King Mswati III demonstrated how powerful he is as the absolute monarch of Swaziland / eSwatini by ignoring provisions in the constitution when he selected a Prime Minister and other members of parliament following the September 2018 election. He also appointed eight members of his Royal Family to the kingdom’s Senate and six to the House of Assembly.
Full results of the elections, which were widely recognised outside the kingdom to be illegitimate because political parties are banned from taking part, have still not been released. There were also reports of bribery and other voting irregularities.
These were some of the stories that appeared on the Swazi Media Commentary website in the final three months of 2018 and compiled in Swaziland: Striving for Freedom, Volume 32 which is available to
Swaziland faces a period of continued unrest because the elections were unable to change anything, according to global analysts Fitch Solutions. Risks to stability in the kingdom are growing, it said. The Government – handpicked by King Mswati – continued to lurch from one financial crisis to another and pensions were not paid to the elderly.
On a more positive note a church in Swaziland openly welcomed LGBTI people but discrimination against this group of people remains rife. A ground-breaking documentary on life as an LGBTI person in Swaziland was released on YouTube and focussed on the first ever Pride event that took place in June 2018.
Workers continued to be oppressed and riot police invaded a hospital during a peaceful nurses’ protest. Police were sent into schools to invigilate exams during a teachers’ pay dispute. A conference revealed four in ten sex workers in Swaziland had been raped by uniformed police officers.
Swazi Media Commentary is published online, updated most weekdays. It is operated entirely by volunteers and receives no financial backing from any organisation. It is devoted to providing information and commentary in support of human rights in Swaziland.
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