Wednesday, October 22, 2008


King Mswati III of Swaziland has incited violence against those seeking democracy in the kingdom.

This statement comes from none other than Swaziland’s only independent newspaper the Times of Swaziland.

In an editorial comment yesterday (21 October 2008), the newspaper points out the irony of having King Mswati III chair the Southern African Development Community ‘troika’ meeting, which was supposed to find a settlement to the electoral stalemate in Zimbabwe.

The Times says, ‘How ironic that Swaziland has played host to an all important SADC heads of state meeting, troika to broker peace between warring factions in other Southern African countries.

‘This, just days after the chairperson incited violence against the opposition.’

The newspaper was not specific, but it was referring to the king’s decision to illegally appoint Barnabas Dlamini as Prime Minister and to publicly instruct him to get the ‘terrorists’ in Swaziland and all those who support them.

Dlamini was previously Prime Minister of Swaziland from 1996 to 2003 and his term in office was characterised by a reign of terror against the Swazi people and an almost total disregard for the rule of law in Swaziland.

The Times has no real sense of irony because it goes on to say that the way forward for Southern Africa, including Swaziland, is to allow forums in which issues may be discussed.

This statement from the Times comes only one day after it shut down the comments section of its own website that allowed readers to comment on news of the day. Readers often were in opposition to King Mswati and his government.

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