A Nation suffering in deep silence


eMaSwati during Sibaya


BY : MFOMFO NKAMBULE

Recently, I met an old man (80 years old) who told me how he wished he could go back to the times when the British were in charge. I was taken by surprise because I thought he was one of those who must have been thrilled by independence from colonial masters. He told me what was hurting him were the differences he has observed between Emaswati of his generation and those that came after his. The most striking differences he mentioned were greed and dishonesty. When a person is uneducated and he suddenly finds himself in a class society then his eyes tend to focus on the things that can make him fit into a certain group or class although he knows deep in his heart that he is lying to himself. Those who live large motivate people and they end up being driven by greed and dishonesty to live a lie. Look at the guys who have made it in Swaziland, are they honest? Do they pay their workers well? Do they believe in wealth sharing? What about you? Are you honest to yourself and to your neighbours and community? Can you call a spade a spade? Would you rather hold your peace on any matter than speak your mind without looking over your shoulders? If you do not know how to respond to these short questions with a clear conscience then you belong to the group that is not good for anything but just a Judas Iscariot. What is the name of this country to an English man? If you say it is Eswatini, then you are not an English man or you do not know the English language neither do you know the Siswati language? I am a Liswati national because I was born in this country and brought up by my parents who never went to school except for a few years just to learn to write their names and a bit of numbers. It is very important for me to defend my language and my culture as these were passed on to me by my parents and communities many years ago. I went to school to learn this language called Siswati and I was taught by qualified teachers. My parents never went to school but they could speak Siswati without using the English man’s language or any of his vocabulary. In Siswati the name of this country is Swatini. It has always been Swatini and will always be to Swazi nationals. When you meet a Swazi national in RSA or England or any other country and ask him where he is going to, if he is heading home he will tell you “Ngiya Eswatini”. He is telling you in Siswati that he is going to “eSwatini”, not Eswatini. Where on earth is Eswatini? As these articles are in the English language I will use Swaziland so that there is consistency in the grammar and in defence of my language, not undermining anyone. I am sure you can’t tell people from Spain to call their country Spain instead of Espana. Would you expect Italians to call Alitalia, Italy? I am not one of those who ask others “which way is the wind blowing my friend”? Please be mindful of the mighty British empire and the history of that great nation. It is not by chance that the UK is what it is today. It has had its ups and downs but its resilience is something to be envied by other great nations of this world. Why do we need a parliament in Swaziland when we can do without it? What is the purpose of having a Finance minister when he is not helping the Swazi people in any respectable manner? This is the guy who happens to be involved in both Montigny and NHR of RSA. Before I continue with this link I will tell you a story that shook me to the core sometime ago. There was a company in Swaziland that was granted a mining license for coal down at Maloma, before the present one took over. The company in Swaziland had a sister company in RSA to which it was selling the Swaziland coal at ridiculously low prices. It always claimed it was not making profit for years and ignorant Swaziland authorities believed the story. But some people outside the mining sector approached the minister for Natural Resources and Energy with a view to stop the siphoning of millions Emalangeni out of the country. When the minister started talking some sense to the powers that be , with a view to bring about changes in the mining sector. swift maneuvers were affected and he was swiftly transferred to another ministry. It is very difficult to tell a private company where to sell its products and even go to the extent of recommending a price for its products. I am not saying much but just join the dots. Why is there a link between Montigny of Swaziland and NHR of RSA? Anyway, a fool and his gold are soon parted. This very Finance minister is the chief custodian of members of Parliament and Designated Officers’ Pension fund but has decided to do nothing when two members of the Board, overseeing this fund, flouted the rules and procedures regarding many millions belonging to the pension fund. Members of Parliament were made aware of these irregularities but they were afraid to say anything let alone block the election of Marwick Khumalo into pension fund board. These people called MPs have no moral fibre in their souls. We do not need a parliament in this country. Anyone who says we need one has to have his head examined. If you are of the view that this government of this country has nothing to do with you then you are mentally challenged. It has a lot to do with you. If you prefer hiding into your shell other than raising a finger whenever something wrong happens then you are a burden to this country and to our children. Not long ago, I had a conversation with a member of the TSC to find out if the Commission was aware of the damage it was doing to the lives of the children of this country. This member was very honest with me because he told me everything the commission has done to speak sense to this government on the plight of the Swazi child who goes to a public school. You would be surprised to learn that the PM is not aware of the terrible conditions faced by the Swazi child in a public school. If the PM is not aware then who can get this murdering of our children stopped. Can the King intervene on this matter when there is no one telling him about this situation on the ground? This people are afraid of opening up their lips to speak to the king about the plight of our children. The minister for education is a church mouse who is as good as dead. The whole government structure is not functioning at all. But it starts with the Swazi parents who do not value their children’s lives. They do not have an idea what is happening at various schools in the country. All they do is take their children to schools and abandon them there like orphans. Teachers are not getting any assistance from parents, which is a clear sign that there are no responsible parents in Swaziland for these children. Who cares about you when you are refusing to be responsible as an individual, community and leader? The time has come for every Swazi to play a meaningful role in the governance of this country. If any person stops you from playing any role then we ought to demand those roles now. May the Lord help us as we embark on this difficult journey? There is no first world status for this country by 2022 with the education of the Swazi child being thrown into the dustbin by this leadership.