LOBAMBA: King Mswati III has denied ever sending his troops to kill dozens of emaSwati who were demanding democratic reforms.
This is contrary to Princess Sikhanyiso’s sentiments, the Information Minister and first born daughter of the King who told the BBC that there were foreign mercenaries who were killing the people.
King Mswati is facing an investigation by international human rights organizations that include Amnesty International as calls intensify for the absolute Monarch to face crimes against humanity.
Speaking during a Sibaya gathering at Ludzidzini on Friday, the King said it was unfortunate that people felt frustrated by the COVID-19 regulations which saw the banning of petition deliveries such that people resorted to burning businesses and killing each other. He said there were reports suggesting that he fled the country in the midst of the political crisis adding that he never sent the army to kill citizens.
“It is not a good thing to burn businesses and kill people just because you want to be heard. There have been media reports that ‘King Mswati has fled the country to South Africa and later to Mozambique’ which were subsequently followed by other reports that ‘King Mswati unleashed his troops on unarmed civilians’ , How is that possible with King Mswati in Mozambique? They never even announced my return, that’s when you realise that these people who are saying King Mswati this and King Mswati that, are actually smoking dagga”, he said.
Reached for comments, Brian Sangweni, the Spokesperson of the Peoples United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) said by virtue of being the army’s Commander in Chief, the King could have issued the order through digital means .
“We are living in a digital world,there is nothing that could hinder Mswati from issuing an order to his army wherever he was.He could use any of the available digital platforms to issue that order, as the army’s Commander in Chief he will be held to account for these crimes. He is trying to fool the international community that he never issued the order. The fact that he didn’t mention the foreign mercenaries in his entire speech means that this government thrives in lies and his entire speech was also full of lies, we are expecting them to lie even more”, said the PUDEMO Spokesperson.
Eswatini, Africa’s last absolute monarch is facing a political crisis after King Mswati unleashed his army on unarmed citizens who were demanding democratic reforms and an elected Prime Minister as opposed to an appointed one. However, on Friday, the King proceeded to appoint former Public Service Pension Fund (PSPF) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Cleopas Dlamini as the country’s next Prime Minister in defiance of the calls for democracy.