Swazis must stand up and revolt

2018-06-17 10:09


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All of Africa must be democratised so that all people can benefit from the economic fruits that accompany democracy.

It is therefore disgraceful that we still have in our midst a barbaric and oppressive system such as Swaziland’s tinkhundla system, which emphasises devolution of state power from central government to tinkhundla areas and makes individual merit the basis for election or appointment to public office. It is non-partisan because the Constitution does not recognise political parties.

The inclusion of Africa’s last absolute monarch, King Mswati III in the Southern African Development Community troika is an insult to the intelligence of the people of the region and has made the organisation a laughing stock.

Africa has suffered enough due to colonialism and its manifestations. In this century, aptly declared the African century by leading Afro-optimists such as former presidents Thabo Mbeki, Olusegun Obasanjo, Abdelaziz Bouteflika and Abdoulaye Wade, the archaic tinkhundla system should no longer be a negotiable matter. It must be toppled through general civil disobedience and revolution.

It is hypocritical of the international community to voice objections and disgust against Robert Mugabe and the Taliban in Afghanistan, but keep mum on the barbarism of the tinkhundla system. It is responsible for the plundering of Swaziland’s economic resources, and the widespread suppression and oppression of the impoverished majority.

It is disturbing that police and prison officials in Swaziland have no rights whatsoever; instead, they are being used as knobkerries and pangas to legitimise this stinking, archaic system.

The controversy over Zena Mahlangu, who was kidnapped in 2002 while on her way home from school and later forced to be one of Mswati’s wives, was just the tip of the iceberg. More objectionable things happen behind the closed doors of the so-called royal family.

The tinkhundla system enriches a few at the expense of the majority. The system is outdated as it entrenches the docility, feebleness and mediocrity of women, thus perpetuating the fallacious notion that women are inferior beings not deserving of human dignity.

The 1973 decree is a despicable political tool the monarch uses to silence free political activity. Through it, Swaziland has become a police and military state similar to the apartheid state that maimed and murdered thousands of freedom fighters during the struggle for liberation in South Africa.

It must be argued that the monarch should no longer be engaged in political dialogue to transform the political and economic landscape in Swaziland. The only solution is the revolution that should elect a democratic government for all people of the land.

The royal family has been abusing the absolute power the tinkhundla system subjects citizens to, all in the name of culture. They abuse women and oppress the entire populace in the “holy” name of culture. It must be mentioned that, if culture supports the barbarism that is going on in Swaziland, then war unto this culture.

So-called King Mswati should be tried for crimes against humanity for subjecting the people to a blood-dripping, illegal military dictatorship. He should account for the deaths resulting from forced hunger, malnutrition and the scourge of HIV/Aids that continues to ravage the Swazi people.

Ka-Soko is a political analyst

Read more on:    king mswati iii  |  swaziland

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