Friday, November 7, 2008


People who support political parties in Swaziland should be beaten up and denied any form of legal representation, according to a Swazi chief.

The Swazi Observer reported yesterday (6 November 2008) that Chief Mnikwa of Hhelehhlele in the Northern Hhohho ‘left many in stitches when he branded political parties as “liars” with the sole intention to destroy the government’.

The newspaper doesn’t record whether the chief’s audience laughed because they could see the chief is a fool or because they agreed with what he was saying.

In Swaziland political parties have been banned since 1973 and this week the Commonwealth Expert Team that observed the Swazi elections in September 2008 called for political parties to be allowed in Swaziland and for the Swaziland Constitution to be rewritten so that Swaziland can become a democracy.

It would seem that such serious issues are not to be reported in the Observer, the newspaper that is in effect owned by King Mswati III.

According to the Observer, Chief Mnikwa said, ‘I am saying no to political parties in the country. These people’s main agenda is to pronounce false statements about the country. They are now and again talking about baseless, endless and meaningless concerns.’

The Observer added, ‘The chief said these people need to be hurried down to Esibayeni to be dealt with accordingly.

‘“There are no lawyers allowed to represent them once brought into that place. It will serve them a lesson. They deserve thorough beatings not to make the useless noise again,” said the chief.’

The newspaper went on, ‘Meanwhile, he congratulated Dr. Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini for his appointment to the position [as Prime Minister].’

Dlamini, who was illegally appointed by the king last month, was previously Prime Minister from 1996 to 2003 when his term of office was noted for his complete disregard for the rule of law in Swaziland and the reign of terror he unleashed against the Swazi people.

The Observer reported the chief saying, ‘We are happy that His Majesty, through your great work during your tenure as PM, has given you another opportunity to lead his government. We assure we will fully rally behind you and cabinet.’

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