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We paying the price for trusting the King with absolute power

Friday, 8th November, 2019

The call for a referendum on the current political system is a call on the people of Swaziland to make a decision on whether it is still wise of us as the people to have all powers vested on the King or not. 

I, for one, am convinced that the King has never understood the gravity of the task that came with his ascension onto the throne despite being on the throne for over 33 years. He has not shown the characteristic of a wine which tends to reach maturity with time. I am of the view that as Swazis we have paid the ultimate price for trusting the King over this long period and we have also sacrificed with the lives of our children as we lived in perpetual hope that things would get better. Instead things have gotten worse, the King has betrayed our trust. The education and training of our children and young people has deteriorated over time, the confidence in our judiciary is none existent and the state coffers are empty. Corruption is rampant, poverty levels are high and good governance has been thrown out through the window yet the King claims to be in charge. We are at sea and he is leading us to swim against the tide and we are losing our strength. Now is the time to flow with the tide of wisdom that is taking us to shore. The referendum is our own effort to save ourselves from the grips of death.

History tells us that we should be cautious of those in authority as we embark on this route to liberate ourselves from those in charge. When Swazis were engaged in talks leading up to independence, the majority were deceived and manipulated by the leading pack because they were ignorant of what independence was all about. The people of Swaziland were and are still classified into two groups. There were those on Swazi Nation Land (SNL) and those on Title Deed land. These are treated differently in terms of rights. The majority is on SNL and traditional leaders are expected to play a key role on political directions in terms of numbers (votes). All Swazis on SNL are headed by the King and their interests are best served by the King. The King was given full control of mineral rights and powers to legislate as no Bill could become law without his approval. Nothing has changed. As we speak, the King has become the biggest employer in Swaziland when it comes to Cabinet, Judiciary, Principal Secretaries, Parastatals, Security forces including Police and Correctional Services, Commissions, Boards, etc. I, therefore, believe it would be unwise of us, as Swazi people, to have the King or His government play any major role on the build up to the referendum. This process ought to be under a reputable 3rdparty, preferably an international body of note. I am aware of serious moves in place to sell the unsuspecting Swazis a dummy by those who are close to the King so that by hook or crook the field is not levelledand the status quo is retained. There ought to be some legislation put in place to guide us through this process of a referendum. We need education and guidance as we embark on this path as we try to do this for our lives and those of our children and those to come after us. Naturally I expect the King to resist this move of a referendum as it would be beneficial to him and his family, to have the King retain absolute power. I pray that he calculates his moves wisely other than deluding himself that some magic may happen leaving him in control. This is a matter of our survival as a nation and not about the King and his family. This is about the King letting go some of the key roles he has played in the lives of the Swazi people for the good of this country. 

We paying the price for trusting the King with absolute power
Emaswati in voting centres during elections