LOBAMBA: One of King Mswati’s sons had a telephone conversation with this editor that lasted for over thirty(30) minutes on Tuesday afternoon.
The Prince told this journalist that he was one of those who were eager to see the country ushered into a new democratic dispensation but mentioned that he was worried about their future as Emazinyane(Princes).
“I want to know if we, Emazinyane (Princes) will still get paid under the new democratic government. Ngisatochubeka ngiwatfole yini lama-million ami ? Kodvwa-ke Mlangeni uma kwehliswa lemali kungamele kucalwe nga-Sikhanyiso, loyo utfola R6million ngemnyaka nje wekutsi uyiNkhosatana, aholele kuba yi Cabinet Minister, aphindze atfole nabo housing allowance kodvwa abe ahlala eNkoyoyo, nango-ke umuntfu lokungamele kucalwe ngaye(meaning: I want to know if I will still receive my millions under the new democratic government. But if it happens that our pay is reduced, it must start with Princess Sikhanyiso, that one receives R6million per year just for being a senior Princess and also a salary as a Cabinet Minister. She also receives a housing allowance yet she stays at Nkoyoyo, I think if a decision is taken to reduce our pay, it must start with Sikhanyiso”, said the Prince whose name cannot be revealed for ethical reasons.
Efforts to reach Information Minister Princess Sikhanyiso proved unsuccessful as she had not responded to our questionnaire at the time of compiling this report.
But in the midst of the conversation, the Prince consistently asked the editor if their payment as Emazinyane won’t be stopped to which the editor responded by saying that would be discussed and determined by those who would be part of the political dialogue.
“I am planning to approach the Queen Mother, you see, if we can give Indlovukazi at least twelve(12) months and ask her to speak to her son to allow democratic reforms. Then if that fails, after the twelve months, the protests can continue”, he said.
Reached for comments, Wandile Dludlu, the Secretary General of the People’s United Democratic Movement(PUDEMO) said the proposed political dialogue was not merely about who would benefit what and how but its primary objective was to restore peace and stability through democratic means.
“The political dialogue is not about who benefits what and how but it seeks to restore peace and stability through democratic means. But we want to state clearly that the first beneficiaries of the public resources will be the majority of the people”, said the PUDEMO Secretary General.
King Mswati, a multi-billionaire rules eSwatini as an absolute Monarch with Executive, Judicial and Legislative powers, the country has about 70% of the population living below the poverty line.