Monday, October 20, 2008


There was more condemnation of Swaziland’s new Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini in the Swazi press yesterday (19 October 2008). Dlamini was illegally selected as PM by Swaziland’s autonomous monarch King Mswati III on Thursday.

Dlamini had been PM of Swaziland from 1996 to 2003 and his time in office was characterised by state violence against Swazis and a complete disregard for the rule of law.

Writing in the Times Sunday newspaper, Musa Hlophe, the co-ordinator of the Swazi Coalition of Concerned Civic Organisations (SCCCO), predicts this of Dlamin as he officially takes up office today, ‘He will arrest a few, or even many opponents of government, his police kill a few in detention, and the whole world will tumble on tiny Swaziland and squeeze it out of existence.’

Hlophe goes on, ‘His obsession with force to keep the order and sometimes total disregard for the rule of law, should send shivers down our collective spines. Yet, this may be the reason the appointing authority has seen to justify his re-appointment. I am among the first to say we condemn violence as a means to resolving conflicts. But, in saying so, we must be seen to be even-handed! As we condemn violence by those who are calling for democracy, we must, equally be seen to condemn violence perpetrated by the State. What I have observed is that violence by the State is somehow condoned, whilst strongly condemning it when committed by those outside power.’

He adds, ‘So, as I welcome Barney back to Hospital Hill, I have this to offer, it can no longer be business as usual, beat up government political opponents and hope the problem will go away. The current situation calls for different skills of engagement. If he seriously hopes to assist his appointers succeed in ensuring peace and prosperity, then force is not going to be an effective strategy.’

To read the full article, click here.

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