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ASIAN COUNTRY SPONSORING UPRISING IN ESWATINI - PERCY

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MBABANE – The King’s Office Director of Communications, Percy Simelane, has come out to say intelligence has it that the nationality of the uprising is not Swati but foreign.  

Simelane made this assertion when sought for comment on the issue of violence and killings in the Kingdom of Eswatini that has made it to the head of State’s speech more than once, in the last five years. Simelane explained that the main sponsor-country wanted to establish itself in Eswatini, but leadership here had refused to buy into this Asian country's conditions for diplomatic relations with Eswatini. Simelane said the sponsor’s reasons were interestingly commercial and not political, but the buzz-phrase was lack of democracy meant to dupe unsuspecting international organisations.

Situation

“So the strategy is to replace the current leadership with one that is going to embrace the sponsor-country. To manage this unbecoming situation we, as a country, need to invest more on intelligence. We have an unavoidable duty too to remind international organisations and violence sponsor countries that the sovereign soul of Eswatini is not for sale,” he said.  

It has been five years since the King called on emaSwati to lay down weapons and refrain from violence, but the same issue formed a big part of his speech again on Friday. His Majesty King Mswati III denounced terrorism as a crime against humanity and called upon all mankind and friends of the kingdom, in particular, to condemn the acts of assassinations that have resulted in the loss of human lives. This he said when opening the fifth session of the 11th Parliament on Friday.

In his address during the official opening of the fifth session of the 10th Parliament on February 16, 2018, the King called for the end of violence, putting down of weapons and making peace. At the time, it was at least a month after the murder of businessman and football administrator Victor ‘Maradona’ Gamedze, who was gunned down at the Galp Filling Station in Ezulwini on January 14, 2018.

In his speech five years ago, the King recounted how the country’s authorities, since time immemorial, would frown upon any form of violence among the citizens. The situation has evidently escalated since then, with June 29, 2021 being the highlight of a political unrest that claimed many lives in the country. About 46 people were killed while, 245 were injured according to a report by the Eswatini Commission on Human Rights and Public Administration released in October 2021.

Since then, there have been assassinations mainly targeting security forces and the latest was the shooting of Human Rights Lawyer Thulani Maseko, while at his parental home in Bhunya last month. “The lives of emaSwati are priceless, stop the killings,” said the King on Friday.

Organisations

The King was concerned about faceless organisations and individuals who are causing terror in the country by promoting the burning down of business structures across the country. “When a business is burnt down, it means people will lose jobs and the ripple effects of this are huge. That is not the kingdom our forefathers envisaged and fought for,” said the King. Expanding on the issue of violence and killings in the country, Simelane said that democracy was about a people freely defining their destiny and not about other nations threatening to sanction or barking orders to another nation. “Sanctions are by definition political rape,” he added.

In the preamble of his response, Simelane declared that to start with, they wished to re-register with the nation that Eswatini was one of the best democracies of the world, where the voter’s decision was final. He shared that the people nominated and voted for their representation in Parliament as opposed to situations where political leaders imposed themselves on the electorate. He further highlighted that Eswatini also had one of the best Constitutions of the world according to international legal eagles. He mentioned that it took nine years to put it together with the help of global giants such the Commonwealth of Nations and the International Bar Association as opposed to the perception that it was written at Lozitha.

Decision

Simelane went on to state that the Tinkhundla System of Government was reviewed every five years through Sibaya the biggest decision-making body made up of every liSwati. “The last time we reviewed and endorsed the system as a people was in 2018. The normal review is due this year.  This then brings us to the question why as a nation we are now on each other’s throats if we democratically endorsed the system?” he wondered.

Worth mentioning is that the King has encouraged the spirit of dialogue to address differences. When making his address during the official opening of the fifth session of the 11th Parliament, the head of State mentioned that the country was a nation capable of achieving great things when emaSwati worked together. He said the spirit of dialogue should find a lasting solution to all challenges that confronted the country. However, he did not state the format of the dialogue.

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