Whenever King Mswati travels around the world, he always portrays eSwatini as a peaceful country that resolve political differences through dialogue but surprisingly, he recently sent the police to harass and subsequently arrest leaders of the Political Parties Assembly (PPA) instead of engaging them through a political dialogue.
Any leader who make a political statement and subsequently do the opposite is a political hypocrite who cannot be trusted with public office not to mention the highest position of being a Head of State. The King, while holding powerful positions within the Sothern African Development Community (SADC) was praised for his efforts in facilitating dialogues and providing solutions in Zimbabwe, Madagascar among others, he must do the same in his own country. The decision by the PPA to write a letter to the King and government proposing a dialogue should not be taken lightly, it is actually a political rope for the King to hang himself through political arrogance. It’s a pity that the King is surrounded by people who seem not to understand that at this juncture, the PPA might be seeking a reason to convince the international community that the Monarch is refusing to allow democracy and that his statement of promoting dialogues to resolve differences should not be taken seriously. For that reason, any political conflict that might erupt thereafter, the King will be held accountable. We have seen powerful world leaders appearing in the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity after their countries experienced civil wars and most instance it started through refusal to give power to the people.
Government should understand that we are now living in global community and the international media is increasingly demonstrating interest in the affairs of the Kingdom of eSwatini and therefore, it is slowly becoming impossible to mislead the world through the captured local media.
The people who are calling for democratic reforms are citizens of this country and they should not be persecuted merely for expressing their political views with the way this country is governed. This is the time for the King to demonstrate to the world that he promotes political dialogues and peaceful transition otherwise, it would be hard to take him seriously. Despite the political tensions and uncertainties, the King is in a better position to lead a dialogue and transform the country into a democratic State without a single drop of blood. He must embrace change and allow people to elect their own government not the current ‘yes men’ who are loyal to him not the country. The term ‘Monarchial Democracy’ is an ‘absolute nonsense’ designed as a cover up to the dictatorship that produced about 700 000 citizens living below the poverty line. Democracy allows people to elect their own government that would be subject to accountability of public power but the Monarchial centralized the power to one person, the King.
Indeed, one of the basic values and principles of public administration is transparency that promotes openness and good governance. But here, we are governed through secrecy and brutality. We are expected not to question decisions of the King that impact our lives, this is what they call ‘Monarchial Democracy’. The King must engage the PPA in a political dialogue to consider possible ways of removing the word ‘Monarchial’ so we can enjoy ‘Democracy’. Most of these political parties are proposing a Constitutional Monarch where the King will remain a King and allow people to run their own government and I wonder why the King is resisting with power that does not belong to him. Power belongs to the people Your Majesty!
King Mswati III