Friday, March 11, 2011


Did Barnabas Dlamini, Swaziland’s illegally-appointed Prime Minister, offer to resign, or didn’t he?

Reports circulated across the world yesterday (10 March 2011), that Dlamini had seen King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, to resign, but the king had refused to accept his resignation.

Today, the press in Swaziland are reporting a terse statement from Dlamini’s office saying he did not offer to resign.

But do we believe it? The Times of Swaziland, the kingdom’s only independent daily newspaper, reported the PM’s statement, but seems (to me at least) to be less than convinced.

It reports today that rumours about his resignation started last week.

‘The reports alleged that Dlamini informed his Cabinet of this decision last week Tuesday at their weekly meeting.’

The Times reports, ‘The resignation was linked with some of the challenges that Cabinet is currently facing, and the explanation was that the Prime Minister had buckled under the pressure. Cabinet has been rocked by an issue of six of its members, including the Prime Minister himself, acquiring Crown land in the city of Mbabane at discounted rates.

‘The issue of the land has been the subject of a parliamentary select committee that has, for the past two months, been probing the circumstances surrounding the acquisition of the land.

‘The Prime Minister appeared before the select committee last week Monday. The Chairman, MP Charles Myeza, has indicated that the committee would release its report next week. While the House of Assembly committee was still probing the transactions, the Senate also ‘bit’ into the issue and the Prime Minister walked out in the middle of the debate after he was informed that he was not allowed to make submissions as he is involved.

‘Recently the Prime Minister, in an interview with our sister publication, the Times Sunday, said there were people who were out to ruin him.’

‘Yesterday, the reports of Dlamini’s resigning took another dimension as the banned Swaziland Solidarity Network issued two statements on the Internet.

‘In the first statement SSN announced that Dlamini had resigned and in the second statement, yesterday evening, it alleged that the King had refused to accept the resignation.

‘The Prime Minister yesterday dismissed all these reports as untrue.

‘He said he has not resigned nor has he even considered resigning.

‘Dlamini said he is committed to serving the nation until his term of office expires.’

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