King Mswati III, the absolute monarch of Swaziland (eSwatini), has appointed Cleopas Dlamini as his new prime minister.
He made the announcement at a public gathering on Friday (16 July 2021).
Cleopas Dlamini replaces Ambrose Dlamini, who died of a COVID-19 (coronavirus) complications in December 2020. Themba Masuku had been acting prime minister since his death.
Cleopas Dlamini was formerly Chief Executive of the Public Service Pension Fund.
Swaziland is not a democracy and political parties are banned from contesting elections. The King appoints the PM and senior government ministers as well as top judges and civil servants.
Groups calling for democracy are banned under the Suppression of Terrorism Act.
Protests have been taking place across Swaziland in recent weeks calling for democratic reforms.
According to Amnesty International, the Swazi government of launched a ‘full-frontal assault’ on human rights in a crackdown on the protesters which left dozens killed by the security forces.
Protesters took to the streets again on Friday in Manzini, the second-largest city, before the king’s address.
Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) Secretary General Sikelela Dlamini told Reuters news agency that police fired tear gas and used water cannon to disperse protesters in the city.
Activists said two people were wounded and that police arrested 15 others.
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