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LOBAMBA - The Sibaya dialogue will be held immediately after the 2023 General Elections.

This is as per the directive issued by His Majesty King Mswati III yesterday during Sibaya. The general elections are expected to end on September 29, 2023. His Majesty made the announcement of the dialogue yesterday during the Sibaya which was attended by throngs of emaSwati, who were eagerly anticipating what he would say. In the last Sibaya, where the King announced Cleopas Dlamini as the new Prime Minister, following the death of Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini, His Majesty noted the calls for a dialogue and reminded emaSwati of the processes to be followed if there were issues that the people wanted to raise, processes which are enshrined in the Constitution.


The King, at the time, stated that when the time was right, emaSwati would be called to Sibaya to chart a way forward on the political direction that the country would take. These processes recognise Sibaya as the ultimate decision-making body in the land. Yesterday at Sibaya, the attendees gathered with a myriad of expectations, with the main one being that the King would dissolve the 11th Parliament, something which indeed happened. His speech, which was structured in similar fashion like the Speech from The Throne he usually delivers to mark the official opening of Parliament around February each year, touched on a variety of sectors, including the economy, health, road infrastructure and the need for the nation to come together.

Screams, ululations and whistles were heard from almost every corner of the cattle byre when the King announced that the nation needed to come together and engage. Then King assured that the dialogue would allow him to listen to what the citizens had to say. Using the vernacular term ‘kubhunga’, the King recounted that the nation had not been able to come together for national talks, partly because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which necessitated the introduction of restrictions on travel and gatherings. He said the good news was that the pandemic was no longer a serious threat, which meant that the nation could now gather at Sibaya and dialogue. In vernacular, he said; “Loku kusho kutsi ematfuba ekutsi live selingabhunga sekangavuleka.”

He emphasised that the kingdom was known to be a dialoguing nation and that the time had come to do so. Back to Sibaya, His Majesty thanked the Heavens for the cold weather accompanied by rains, saying it was a clear sign that Sibaya had been summoned. “It has never happened that at this time of the year we receive the rains that we witnessed, more especially because it is winter. We can say that these are blessings for the country. When we witness rains, it means that it is blessings from the Almighty God,” His Majesty said. He said since the beginning of the year, there had been a lot of positive aspects witnessed in the country and that such happened at a time when the country had struggled with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The King then emphasised on the need to restore peace in the country and for emaSwati to live in harmony. “There is a need to restore the harmony and peace that we are known for as a nation. There is nothing that can ever defeat a nation that is united and lives in peace,” he said. He said what was important was for all citizens to put in effort to ensure the promotion of peace, not just for the existing generation but for future ones as well.

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