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“Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.” – Albert Einstein.

The simmering, political tensions and divisions, respectively, playing themselves out between pro and ant- system of governance proponents in the country are a serious cause for concern.
As I see it, government is seemingly, and, apparently content in folding its arms - deliberately or otherwise - failing to intervene by uniting the people. Government should be taking the leading role in calming down the swirling waters of a political sea which is threatening to drown the whole country in the not too distant future. Granted, superficial calm has somewhat returned to the kingdom. BUT, can we honestly, and, candidly pronounce it with confidence that we have finally achieved lasting peace in the kingdom after going through a very tumultuous, political phase in the recent past? Has government victoriously and permanently managed to crush down any future conflict?

Forced peace or silence is no peace at all. A section of the populace is smarting and agonising over civil authority’s stance of clamping down on its right to protest against what it views as a violation of its fundamental human rights. As much as there is no perfect system of government in the whole of planet earth, but, it is imperative that any section of a country’s populace that is not happy in the manner they are governed is given the platform to voice out their concerns. Using brute force to clamp down on any voices of dissention creates resentment and inevitably, anarchy - something we unfortunately experienced in June 29, 2021. Concerned voices are clamouring to be heard - not to have the door firmly slammed in their faces.


Such voices are also emaSwati who deserve to be heard. It is grossly unfair and immoral for government to blatantly ignore these voices, instead, preferring to treat them as mahlongandlebe - rabble-rousers - whom it views as aliens who abuse the ‘hospitality’ afforded to them. Whichever way I look at it, government, it seems, instead of uniting a nation torn apart by political hatred, seems to be playing an insidious role in perpetuating the division between pro and anti-democracy proponents by failing to play the father figure role of bringing together all its warring children to the negotiation table - endlini kagogo to trash out matters, amicably. The inexplicable, and, perpetually postponed, crucial dialogue process would have gone a long way in saving this country from the widespread divisions which we continuously witness playing themselves out, and, which will surely affect even future generations.

Some in our midst might be oblivious of this division, and, where it is potentially leading to. To those discerning and enlightened enough, it is imperative that they do something before things get worse, and not only take action when it is too late to do so. Conditions are still conducive to act and save this country from self-inflicted destruction. But, for how long will these conditions hold out? We have become a fractionated, and, balkanised nation which is seriously at loggerheads with each other. Raw hatred for, and, hostility towards each others political inclinations or loyalties, now defines us as a nation. We have become a recalcitrant people, rebellious, and, defiant to almost all forms of authority. We despise each other so horribly as members of one family such that I shudder to think what could be the situation right now if we were a nation comprising of different ethnic groups. There certainly would be a violent, ethnic cleansing of sorts. Remember the Rwandan genocide example? Tinhlitiyo tetfu as emaSwati setimbi ngendlela leshacisa lugogo - all because of politics. This is not right; not at all.


We are no longer the emaSwati who used to be tolerant of each others differing views and opinions. Never did I envisage that the time would come when the country will be divided into two, opposing camps - that is, between what some derogatory refer to as ‘bomangololo’ (of conservative proclivity) and ‘terrorists’ (democrats). Unless sane, rational and compos mentis minds foresee the potential, future and long-term consequences of this division, take appropriate action to unite the politically divided nation, I foresee a very bleak, politically (as well as socioeconomically) dangerous and hopeless future for the country which will adversely affect even subsequent generations.

It is very disheartening to note and observe the hatred for those calling for change playing itself out so openly lately. Kwentekani? Life in this country is no longer the luxury we used to enjoy in the past. We are a caged nation, gripped by the deadly throes of hatred for one another - a nation no longer at liberty to freely enjoy our God-given, fundamental human rights.
Civil authority is on the one hand, gradually, but, incessantly pushing out of the political space, systematically purging out, and, blatantly denying many opportunities, including job opportunities to those tagged with the ‘progressives’ tag. Some of our compatriots who are viewed as ‘rabble-rousers’, and considered as hellbent on ‘destroying’ a country which a few warped-minded people view as live labo, are relentlessly getting a raw deal over many issues.


