Taiwan-Swaziland diplomatic relations, a self-enrichment tool for King Mswati



BY : ZWELI MARTIN DLAMINI

The diplomatic relations between Swaziland and the Republic of China on Taiwan does not only deprive our country economic growth benefits that comes with Mainland China, but it is fast becoming a tool for King Mswati’s self-enrichment.

It is very disturbing to note that our country choose to go against the entire African continent by maintaining relations with an Island that seems to lack a clear development framework to assist this country except to blind us with donations. As a Nation with about 70% of its population languishing in poverty, it is surprising to see our leaders taking decisions that seeks to deprive the ordinary citizens the jobs and business opportunities that comes with diplomatic relations with the Mainland China. As the economic challenges in our country deepens, we are left with no alternative but to start questioning and or scrutinizing even decisions taken by the government to ascertain if they were taken in the interest of the country. This include the highly questionable diplomatic relations with Taiwan, an Island regarded as a breakaway from the Mainland China. As the situation stands, it’s possible that King Mswati might be having undeclared interests in Taiwan that forced him to maintain relations with this Island. King Mswati’s leadership style has proven to be merely on self-enrichment as opposed to establishing a strong economic foundation for this country.



The King has taken advantage of Taiwan’s desire and desperation to be admitted as a member of the United Nations to cash millions of US Dollars that comes as gifts and or donations at the expense of the struggling Swazis. Let me state categorically that it is shameful for a country whose economy is struggling to maintain diplomatic relations with an Island that shower it’s leader with donations compared to establishing an economic framework with one of the largest economies in the world. The Republic of China on Taiwan and their ally King Mswati, must know that some of us want development that will benefit even the next generation not donations and if the tiny Island is here to capture the King and “colonize” our country, they must just voluntarily leave before we start getting deeper on these issues. The diplomatic relations between our country and Taiwan allows the King to loot our taxes while on the other hand; the Island came in and sponsor projects like the rural electrification. When will our government be responsible and fulfill its social obligations when we busy accepting donations, it is the monies collected by the revenue authority that should be funding these projects. It is my observation that as a country we were made to believe that we couldn’t sustain ourselves without Taiwan when in fact the challenges we facing emerge from poor decisions influenced by self-enrichment desires from King Mswati. It would be shameful for us as citizens to allow Taiwan to use our country like a “condom” merely because they are desperate for our vote to be recognized by the United Nations, the question is what will happen once they achieve their agenda?

I am very concerned with the way this country has been governed. Even in the history of the Monarch one of our late Kings was blinded with a gift, that’s why we lost land to Boers in South Africa for a mere 100 cattle. Now, almost two hundred years later, we are faced with a huge task of protecting this country from King Mswati who seems to be blinded with gifts that comes in millions from the Taiwan government, he doesn’t seem to care or maybe understand what this means to the future generation of this country. Well, this might not come as a surprise as we are ruled through dictatorship where one man decides for all of us without any consultation, the poverty could not be described as a curse but a product of oppression. After all, the royal family and government officials including the Prime Minister are able to fly to Taiwan for medical check- ups while the ordinary citizens are left to die in the various hospitals and clinics where there are no drugs. In my own perspective, this is an indication that Taiwan might not be necessarily a diplomatic partner but Swaziland is now deep rooted in that Island where some members of the royal family and children of high profile people are allegedly residing and studying.

But it is not only about members of royalty residing in Taiwan that concerns me but it’s the decision for this country to ignore such economic opportunities that comes with the Mainland China in favor of an Island that consistently gives us donation. King Mswati, driven by greediness had on numerous occasions taken decisions that seek to enrich him while reducing this country with so much human resource into a Nation that can only be sustained through donations, what kind of leadership is the King demonstrating? That the Republic of China on Taiwan has now become one of the major funders of government services should worry us. Instead of working towards fostering economic growth for the development of this country, we seem to be content with receiving handouts. The problems we are facing as a country comes back to the way we are governed, under a normal democratic government there wouldn’t be resistance to terminate the relations with Taiwan in favor of the Mainland China. As the situation stands, it seems the Taiwan government managed to capture the King by offering him huge benefits while the poor Swazis were tricked with the rural electrification sponsored by the Taiwan government. As country, we don’t want to be reduced into a Nation sustained with donations from Taiwan when in fact we are capable of electrifying our homes should our leaders take decisions that seeks to improve the economy.

In fact it is the duty of the Swazi government to fund project such as the rural electrification as part of it’s social obligations, the main reason we are made to bow to Taiwan donations is that our taxes are stolen by the Royal family particularly King Mswati. In 2014, Khabonina Mabuza, the then Finance Ministry Principal Secretary was fired for disclosing that R200million was stolen by the Royal family from public coffers, this money could had made a difference for such projects that we are then told were funded by Taiwan. It is surprising that even the Swaziland Revenue Authority (SRA), the very same institution that collects taxes received funds from Taiwan for one of it’s data base projects and one wonders where the money collected goes, why are we being made fools in this country? This then comes back to the sentiments that as Swazis, we shouldn’t be fooled into believing that diplomatic relations with Taiwan benefits us through these projects; our country is capable of fulfilling its social obligations, should we mitigate corruption within government and the royal family. We need establish diplomatic relations with a country that will teach us how to fish not the Taiwan government that seems eager to feed us; this cannot sustain our children in the future.

Let me state clearly that the problem with our country is that decisions are not taken in the interest of the people but it is the royal family that comes first. Her Majesty the Queen Mother Ntombi Tfwala has been frequenting Taiwan and we don’t know what she is doing there. If it’s true that she regularly visit Taiwan for medical check-ups, the question is, why are we not constructing our own hospitals and then employ highly specialized doctors from these countries. The reason Royalty is neglecting and looting our country is that it seems to have a “back-up” plan in Taiwan and they enjoy services in that country while poor Swazis are struggling.

In conclusion, let me state clearly that the country should consider terminating the diplomatic relations with Taiwan; we need economic growth not donations. As already mentioned, if Taiwan government donates to us in return for our lobbying for the Island to be admitted by the UN, what will happen to us once they achieve their agenda?