King Mswati III head of state of eSwatini. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP)
King Mswati III head of state of eSwatini. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP)

eSwatini pro-democracy groups reject King Mswati’s call for mediation

By Chad Williams Time of article published Oct 25, 2021

Share this article:

CAPE TOWN - eSwatini’s pro-democracy groups have rejected the king’s invitation to a Sibaya.

A Sibaya is a national annual general meeting that can be convened at any time to present the views of the nation on pressing and controversial national issues, as a platform for meaningful dialogue, according to a report by online news website Swaziland News.

In a public statement released shortly after King Mswati III announced that he would call a Sibaya to resolve the ongoing political crisis, the Multi Stakeholders Forum said they viewed his call as a ploy to mislead the SADC Troika into believing that eSwatini was a dialogue-driven nation.

The country has been engulfed by protests in almost all of its regions since June as citizens call for democratic civilian rule and an end to Mswati’s rule.

The latest flare-up has run for more than two weeks, spearheaded by students, civil servants and transport workers

eSwatini, previously Swaziland, is Africa's last absolute monarchy.

Deputy Prime Minister Themba Nhlanganiso Masuku said eSwatini’s constitution allowed for a change in the political landscape.

Meanwhile, the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the correctional services union has urged members to stop taking unlawful orders to harm or kill civilians, according to Swaziland News.

In a public statement sent to Swaziland News on Sunday, Mzwandile Dlamini, the secretary-general of the eSwatini Correctional Services Staff Association (ECOSSA), said as the NEC they regretted and condemned the ongoing massacre of unarmed citizens.

Last week, nurses refused to treat police officers, accusing the authorities of shooting their colleagues during the pro-democracy rallies that have rocked the southern African country.

Health workers and other public sector employees, who went to deliver a petition to parliament demanding better living conditions, were met with an “unprecedented show of force”, the Swaziland Democratic Nurses Union (SDNU) said in a statement on Friday.

African News Agency

Share this article: