MBABANE: Highly qualified Swazis, some who are serving in Mswati’s government are deprived the opportunity of serving the Nation as Prime Ministers because they are not born from the ruling Dlamini household.
Eswatini, a tiny Kingdom situated in Southern Africa is ruled by King Mswati as an absolute Monarch with Executive, Judicial and Legislative powers.
The country has about 70% of the population living below the poverty line, thousands of graduates and skilled Swazis are struggling to secure jobs and government tenders because they don’t have royal connections.
Section 67(1) of the eSwatini Constitution gives King Mswati the powers to appoint the Prime Minister among members of the House of Assembly, the Supreme Law does not specify that the PM must be from members of the Dlamini royal household.
But since eSwatini attained independence from Britain in 1968, executive powers have been centralised among members of the royal family, highly qualified and politically inclined Swazis are disqualified merely by the lack of a royal blood in their bodies from holding the position of Prime Minsiter.
“The King shall appoint the Prime Minister from among members of the House acting on the recommendation of the King’s Advisory Council”, read Section 67(1) of the Constitution.
But now, King Mswati is under political pressure amid growing calls for democratic reforms, in June 2021, he allegedly unleashed soldiers and the police to shoot and kill dozens of protesting civilians triggering an investigation by international human rights organizations.
Pro-democracy Members of Parliament (MPs) Mduduzi Bacede Mabuza and Mthandeni Dube were subsequently arrested by the police as per an order issued by Mswati after they demanded democratic reforms on behalf of the people who elected them.
“We want an elected Prime Minister, not the one controlled by the royal family. We don’t want a person who will just emerge like lighting, we demand the freedom to elect our own government”, said MO Bacede Mabuza who was subsequently thrown behind bars on politically motivated terrorism charges.
Princess Sikhanyiso, the Information Minister, when responding to questions from this journalist earlier confirmed that Prime Ministers are appointed from the Dlamini clan.
This was after she was exposed by this publication regarding a plot to remove the late Prime Minister Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini from power.
Thabile Mdluli, the Deputy Government Spokesperson had not responded to questions sent to her by this publication regarding the appointment of only the Dlaminis as Prime Ministers.
Reached for comments, Mduduzi ‘Magawugawu’ Simelane, the President of the Swaziland Liberation Movement (SWALIMO) said there was enough proof suggesting that royalty believe that the country is their private property such that they have laws that they apply from their own manual outside the country’s laws.
“This is why we need to liberate ourselves from this tyrannic and undermining regime”, said the SWALIMO President.
Speaking to this Swaziland News, Mlungisi Makhanya, the President of the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) said the appointment of only the Dlaminis into the position of Prime Minister and other influential positions was one of the reasons Swazis were fighting for a democratic government.
“We want a government where people will occupy that position based on merit and skills, not just a mere surname. As we enter the new year, we have become a laughing stock in the world because of a person who occupied a position of Head of State as a birth right not based on merit, he then declared that the country will attain first world status by 2022. So we want to end all this Dlaminism”, said the PUDEMO President.
Prince Makhosini Dlamini was the first Swazi Prime Minister who was appointed by late King Sobhuza after the country attained independence from Britain, he was succeeded by Prince Maphevu Dlamini.
Other Prime Ministers who were appointed include Prince Mabandla Dlamini and Prince Bhekimpi Dlamini who was appointed by the then Liqoqo Swazi National Council(SNC) after the death of Sobhuza.
Mswati who later inherited the absolute power from his father Sobhuza appointed other Prime Ministers from the Dlamini clan.
These Prime Ministers include Sotja Dlamini, Obed Dlamini, Prince Mbilini Dlamini, Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini, Absalom Themba Dlamini, Ambrose Dlamini and the current PM being Cleopas Dlamini.
Prime Minister Cleopas Dlamini.