As a lawyer by profession, Elections Commission Chairman Prince Mhlabuhlangene ought to have known that criticizing those in power is not treasonous.
Prince Mhlabuhlangene, when addressing Chiefs at Pigg’s Peak Hotel on Monday made statements that appeared to confirm and legitimize dictatorship in this country and this,cannot be tolerated.
It should be noted that treason is a crime of attempting to overthrow a legitimate Government.
In this regard, the mere fact that the Tinkhundla Government and King Mswati are not legitimate rulers of the Swazi Nation automatically makes it difficult for anyone who calls for the fall of Mswati to be convicted for treason by an independent court of law.
Mswati was never elected by the people,his Cabinet being the Executive arm of Government was appointed and therefore, calling for the fall of an imposed Head of State and his political clowns can never be treasonous.
Perhaps, Prince Mhlabuhlangene is not aware that criticism directed to a Government is ‘unlimited’.
As a result, I laughed when I saw a court application by the eSwatini Government challenging this publication in the South African courts, anyway that came as per the low thinking capacity of Attorney General Sifiso Khumalo.
The powers vested upon the masses and by extension, the media to criticize and hold those in power accountable suggest that anyone who is a sitting Head of State will be subject to public scrutiny.
Its simple, if Mswati is allergic to criticism, he must leave politics and surrender Executive powers to the people and by extension, a democratically elected government.
But it’s not about King Mswati as a person, we are interested in removing him from the Throne so that the power to elect a Government could be vested upon the people.
Even if he could wake-up tomorrow and announce that he is handing over the Throne to Prince Sicalo, we will shout ‘King Sicalo must fall’, because our main interest is on the power that was unlawfully grabbed from the people through the 1973 Decree.
It’s therefore political cowardice of the highest order for Prince Mhlabuhlangene to even utter such sentiments suggesting that, a King cannot be criticized.
It seems like Prince Mhlabuhlangene, despite being a qualified lawyer, is now behaving like Attorney General(AG) Sifiso Khumalo who misled the King that Government can successfully take a publication to court over critical articles against it and the King.
As an editor of this publication,I sometimes experience criticism and this is justified, you can’t be a head of a publication that impact people’s lives and influences decisions in the corridors of power and then expect people to ‘romance’ you when they feel you are not doing right.
Sometimes people can criticize you unjustly but that’s the life of a public figure, power and influence comes with criticism, otherwise that power risks being abused.
You cannot be a powerful politician, King, businessman, religious leader or a journalist and then expect people not to criticize you.
Criticism is not treasonous, it is within freedom of expression and it enables members of the public to remind that particular public figure that, “we are watching you, don’t abuse power".
It is therefore surprising that a Head of State like Mswati who is an absolute Monarch can hold such powers without being questioned.
Mswati must fall because he is an illegitimate Head of State who inherited absolute power from Sobhuza.
In 1973 while some of our grandparents were illiterate, King Sobhuza took advantage of them and elevated himself as an absolute Monarch, we want that ‘nonsense’ to come to an end.