Monday, September 21, 2009


Just who does Swaziland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Lutfo Dlamini think he’s fooling?

Dlamini who also has ‘international cooperation’ as part of his job title has been telling international investors, ‘give us your money but don’t tell us how to run our country’.

OK, he didn’t use those exact words, but that’s what he meant when he addressed a meeting to launch a company called Nomakanjani Scrap and Recycling. I’m not sure Nomakanjani Scrap and Recycling is much of an ‘investor’ - it’s hardly an international conglomerate, in fact it’s owned by three people and one of them is Lufto Dlamini’s brother.

Lufto told the meeting that outsiders shouldn’t complain on Swaziland’s behalf. ‘The system that we use to run the country was chosen by the majority of Swazis. It is the same majority that will change it, if and when they want to. For now we love our King, we want our King and the Tinkhundla system of governance,” he said.

He said Swaziland was a kingdom by choice and the Swazi people like it as it is.

As I have often asked before where is the proof that the Swazi people ‘chose’ the present Tinkhundla system that allows King Mswati III to remain sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch and where political parties are banned?

Because the system continues doesn’t mean that the Swazi people approve of it, it just means they can’t (yet) do anything about it.

Lufto said it bothered government when foreign investors came into the country with the intention of investing and turned around to dictate terms on how the country should be ruled.

As usual he didn’t give any evidence for the assertion: which are these companies telling the government to democratise? I can think of many international human rights-based organisations that try to expose the undemocratic regime, but even if they hate the way the ordinary Swazis are exploited they continue to give aid. Just think if they did withdraw help, something like 600,000 Swazis (out of a population of about one million) would go hungry.

International investors are really only interested in making profits, not in ‘democracy’. Just look at the way the Taiwanese textile industry exploits Swazis in its factories for proof of this.

I’m not sure why Lufto had to warn his own brother about interfering with the kingdom’s politics, but he went on to say that ‘Swaziland was so far the best country in the world’.

Best country? Who ran that election – Swaziland Election and Boundaries Commission?

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