King Mswati’s speech during opening of the second session of the eleventh Parliament was actually an outright lie from the Throne full of propaganda that seeks to mislead the Nation regarding the social, economic and political situation in this country.
The King, with intend to strengthen his dictatorship rule, suggested that democracy should be grounded on cultural values and further emphasized the importance of respecting elders.
Democracy means a government of the people and by the people, it fosters transparency, openness and good governance in the public interest.
It allows people including Parliament the right to interrogate and criticize a speech or any conduct of a Head of State because any decision by those in power impacts the Nation. Democracy means the Executive remains accountable to Parliament as the only legitimate arm of Government where people enjoys representation, not this dictatorship where an appointed Prime Minister becomes the head of the Legislature.
However, in complete violation of democratic values, Swazi culture allows the King to wake up in the morning and lie before a fully packed Parliament in his speech from the Throne and participants are expected to shout “Bayethe” even when the speech doesn’t make sense.
Indeed, for all these years, the King has been promising the people that government will take care of the elderly, orphans, people living with disabilities among others. However, what followed the previous speeches was the purchasing of private jets, Rolls Royce cars, BMWs, the construction of a multi-million International Convention Centre and Five Star Hotel for himself. It’s a pity that, unlike in South Africa where the President’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) is debated by Parliament with the intention of holding him to account, in this Kingdom of eSwatini, MPs are restricted from debating or criticizing the King’s speech. Instead of debating the speech from the Throne, these MPs are expected to present cows to the King and thank him for addressing Parliament and making these ‘empty’ promises. It is for these reasons His Majesty the King has been misleading the Nation for all these years, he is surrounded by ‘yes men and women’ who are always careful not to say anything that might upset him. Those around the King are protecting their positions, so they can continue to loot as much as they can, for they know in the absence of a political sustainability framework, the system will eventually collapse.
The King’s speech comes at the time when the education and health sectors are collapsing due to government failure to pay for Free Primary Education (FPE) and further provide drugs in hospitals. Despite that people are dying and headteachers are wondering where to get the next meal for pupils and other resources to run the schools, the King’s speech suggests all is well.
But then, we shouldn’t be surprised because the King has never walked to Lavumisa and the other areas affected by food shortages to get first-hand information regarding the situation in this country. King Mswati has never visited the various hospitals around the country so he can understand the pain these Swazis are subjected, to him, the glittering of Mandvulo Hall his Palaces, and the over E2billion personal wealth suggests we are indeed moving forward to the First World Status.
Where will the money to develop this country comes from as almost everything collected by the revenue authority goes to the royal family and companies linked to royalty receives preference when government pays suppliers? As a country, it seems we are in serious trouble as the leader is not prepared to address the social challenges in this country. Businesspeople are currently worried about their investments after the People’s Republic of China(PRC) banned Swazis from travelling to that country and the King’s speech was supposed to give direction on how this crisis would be address, however, he pretended as if all is well.
The King never said anything regarding the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for civil servants but emphasized the importance of strengthening the collection of domestic taxes, where will the tax base comes from as companies are closing down.? Well, those who are intelligent, will note that this speech is almost the same as that of last year and some few years back, it came with some minor editing. Even next year, we will be told that government will take care of the elderly, orphans, people with disabilities, at the end, things will remain the same if not worse.
King Mswati III