Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font

LUDZIDZINI – His Majesty King Mswati III has said he was still in the dark on why the country was removed as a beneficiary of the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA).

America President Barack Obama announced the removal of the country from AGOA, which benefits suppliers of apparel goods exported by qualifying Sub-Saharan states.

About two weeks ago, His Majesty was in Washington DC to engage in talks with the AGOA team. On his return from the US-Africa Leaders Summit yesterday, the King disclosed that he met with a high-powered delegation inclusive of the Secretary of Trade in that country.
“We wanted to find out more about the country’s position following the stance taken by America to remove us from AGOA without a clear explanation.

“I had hoped I would be briefed on how they came to the conclusion of removing us,” he said.
Knowing that most Swazis were employed in textile firms, His Majesty said it was prudent to enquire about the latest development.
He said they had hoped a solution would be found.

“When we engaged them, they pointed out that the country should meet five benchmarks,” he said. This statement by the Americans surprised the King, he said when addressing journalists at the Ludzidzini Royal Residence.

“I then reminded them that at inception of AGOA, the country was not part of the beneficiaries because it had to implement certain benchmarks.
“One of the issues was that our Industrial Act was not in order. We then requested that the Americans provide us with experts. They did.
“The country worked closely with the experts in drafting the law. Their experts advised that we should consult with other legal minds.

“That is when we consulted ILO (International Labour Organisation) who provided experts which led to the drafting of the law,” the king recalled. His Majesty mentioned that the draft was passed on to the Americans to peruse and further made inputs.
“This led to us to ask, ‘but you were part of the process, what has changed now?’ I did not get a clear response,” he said.
Furthermore, His Majesty wondered why the Americans included the Suppression of Terrorism Act as part of the benchmarks because the issue was brought to the table by them.

He recounted that soon after the September 11, 2001 incident, the American President said: ‘You are either with us or with the terrorists.’
Following that statement, His Majesty said most countries sympathised with the Americans.

“Natsi sakhetsa kutsi sitawuba nema Merika (We also decided that we will side with the American government),” the King said.
And at the advice of the then American Ambassador, His Majesty pointed out that the country decided to formulate the Suppression of the Terrorism Act.

“He mentioned that if we did not have such an Act in place, we might at some point lose AGOA. We then sat down with the Americans to draft the Act, and it was passed,” he said.

His Majesty said it was now surprising that they quoted the same law which was drafted with their assistance.
“Nanamuhla siyamangala kutsi ku-khothwe lomtsetfo lesawusebenta nabo. Lona lesawu sebenta in sympathy nabo,” he wondered.
The King said this then raised a question of what the country had done wrong to be removed.
However, he said he did not get a response.

Besides the benchmarks, His Majesty said the Americans cited local police as being not professional.
“Surprisingly, in the past months, the Americans called the police when faced with some challenges at the construction site of their embassy.

The police promptly responded to the call. If the police were not professionals, they would not have gone there to investigate,” he said.
This also, His Majesty said, left a lot of questions, which were unfortunately not answered.

Comments (12 posted):

Abigail on 15/08/2014 09:14:40
Bayethe Ngwenyama....you have told it like a true statesman that cares for his people. We are glad that you have seen the hypocrisy that has been displayed here.
Bayethe Wena Waphakathi!!!!
Siziba on 15/08/2014 09:38:36
He doesn't have WiFi?
Freddy Msibi on 15/08/2014 09:48:08
Bayethe Ngwenyama. We should not let other countries try to sabotage us by sanctions on us just because we do not want have our country run like they do. Swazi people have been unfairly removed from AGOA because certain few individuals went to the Americans and cried about something that is not there. The people who make funny pics about the King insulting him and all that in social media. The Americans should quit wantin to rule the entire World, the King Sobhuza when he was given full power of the Swazi Land he said from Labamhlophe he will only keep what is good for Africa and what is bad he won't keep. The only thing Swazis need to do is to try and improve on the current system we have. Chubeka Ngwenyama usakhele buhlobo nalamanye emave. Bayethe
Elliot Sacolo on 15/08/2014 10:44:14
If this is what the king could say, then it's not good at all because to my understanding the country has not done anything to rectify the problem. What is it to correct if you are in the dark? Is it a denial stage or the issues are tough, or maybe America just didn't want Swaziland in AGOA, why?
I'm left in the dark as well!!!
Xolani Simphiwe Mkhatshwa on 15/08/2014 10:55:13
my question is, are we going to reach 2022 if things are going at a snail's pace?
Matsenyoka on 15/08/2014 12:29:12
Bayethe wena waphakathi,bevile Mbangazitha nentjeba ya OBAMA INGFAKAZI...we hav to get our own ways of creating job opportunities
colleen matsebula on 15/08/2014 12:31:51
Itsini ingwenyama madoda. Ishayelani eceleni? Akuvakali silo. The Americans never meant the terrorist act ledlalwa ngemaswati. Branding everybody woth differnt views as terrirists. Ayizange isho njalo. This to come frm the head of state what a shame. Ayizange itsi arrest people for fun.
Abe on 15/08/2014 18:06:34
With all due respect to His Majesty's lofty position, I find it unfortunate that he is also implying that there is actually no sound basis for revoking our claim to AGOA.

When He asked the Americans the questions He asked, did he not get any answers? The meetings were concluded without any resolutions?

I admit I did not attend the meetings in question, but one would not expect any meeting of this sort to end without clear answers.

Having not received any useful answers from the Americans, what is His conclusion/decision? This is what a million Swazis are undoubtedbly interested in at this particular point in time.
Lucky Camel on 15/08/2014 20:08:14
His Majesty the King is absolutely correct.The Americans have the nerve pointing a finger at our Police for being unprofessional. Look at what is going on in Ferguson, Missouri right now. It is like a military zone right now with tear-gas and all. What happened to freedom of expression? You have police in different states targeting and profiling Black Americans on a daily basis.They killed a man by choking him to death in New York just for selling cigarettes on the street and they shot a kid not once but several times in Ferguson for walking in the middle of the street!Talk about the kettle calling the pot black. Clean your own house first.
raster on 15/08/2014 20:52:19
wow! is dt our king, who is runing ds cuntry kants?

Post your comment comment

Please enter the code you see in the image: