MBABANE: Patricia Scotland, the Secretary General of the Commonwealth said she was impressed to note that eSwatini political system allows a woman to enjoy an equal status with the Head of State.
This was after she met members of the Political Parties Assembly(PPA) who are calling for democratic reforms before meeting the King. Sibongile Mazibuko, the President of the Ngwane National Liberation Congress(NNLC) said Scotland should respect the people who want democratic reforms and stop making conclusions from an ignorant point of view with regards to the country’s undemocratic system.
“Fistly, it was wrong for her to conclude that the Queen enjoys an equal status with the King, that is not true. The Queen only act as a Head of State when the King is not in the country, otherwise, the King’s word here is final. I think Scotland should just respect the will of the people who are demanding democratic reforms and facilitate instead of trying to define the political system of the country” said the NNLC President.
Thamsanqa Hlatswayo, the Secretary General of the Political Parties Assembly(PPA) said Swazis should not expect much from foreign organizations but they must collectively work together to determine their political destiny.
“We met the Commonwealth Secretary, and we call upon all Swazis to speak in one voice and be in control of their political destiny,” said the PPA Secretary.
Addressing journalists during a press conference last week, Patricia Scotland said she believed eSwatini was a beautiful and the only country in Africa where a woman leader is given a status equal to that of a Head of State.
“I have been impressed that Her Majesty the Queen mother (Ntfombi Tfwala) is equally reigning with His Majesty the King. I think this is the only country in Africa where a woman leader is given the similar status as the Head of State,” Scotland said.
Veteran political journalist Lunga Masuku asked the Commonwealth Secretary General on pending political reforms dialogue previously initiated by the Commonwealth in Eswatini.
“I would like you to clarify what happened to the Commonwealth Envoy Bakili Muluzi who was facilitating democratic reforms here in 2013” Masuku asked.
Responding to the questions, Scotland said Muluzi experienced personal problems hence he could not continue facilitating the democratic talks.
“The envoy was willing to act on these democratic issues, unfortunately he experienced some personal problems hence he couldn’t continue. But I am happy to note that all the political parties I have met are willing to come together and move forward” she said.
Patricia Scotland(picture: Commonwealth website)