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POLITICAL PARTIES HOPE TO MEET TROIKA CHAIR

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MANZINI – Local political parties are hoping to meet the chairperson of the South African Development Community (SADC) Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation (Troika) in the next five weeks.

This was said by the Co-Chairperson of the Multi-Stakeholder- Forum (MSF), Thulni Maseko. The human rights lawyer was responding to this publication after being sought for comment on whether the Mass Democratic Movement (MDM) of Swaziland would take up the invitation by the SADC Troika Chairperson and Namibia President Hage G Geingob. Over the past weekend, in his visit to the country, President Geingob was quoted by Eswatini News saying: “I am still going to visit other member States and then soon the date of the Troika meeting will be set, where we will discuss all the afflictions of our member States, including Eswatini. After those discussions, we will then invite all parties concerned to be also engaged, as we look forward to solving our differences soon.”

This was after the SADC Troika chairperson had informed the local media that he was not here to discuss political matters, but was in the Kingdom of Eswatini on a courtesy visit to the King as he was new in the office of chairperson of the SADC Troika Organ. In light of the Statesman’s assertions, Maseko was sought to establish if his entity, in collaboration with the Nombulelo Motsa-led Political Party Assembly (PPA), would follow up on the invitation and what were their timelines. He said: “As a matter of principle, we agreed with PPA to take up the invitation and make an application. We shall do so by following the right channels, which are within SADC.” Maseko said they were committed to making a follow up on the invitation and they anticipated that the year would not lapse without them meeting the chairperson of the SADC Troika Organ.

“It is my understanding that this week should not end without us making means to communicate with SADC. The latest can be next week depending on what is happening on the ground.” Maseko said if it could be possible, they would appreciate meeting the president of Namibia before the end of the year. He said this would also assist them in knowing what to expect next year. He said in their anticipated meeting with the Namibian president, they would advance their call as crafted in the Boksburg Declaration.

Declaration

This declaration states that leaders of political formations were determined to achieve a new, inclusive and fully democratic multi-party democratic State led by a people’s government, totally independent of the King and the institution of the monarchy. This, they described as a government that would deliver on the social contract with the people, frugally managing the economy, all State resources and assets to drive sustainable economic development and guarantee universal franchise for all people. Meanwhile, the PPA president also confirmed that since Monday, groundwork was being done to establish communication with the relevant stakeholders who would facilitate the meeting with the chairperson of the SADC Troika Organ.

Motsa, like the human rights lawyer, said their plan was the Boksburg Declaration. She said the PPA held a meeting on Monday where the issues were discussed and they would be dealt with in the upcoming days. On the other hand, the Namibian president, when in the country, said people went to war when diplomacy failed. He was quoted making this statement during his courtesy visit to His Majesty King Mswati III at Mandvulo Hall. Eswatini News reported that he advised the King and the people of Eswatini that the solution to the political turbulence in the country and the rest of the southern African region could be sought only through dialogue.

He was said to have first shared the 22 years of suffering his country endured  and revealed that it was only through dialogue and the support of other countries that peace was restored. The president noted that it was not Eswatini alone which was faced with a political crisis, but also the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Mozambique and Lesotho.“I am not here to discuss political matters, but I am here on a courtesy visit to the King, as you all know that I am new in the office of Chairperson of the SADC Troika Organ.”

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