MBABANE: Mswati’s Minister of Finance Neal Rijikernberg has announced that Government has reserved R22 million for the Sibaya national dialogue.
This comes amid massive resistance by the State to release incarcerated pro-democracy Members of Parliament(MPs) Bacede Mabuza and Mthandeni Dube who were arrested after demanding democratic reforms on behalf of the people who elected them, they are facing terrorism charges.
In his budget speech delivered in Parliament on Friday,the Minister said King Mswati has called on all emaSwati to constructively engage in a dialogue, with the framework provided by the Constitution and Sibaya, which is the ultimate consultative and decision-making forum of all emaSwati.
"As our society and economic activity resumes post COVID-19,the Nation now has the opportunity for this dialogue to resume.Government has set aside E22 million in this year’s budget for the Sibaya National Dialogue” said the Minister.
Reached for comments, Mduduzi ‘Magawugawu’ Simelane, the President of the Swaziland Liberation Movement (SWALIMO) described the announcement as window dressing exercise meant to siphon off public funds.
“This is a window dressing tactic as there is no demonstration of a political-will to dialogue from the system. Real dialogue starts by releasing our MPs,agreeing on terms of reference and opening political space for political engagement. This is purely a plan for siphoning public funds. All we need is a political-will to engage,”said the SWALIMO President.
Eswatini is in a midst of a political crisis after King Mswati unleashed his forces to shoot and kill dozens of civilians merely for demanding democratic reforms.
Sibaya where Mswati wants a political dialogue to take place.