Saturday, November 22, 2008


People in Swaziland have been banned from talking about King Mswati III and the war he has declared against his own people.

Jim Gama, who is known as the ‘traditional’ Prime Minister and has more influence over Swaziland than the real PM, has issued an edict to say that the king’s subjects must not refer to the king’s speech ever again.

The speech in question was made last month when King Mswati III illegally appointed Barnabas Dlamini as Prime Minister of Swaziland. Introducing Dlamini to his subjects, the king told Dlamini to get the terrorists and all who support them.

True to his king’s command, Dlamini has enacted the Suppression of Terrorism Act 2008 and last week branded four political formations as ‘terrorist’. The day after his announcement Mario Masuku, President of one of the organisations, the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) was arrested in a charge of making public statements in support of terrorism.

According to the Swazi News today (22 November 2008) Gama has banned people from talking about the king’s speech. Gama argued that the king ‘was in an emotional state when the remarks were made’.

There is no indication what will happen if people are caught discussing the king.

Gama may be too late. Already rumours have been sweeping Swaziland about the king. It seems to be generally accepted that the speech the king made was ‘emotional’, but it is less clear why he was so emotional. There have been suggestions that he has been drinking heavily.

In media release earlier this week, SWAYOCO, the Swaziland Youth Congress, went a lot further. It stated, ‘Of late, our palace insiders inform us, Mswati rarely has both the time and capacity to think properly. During the day, he is both flirting and giggling with barely nubile girls or is “consulting” with his evidently senile henchman, Barnabas. And for a better part of the night he is often, very typically, ogling and salivating at the nudity of girls in Big Brother Africa at midnight. A king plagued by midlife crisis!’

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