King Mswati’s decision to call Sibaya last week Friday and try to downplay the seriousness of the SADC Troika fact finding mission that seeks to, among others, investigate the crimes against humanity was political hypocrisy of the highest order.
Perhaps, it is important to state that the Southern African Development Community(SADC) Troika on Defense and Security is currently conducting what is known as a “political conflict investigation” where the King stands accused of committing crimes against humanity by unleashing soldiers and the police to shoot and kill dozens of civilians merely for demanding democratic reforms.
It should be noted that even though this investigation and or “Fact Finding Mission” is political as the terms of reference might suggest, it came as a result of a political decision to ban the delivery of petitions that subsequently manifested into chaos and the killing of dozens of civilians by Mswati’s security forces.
As a result, the investigation report by SADC Troika might be used as collaborative evidence to substantiate a criminal case of crimes against humanity against those implicated in the killing of civilians.
King Mswati, as prime suspect in the killing of civilians, must appear before the SADC Troika investigation team to defend himself instead of calling Sibaya to utter sentiments that do not make sense or relevant to the current situation, dozens of Swazis were killed here and he shouldn't think this matter will just disappear.
I am stating this confidently because , due to my position as an editor, I interact with various international human rights organisations and to see King Mswati arrogantly downplaying this issue it became clear that this is an absolute Monarch who believes he could just kill people with impunity, by the time he understands the seriousness of this matter it might be too late.
King Mswati must understand that eSwatini is part of the United Nations and as a result, he must account based on the Conventions he signed, the UN and international organizations cannot be influenced like the unsuspecting Swazis who are being manipulated to attend Sibaya just because they can’t afford a decent meal, the King has been using poverty to induce political submission.
Indeed, based on the reasonable suspicion that King Mswati unleashed his security forces to kill dozens of civilians, he must appear before the SADC Troika investigation or “Finding Fact Mission” team as he prefers to call it, to respond to questions on some of these allegations, this is a regional and legitimate Organ that should be given all necessary support to compile a comprehensive investigation report.
Let me bring to the attention of the King that an investigation by its nature, is a process that seeks to collect evidence and or facts or allegations of wrong-doing, it is a process governed by among others, the principles of natural justice and if the King claims he never killed civilians as per his statements during Sibaya, he must appear before SADC Troika and state that on record, this matter is now far above his Sibaya political comedy.
One wonders why King Mswati believes the world revolves around his shallow political imagination such that he can kill people and rush to justify his alleged actions at Sibaya instead of defending himself in an appropriate forum legally recognized by the SADC countries and the world.
It is important to emphasize that killing a human being is a serious crime, no alleged criminal can commit such crimes against humanity and then rush to his Sibaya to justify himself as if this matter would end there, this is a marathon criminal case that must be concluded by the International Criminal Court(ICC).
It is now evident that in this country, the lives of the poor are worthless such that King Mswati’s government opted to tour damaged buildings and pledge E500million for a Reconstruction Programme instead of assisting the families of the deceased but the international community will surely hold the King accountable. Of course, we need to condemn the destruction of property in the name of protesting and Government must compensate the businesspeople because such chaos emerged from a political decision to ban delivery of petitions and innocent Swazi businesspeople had to suffer.
As a King who has been hypocritically fooling the world that he believes in dialogue, surely, he must be given a chance to present to the world minutes of a single meeting where he engaged the banned political parties or the pro-democracy Members of Parliament(MPs) in dialogue.
I always mention that the problem with propaganda and lies is that once you repeat them over and over again, you then start believing your own lies and by so doing, you disconnect yourself from reality. King Mswati is far from reality such that he believes that he can kill people and subsequently erase those crimes against humanity merely by calling Sibaya.
It’s time for you to understand the seriousness of these crimes against humanity Your Majesty, SADC is not your property and once South African President Cyril Ramaphosa takes over the regional organizations, perhaps he might not treat you with kids' gloves.
It was an insult to SADC Troika that King Mswati can call a Sibaya gathering and imply that the Fact Finding Mission was among those who attended as if the Organ was his property, this is a recognised regional organ whose duties should not be undermined by cheap politics that sought to downplay the eSwatini massacre.
Before we criticise SADC, we must give the Fact Finding Mission a chance and all the necessary support to conduct the investigation without any disturbance, an investigation is a very important process whose outcomes and or findings are determined by facts and evidence.
Therefore, Mswati must relax, that he once served as Chairman of SADC Troika does not mean the organization belongs to him, he is now suspected of committing crimes against humanity and he must defend himself before the relevant legal institutions not Sibaya. Even though he stated that the people and everything in eSwatini belong to him, we will keep on reminding him that the citizens are not his personal property, he cannot kill them and think the criminal case will just disappear.