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Eswathini burns an attack on Africanism

05 Jul 2021 at 10:46hrs | Views
The events in eSwatini formally Swaziland is indeed knee shaking. There is an onslaught to the only remaining absolute monarchy in the world. The events reminds me of Lybia. Sea is must look across to Lybia and see that the civil war's aftermath and proliferation of armed groups led to violence and instability across the country, which erupted into renewed civil war in 2014. The crisis in Libya has resulted in tens of thousands of casualties since the onset of violence in early 2011.

Swaziland has been a very peaceful nation very rich with culture and Swazis are generally peace-loving people.

We must all remember that The aftermath of any revolution has been characterized by marked change in the social and political order of any country. After forced changes of governments countries have been subject to ongoing proliferation of weapons, insurgencies, sectarian violence, and lawlessness, with spillovers affecting neighboring countries. Surely the push in Swaziland can never be without a foreign influence. It is un Swazi to publicly attack the authority of the king.

The kingdom of eSwatini is one of the world's last remaining absolute monarchies. The king rules by decree over his million subjects, most of whom live in the countryside and follow traditional ways of life.

In 2018 the king announced that the country, hitherto known as Swaziland, would henceforth be called eSwatini, a move critics said was made without consultation and needed a constitutional change. The country exports sugar, and many Swazis work in South Africa and send their earnings home.

Swazis practice polygamy and as a result UNICEF, reported that eSwatini has the highest HIV prevalence rate in the world. The HIV-Aids virus has killed countless Swazis and left thousands of orphans. Some 210,000 people are estimated to be living with HIV. King Mswati III was crowned in 1986 at the age of 18, succeeding his long-serving father King Sobhuza II, who died at the age of 82. The king, who is known as Ngweyama - "the lion" - often appears in public in traditional dress and has many wives.

He rules by decree and has been criticised for the heavy-handed treatment of opponents and for requesting public money to pay for new palaces and luxury cars.

Protesters angered by economic decline have become increasingly vocal in demanding political reform. In my days in Swaziland I grew to love the King and the way he ruled his people. Mswati in my time was the darling of his people. There however pockets of dissent in many areas. Student activism which was motivated by misguidance was seen around.

The opposition party though outlawed has remained active. In our days it was led by the late Mario Masuka and Dominic Mkomezulu there were many activists like Dhlakadla the late Benedict Tsabetse the late Skumbuzo Mkhonta Sanelisiwe Dhlamini and many others. At that time PUDEMO was aided by a youth wing called SWAYOCO obviously their complaint exhibited serious immaturity.

Swaziland boasted of its own home grown democracy of Tnkundla system. This system was so beautiful and reflected African Culture and governance.

The Western world never viewed Swaziland as a threat. What we see in Swaziland now is the influence of the Western democracy which is to be imposed on soft spoken loving Swazi people. What Swazis are doing now is to remove their own personal system for that which is being sold by those who have failed.

One must put his mental speed on slow down and think. The youth while they are the future they must never decide our present.

It is a pity that Swaziland is burning its own country and destroying its own future in this unSwazi demonstrations.

Of cause the spoiled fat children of the king make statements which are unwarranted. They can do better with their big mouths closed. Their statements on Facebook shows that they are a danger to the nation and to their father. But all children of leaders are that spoiled. Swazi's must just dismiss them as lunatics. It is up to the king to control his uncultured children in a cultured nation. Let us understand Swaziland on the round. In 1894 Britain and the Boer Republic of Transvaal jointly ruled Swaziland. This changed in 1907 as Swaziland became a British High Commission territory. In 1921 King Sobhuza II succeeds to the throne. The nation did not have political parties until 1962 when The Ngwane National Liberatory Congress (NNLC) was formed. At this time Swaziland operated without a constitution. So in 1964 Swaziland's first constitution enters into force. The same year King Sobhuza establishes a political party, the Imbokodvo National Movement (INM). It secures all the seats in the new Legislative Council. In 1967 A new constitution comes into effect, providing for the introduction of self-government once independence is gained. The same year The Legislative Council is dissolved. Elections to a new bicameral parliament - including a House of Assembly and Senate took place. The INM gains all 24 elective seats in the lower house. Despite not gaining any seats, the NNLC emerges as the main opposition. In 1968 Swaziland was granted formal independence, within the Commonwealth, and adopts a new constitution. In this constitution Authority was vested in the new parliament, a proportion of the members was nominated by the monarch. In 1972 Elections to the House of Assembly see the INM retaining 21 seats and the NNLC gaining the remaining three. NNLC was becoming popular and power struggle loomed. This led Sobhuza to suspend the constitution and bans political parties in 1973.

In 1977 The parliamentary system is abolished and replaced by traditional tribal communities. There was tension which culminated into a new constitution in 1978. The new constitution enshrines electoral representation by 'Tinkhundla'. Under the system candidates are nominated by Tinkhundla's (local councils) and elected by secret ballot. The king retains the power to appoint a proportion of parliamentarians. Parliament's role was not legislative but advisory. In 1979 New parliament was opened. So in 1982 The body advising on Swazi tradition the Swaziland National Council made up of members of the royal family, was renamed the Supreme Council of State (Liqoqo). After leading his people for a long time King Sobhuza die in 1982. His mother acted on his behalf.

1982 Queen Mother Dzeliwe is authorised to act as Regent until Prince Makhosetive reaches 21. But in 1983 the Queen Regent Dzeliwe was deposed and was quickly replaced by Queen Ntombi, Prince Makhosetive's mother who was made regent.

There was power struggle again and having been fed up in 1983 The People's United Democratic Movement (Pudemo) was formed. Three years later in 1986 Prince Makhosetive was crowned three years early - and assumes the title of King Mswati III. In 1986 King Mswati dissolves the Supreme Council of State (Liqoqo). After serious petitions verbal and written in 1991 King Mswati agrees to review the Tinkhundla system by setting up a commission. Pudemo rejects the commission. However in 1992 The king sets up a second commission to review political reforms. As any other African opposition Pudemo rejects the second commission's proposals. King Mswati dissolves parliament and announces he will govern by decree until the elections.

In 1997 Half of the labour force observes a general strike called by the SFTU. The government declares the strike illegal. The strike was then put down. Swaziland economy was tied to the South African economy and they use the South African rands as legal tender together with their own Emalengeni.

In a twist and a show of need to change in 2003 October Parliamentary elections; pro-democracy activist Obed Dlamini wins a seat.

In 2005 August The King signs a new constitution. Influenced by the world order in 2007 July Thousands protest in the commercial capital Manzini to press for democratic reforms.

In 2008 September Opposition groups boycotted elections as part of their campaign for multi-party elections. In another thirsty for change in 2010 September Pro-democracy demonstrators march through Manzini, despite the arrest of some 50 activists the previous day. The economy cracked in 2011 November Swaziland was hit by a budget crisis described by the IMF as "critical", with the government struggling to pay the salaries of public sector workers.

In 2013 August, September there was Parliamentary polls. Candidates participated as individuals because parties are barred from contesting elections.

In April 2018 King Mswati announces that the country is to change its name to eSwatini.

In September 2019 eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) riot police and water canon trucks dispersed several hundred trade union protesters over low wages in the second city of Manzini.

The spirit of rebellion has always been in the air. But in all the craziness one need to as a question. "Is Western democracy good for Swaziland?"

Swaziland remained the true African state under attack not by its own citizens but by those used against their own.

Source - Dr Masimba Mavaza
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