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Acting Prime Minister Themba Masuku must stop politicising the role of Chiefs, this will make them unpopular with the people.

Sunday, 6th June, 2021

The role of Chiefs as traditional leaders will remain fundamental even in the free and democratic eSwatini hence the Acting Prime Minister must refrain from dragging Chiefs into the political ‘battlefield’ as the calls for democracy intensify.
Perhaps, it is important to state that even though we are calling for democracy, we don’t want to lose our true identity and or our way of life as emaSwati but we want a free country where the King and Chiefs will be accountable to a democratic Constitution.
This means, we want a society where citizens whose rights were violated by the King and Chiefs would be free to take them to an independent court for justice, this should be done without undermining our traditional values that define who we are.
Acting Prime Minister Themba Masuku is proving to be a weak political leader who now wants to hide behind Chiefs to prove a political point by saying pro-democracy Members of Parliament(MPs) must seek permission from Chiefs to advocate for change, his sentiments exposes his lack of understanding with regards to the Constitutional role of Chiefs.
Even though the political mind of the Acting Prime Minister appears slow in understanding democratic principles, we will keep on lecturing him until he understands democracy.
Your Excellency, The Honourable Acting Prime Minister, democracy is the will of the people, it not the will of Chiefs, people should be free to express their political views without interference from both traditional and unelected political leaders who know nothing about democracy.
According to democratic principles, people should be free to elect their government without interference, it is for these reasons elections are monitored by international observers to ascertain whether they were free and fair because the democratic right of the people to form a government is not only a human right but it is recognised by the United Nations not Chiefs.
Even though it is not my duty to call the Acting Prime Minister to order as he continues to score own goals against the Tinkhundla system, it is important to enlighten the people so that the citizens can understand that their democratic right to demand political change is not at the mercy of Chiefs.
It is important to remind Masuku that Chiefs are traditional leaders that should be respected so that we can enjoy peace and stability within the various communities but they must respect human rights and know where to draw the line.
As a result, any traditional leader who enters the political space and attempt to interfere with the democratic rights of the people must learn from King Mswati who is fast becoming unpopular with the people because of his involvement in politics. King Mswati is a major player in our local politics but when political scandals emerge, he always try to hide behind the Government and a sitting Prime Minister forgetting that he is actually the Government and must account for its political blunders.
We know that most traditional leaders are violating the rights of the people within the various communities, corrupt members of the Inner Councils are grabbing land from orphans and widows for their own benefit, people who raise their voices are intimidated in the King’s name.
Senator Themba Masuku should not drag the traditional leaders into the political battlefield and try to discourage people from demanding their right to be ruled by a democratic government, we don’t exist at the mercy of Chiefs or the King.
Furthermore, it is important to remind the Acting Prime Minister that the name of King Mswati does not intimidate us anymore, we want to respect traditional leaders and a King who respects human rights, we don't want political bullying.
In conclusion, let me emphasise that any sane traditional leader who understands the dangers of dragging Chiefs into politics must call the Acting Prime Minister to order, we know he is a weak political leader whose leadership had never been tested but he shouldn't destroy our way of life while trying to provide a political point. He must demonstrate leadership and defend the Tinkhundla system without politicising traditional structures.
It should be understood that nothing can stop the people from organising a protest march calling for the abolishment or the removal of Chiefs if they are a symbol of oppression. Chiefs must remain respected uniting figures within their communities and promote justice for the vulnerable including orphans and widows while keeping a safe distance from politics.
We may differ in political opinions but we have a permanent interest as citizens of this country, our binding interest is that we are Swazis and we don't want political opportunists like Themba Masuku to destroy our true identity while trying to prove a political point.
Acting Prime Minister Themba Masuku must stop politicising the role of Chiefs, this will make them unpopular with the people.
Acting Prime Minister Themba Masuku