King Mswati III of Swaziland is at it again; he called another pointless national convention (bluffingly calling it The People’s Parliament) to pull wool over the Swazi nation’s face. He apparently last did this back in 2012, and now he has done the same to try and fool the world into believing there is dialogue between him with his cohorts and the people. The Sibaya Convention was called on Wednesday the 3rd August 2016 whereby the nation was summoned to Lobamba Royal Kraal to “deliberate” national concerns; it has gone for days now, even up to Saturday the 6th August 2016.

The so called deliberations are just sugar-coating of a very bitter pill, that of not allowing the nation to critique the very form of government Mswati uses to rule the kingdom. As long as normal citizens voice out their concerns that don’t touch or question the king’s actions, don’t advocate for the legalization of political parties and human rights groups, they are “free” to say whatever they want.

 

Here’s the biggest of all jokes this convention is about: the 2012 convention produced absolutely NOTHING, people were just venting themselves but neither Mswati nor the government did anything to address any of the submissions. I see this as another fruitless exercise, Mswati is only doing this because of the up-coming SADC (Southern Africa Development Community) conference of which Swaziland will be taking the chairmanship of for a while.

 

Some of Mswati’s remarks have been to urge the nation not to picket, not to hold protests and demonstrations during the SADC conference. He’s essentially trying to save face in the presence of his counterparts of which some of them like Mugabe of Zimbabwe is another oppressor just like Mswati. He wants to tell his counterparts that there is democracy in Swaziland and we deliberate issue of national concern… and yet nothing could be further from the truth. It is all about propaganda and he’s successful to some level because I spoke to some friends in Swaziland and are no wiser of what is going on, they think its an opportunity, but they forget we have been here and nothing comes out of these deliberations.

 

Since the voices of discontent are not allowed within the borders of Swaziland, people remain ignorant of Mswati’s tricks, they are being played and cannot see it even though its right in their face.

 

I believe the security forces will be fully deployed to crash any discontent within the kingdom especially during the conference, so it is up to us who are in the diaspora to sound the alarm and expose Mswati tricks to the world.

Viva Swazi Vigil Viva… we will not stop until Swaziland is free from the power clutches of Mswati.


By: Zodwa Dlamini

References

[1]. Colleen Matsebula, 2016; Times of Swaziland; “SIBAYA CONVENTION: A BEACON IN THE DARK”; http://www.times.co.sz/letters/107810-sibaya-convention-a-beacon-in-the-dark.html ; Date Accessed: 06-08-2016

[2]. Mbono Mdluli, Gugu Simelane, 2016; Swazi Observer; “PM, cabinet should be fired”; http://www.observer.org.sz/news/82259-%E2%80%98pm%2C-cabinet-should-be-fired%E2%80%99.html ; Date Accessed: 06-08-2016

[3]. Joy Ndwandwe, 2012; Swazi Observer; “Sibaya System our Indigenous Governance Tool”; http://www.observer.org.sz/index.php?news=43800 ; Date Accessed: 06-08-2016 

[4]. Gugu Simelane, 2016; Swazi Observer; “Inequality causing division in Swaziland - Sibaya”; http://www.observer.org.sz/news/82258-inequality-causing-division-in-swaziland-sibaya.html ; Date Accessed: 06-08-2016