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Eswatini has reached a very critical phase in its political calendar. It’s the election year.

We are left with three months to have a new Parliament. This is the season in which smear campaigns or pull-you-down syndromes would emerge, solely and systematically to draw attention from the appointing authority. We are now beginning to see people who have been hiding their heads under the sand praising the Tinkhundla System of Government as if they are from a bush to deal with military guerrillas. For the politics of the stomach, they speak as if they are actually the inventors of this political system. Where have they been when Tinkhundla System of Government was under attack from all corners? There was a time when almost all of people we know to be diehards of the system were quiet and monitoring the prevailing political situation under their beds.

Now, some of them; are out of their shells. They have the guts to issue orders to emaSwati to ship out of Tinkhundla System of Government if they do not support it. Where have they been? All of a sudden, we are being made to listen to cowards. I have realised that a fairly large percentage of the supporters of the Tinkhundla System of Government cannot die for it. Of course, they cannot die for tinkhundla. Neither did they employ a cautious approach to the civil unrest which zipped their lips nor giving support behind the scenes, but, as a matter of verified veracity, they enjoyed sitting on the fence. They are politically active now, apparently in their efforts to get royal appointments to the House of Assembly or Senate. They are fully determined to scandalise their nemesis to get media attention.


They think His Majesty King Mswati III won’t see that they are pulling will over his eyes. King Mswati is not 29 years of age. He is a fully-grown up adult at 55 years, and he can easily detect falsehood and machinations that are being engineered for personal gain. These systematic and clandestine strategies do not serve the interest of the country. But, they are meant to put food on their tables. They are hungry. It is an undeniable fact that there were a few people who put their lives at risk during the political turmoil. Thabo Kunene had declared himself as a ‘commander’ of the underground forces. Some emaSwati, including a school head teacher from the northern Hhohho, was kidnapped. Soldiers, police and correctional officers were killed by underground forces.

Chief Mahloma from the royal family was assassinated. We waited for Tinkhundla diehards to come out in support of either the institution of the monarchy or the political system or at least to calm the situation in favour of a peaceful dialogue. There were four people who were brave enough to take on the underground forces with statements that condemned the attacks on civilians and security officers. These are Senate President Pastor Lindiwe Dlamini, Sihle Dlamini, the King’s Interpreter, Deputy Prime Minister Themba Masuku and Alpheous Nxumalo, the Government Press Secretary. I cannot include Prince Simelane because I don’t support his approach to situations that are considered explosive in the political space. From the mass democratic movement, I know for a fact that the four above mentioned emaSwati are considered as elements thwarting the political transformation of the country. I doubt Sihle can enter a PUDEMO hall and come out unscathed. I wouldn’t be surprised at the unconfirmed reports that he is the most hated among the supporters of the call for multiparty democracy.


The chapters on Alpheous Nxumalo and DPM Masuku are open for all of our people to read. They refused to hide their heads under the sand. They were politically stubborn. I thought emabutfo (regiments) would stand up in support of the political system. In fact, I thought they would, on a frequent basis, open the door to the newsroom to issue statements on what we ought to have done to address pockets of insecurity in the country. I understand they don’t feature prominently in the politics of the country. However, ladies and gentlemen, we cannot divorce culture and tradition from the Institution of the Monarchy. The traditional structures, Liqoqo, Ludzidzini Royal Council and Border Restoration Committee alongside Ligunqa were nowhere to be seen.

Their silence was too loud that His Majesty the King had to do the space work, mincing no words in his speeches as he sometimes criticised those he viewed to have been hell-bent on sowing the seed of discord in the country. Not happening quite often, but there was a time when the King had to take on Godrich Ahmed Gardee for defaming him. When you like something, I was trained to die for what I love. That is why you can’t intimidate me with death. Security officers die in their line of duty. If you say you like Tinkhundla System of Government as you have been claiming, you are a total compromiser if you quickly disappear from the limelight when your own political system is under attack.


When audios were released to social media by the self-styled ‘commander’ of the Swaziland International Solidarity Forces (SIDF), Pastor Lindiwe Dlamini called upon Prime Minister Cleopas Dlamini to explain in writing what actions he had taken to deal with the threats made against the country. Despite giving them a platform to effectively and robustly address the issue, I don’t remember any senator condemning the threats in a manner that would have captured media attention. Pastor Lindiwe wanted to know whether the people who issued the audios were known to the police. She also called upon the prime minister to state if he knew the instigators of violent threats. “Do the police know them? If yes, what steps are being taken to deal with such behaviour?” asked the senate president. That was bravery.

