that deeds and minds should be prepared for the dialogue.

He said national dialogue was not possible when people were under siege or fighting. “Countries which are at war put down arms before they can sit down and engage in dialogue,” he said. Nxumalo also stated that government was putting its house in order to ensure that information from all departments was disseminated to the public.

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