I cannot help but ask kutsi kani lelive leli, doesn’t it belong to all emaSwati na, irrespective of each citizen’s political loyalties? Is it not a kingdom that belongs to all people from all walks of life who were born and bred in this country? Shouldn’t each one of us be given the prerogative of having a stake in the running of the country? Why are those calling for change being so frighteningly, emotionally and physically persecuted, and are relentlessly being viewed as enemies of the state? Why is there lately, a growing use of what I personally view as hate speech, including the use of derogatory names like labelling proponents of change as ‘terrorists’?

It is very disconcerting, disheartening, and disquieting to observe and listen to even some very influential, senior citizens of the country who are proponents of the system, who should be helping unite the people, bakhwela batehlela, calling names those who are not pro-system of governance adherents. Some of these senior citizens are past their sell-by date and are only holding on to life by a thread, ready to be swallowed by the gaping jaws of the grave with no further part to play in the running of the country. Instead of playing a pivotal role of bringing sanity to a divided country, they are intent on perpetuating hatred for those calling for change. On the other hand, I also observe an appalling hatred for authority emanating from those calling for change, including hatred for anyone carrying the ‘conservative’ tag.


Log on to social media to get an inkling of what I am talking about. Spine chilling tinhlamba are incessantly being hurled at our leaders, and among members of different, political formations. The situation is a ticking time bomb, waiting to explode one day, blowing whatever semblance of unity that might be remaining to smithereens. There exists a section of the populace who view themselves as true patriots of the country who regard themselves as more Swazi than the rest of us. From the looks of things, this type of people is seemingly prepared to do anything and everything possible to squeeze out of the political and socioeconomic space all those calling for change. There now exists a deeply perplexing polarisation - a noticeable division into two sharply contrasting camps, groups or sets of opinions or beliefs about how the country should move forward in terms of its political future.

I cannot help but discern that there seems to exist a worrying and systematic purging out of those calling for change from civil authority structures. The country is gearing itself up for elections later in the year. Already, there are noticeable and deeply divisive calls from some quarters for the purging out from contesting the elections of those viewed as enemies of the state. I gave myself some time to go through the preamble of the country’s Constitution to find out what it really contains in its opening pages. What I found there is sharply contrasting to what is actually happening on the ground. The preamble in its opening paragraphs, contains a phrase which acknowledges the name of the Living God - a name God warns us that it must not to be taken in vain - ever: Quote: “Whereas we the people of the Kingdom of Swaziland do hereby undertake in humble submission to Almighty God to start afresh under a new framework of Constitutional dispensation; “Whereas as a Nation it has always been our desire to achieve full freedom and independence under a constitution created by ourselves for ourselves in complete liberty;

“Whereas various vusela consultations, economic and Constitutional commissions, political experiments and Sibaya meetings have been established and undertaken in the last thirty years in search of a sustainable home-grown political order;

“Whereas it has become necessary to review the various Constitutional documents, decrees, laws, customs and practices so as to promote good governance, the rule of law, respect for our institutions and the progressive development of the Eswatini society;

“Whereas it is necessary to blend the good institutions of traditional Law and Custom with those of an open and democratic society so as to promote transparency and the social, economic and cultural development of our nation;


“Whereas it is necessary to protect and promote the fundamental rights and freedoms of all in our kingdom in terms of a Constitution which binds the Legislature, the Executive, the Judiciary and the other Organs and Agencies of the Government;

“Whereas all the branches of government are the guardians of the Constitution, it is necessary that the courts be the ultimate interpreters of the Constitution;

“Whereas as a Nation we desire to march forward progressively under our own Constitution guaranteeing peace, order and good government, and the happiness and welfare of all our people” - Unquote.

Now, my dear people, in relation to this last paragraph of the preamble, can we honestly say it with conviction that we respect our Constitution, allowing it to guarantee peace, order and good governance? I leave that to each one of us to conduct a serious introspection. All I can say is that let there not come a time where we will rue the chances we are deliberately and relentlessly allowing to slip through our fingers - chances of collectively fixing such a beautiful country. In the words of Ellie Weisel, “I swore never to be silent whenever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”