Responding to her concerns, the prime minister said social media was all about information dissemination and mobilisation of people for acts of anarchy. He said social media was a new challenge facing the police. The premier said it was a challenge that was difficult to deal with, given the reach of social media and its borderless aspect. However, he pointed out that the source of the audio was under active investigations. He was positive that the producers of the audios would ultimately be caught by the long arm of the law. The questions and responses are contained in a report on the Office of the Prime Minister – First Quarter Performance Report for the financial year 2022/2023. In his humble plea captured in his preamble, the prime minister said the resultant frustration of the people , particularly the youth, was understandable but violence and destruction would never be a solution. “If anything, this is the time for unity of purpose and collective efforts to address our challenges as a nation,” the prime minister appealed.

Let me take you back to February 2022, Pastor Lindiwe, brave as she were, advised parliamentarians to pay allegiance to His Majesty King Mswati III. She said members of Parliament were always required to demonstrate utmost standards of integrity, loyalty and patriotism. Patriotism is the feeling of love, devotion, and sense of attachment to one’s country. She was speaking during the official opening of the 4th Session of the 11th Parliament. She pointed to the fact that it was vital for the parliamentarians to pay allegiance to the country’s flag.


She reminded the legislators that they were the custodians of national independence, self-determination and national sovereignty.  “As parliamentarians, we are the custodians of our national independence, self-determination and national sovereignty. As a result, we are required to demonstrate the utmost standards of integrity, loyalty and patriotism (particularly allegiance to the throne and to the flag),” she appealed to the members of Parliament. The throne refers to the King. To fly the national flag is a sign of pride and patriotism. It is a positive affirmation of loyalty and commitment. It marks out a country that has confidence in itself, and is comfortable with its place in the world, its history and its future. The red in the Eswatini flag stands for past battles, the blue for peace and stability, and the yellow for the resources of Eswatini. The central focus of the flag is a Nguni shield and two spears, symbolising protection from the country’s enemies.

There she was again, hitting the snake on the head. She said they would not forget the dark cloud that engulfed the country as a result of the civil unrest where the nation experienced elements which were foreign to the core of what represented them as emaSwati. The president pointed out that they did not adequately meet some of the standards of conduct befitting of parliamentarians. “Be that as it may, we will ensure remedial measures to avert these shortcomings will be taken to address this in the coming session as articulated in our Strategic Plan 2022-2026,” she assured the King. The presiding officer applauded the King for his patient leadership and love for the nation. She also praised Ingwenyama for his wise leadership towards peace building which also led to the involvement of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the envisaged national dialogue through Sibaya.  

The senate president extended their appreciation for His Majesty’s insights and wise counsel in establishing the Reconstruction Fund that was created as a response to the unfortunate events in order to lend a hand to the businesspeople who bore brunt of the violent damage to property during the civil unrest.  She said while they acknowledged the dynamics of a modern society characterised by a very high demands and high aspirations, it was her humble and considered view that the Eswatini society has from time immemorial been capable of addressing all its challenges through constructive and peaceful means.


The senate president, seated in front of the King with Speaker Petros Mavimbela, pointed out that the core values of respect for elders, respect for one’s dignity, tolerance, non-violence and unity have always displayed emaSwati’s basic identity. She regretted that these time-proven values in modern times were under threat despite the fact that they gave emaSwati the unique identity.  The president of Senate mentioned that the continuance of these values hinged on the truthful conduct of both parliamentarians and the citizens at large. In honour of His Majesty’s wish, the former Cabinet minister said they would bring together all measures to help Eswatini move forward and develop in leaps and bounds. The presiding officer of the Upper Chamber said they have an obligation as legislators to lead by example in a way that would foster unity in the Kingdom. “We are only strong and formidable as a united force, a force that continues to ascribe to the values that make us unique emaSwati,” she said.  For this speech, Speaker Mavimbela can also be applauded by those who support the Tinkhundla System of Government. I was following the events with keen eyes. I know those who have the tinkhundla at heart and I am also aware of the compromisers.