Monday, July 25, 2011


The call by King Mswati III’s top man for a state of emergency to be called in Swaziland to beat the economic crisis is unconstitutional.

Prince Logcogco, the chair of King Mswati’s advisory council Liqoqo, wants the state of emergency so that the Swazi government can impose wage cuts and other measures without consultation.

As I reported yesterday, (24 July 2011) he told the Times Sunday there was too much delay in tackling the economic crisis, caused by ‘endless negotiations’.

In a state of emergency, the newspaper reported him saying, ‘government was going to enforce things that have been proven to be ideal for economic transformation’. The newspaper did not give details of what these measures might be.

Logcogco might want to take this drastic action, but to succeed he would have to tear up the Swazi Constitution.

Section 36 (2) clearly states a state of emergency would not be lawful unless

(a) Swaziland is at war or circumstances have arisen making imminent a state of

war between Swaziland and a foreign State;

(b) there is in Swaziland a natural disaster or imminent threat of a natural

disaster; or

(c) there is action taken or immediately threatened by a person or body of

persons of such a nature or on so extensive a scale as to be likely to

endanger the public safety or to deprive the community or a significant part of

that community of supplies or services essential to the life of the community.

What Prince Logcogco really wants is power for himself and King Mswati, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, to deal with the crisis in any way they see fit. Which, of course, means in ways that ensure the monarchy and the Swazi elites do not have to give up their power and privileges.

It also shows us how committed Logcogco is to the constitution that he is willing to tear it up at the first opportunity.

See also


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