Good morning Eswatini – A New Day is Dawning
The small Southern African country of Eswatini, formerly known as Swaziland, has been embroiled in a time capsule where she is experiencing an existential crisis. A crisis that led her to witness beforehand precipitation of eclectic monologues where she is searching for herself in herself.
Mbabane, the capital of Eswatini, over the previous months has been witnessing and experiencing the worst violent political stance in its history, almost four decades later after she attained her independence from Britain in 1968. Eswatini is the last remaining absolute monarchy in Africa, this means that everything that pertains to and concerns the governance of the territory is solely dealt with and handled by the king, King Mswati III. The monarchy is facing what can be termed growing angst and irk from the subjects. The last existing monarchy on the continent is being questioned over how it has decided to model its way of governance by its subjects. That has been exposed to abject poverty and gross human right violation that may be brought before the monarchy. The model of rulership of Eswatini is a typical example of a modern-day “Feudal system” – a system that has resulted in the rich getting richer, and the poor getting poorer.
What can be determined by paying attention from the outside, is that Eswatini is at a crossroads in its existence where there is a lack of opportunities for the youth who are the most productive members of any economy. There is no access to basic health care however those that are closest to the monarchy have exponentially benefited from the “Feudal governance of King Mswati III”. His royal majesty’s luxurious taste for the finer things has exposed himself, his family, and those closest to him to gross public scrutiny that has accelerated the calls of his own subjects to revolt against his “dictatorship-like tendencies”. The opulence of King Mswati III can be likened to such interesting names in world history such as Mobutu Seseseko of the Democratic Republic of Congo and King Louis XVI of France.
The model of governance “feudal system” has unfortunately resulted in a deplorable state where basic human rights such as education, health care and service delivery are expensive. The whole nation now stands against monarchy and demands that allow there should be the existence of political parties in Eswatini where democratic elections take place for people to choose their desired Prime Minister, reducing the powers of the King to ceremonial purposes.
However, the objection from King Mswati III in adopting this model of governance is deeply rooted in the monarch’s own fears of being taken to court and been tried for gross human rights violation, corruption, among other allegations that may be brought before King Mswati III.
The unfortunate death of a 25-year old Law student Thabani Nkomonye allegedly caused by traffic police officers sparked a blaze of outrage within the country. The people understand that their rights are being violated by a family. The citizens of Eswatini are calling for the model of governance to be transformed from absolute monarchy to at least a constitutional monarchy or delete the whole system that has resulted in stunted growth in the kingdom. The people are calling for a state that is governed by the people, for the people and where there is a contest between political parties that understand that Eswatini should pursue a particular trajectory that best benefits everyone in the state.
The current situation in Eswatini carries a similar characteristic of the 1789 May 05 French revolution. The unfortunate circumstances that Eswatini’s subjects are being exposed to carry a visceral vile nasal burning irritating odour that would catapult the nation into a path that would shock the rest of the world. The inefficiency and lack of urgency of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) poses a rhetoric question as to whether “Ubuntu or Unhu still existent in the region or it is a mere conversation that is being charged by persons that do not care about the stability of the SADC region”.
From an outsider’s point of view, one can only sympathise with the people of Eswatini, for they all carry similar aspirations like any other person in this world such as access to basic medical services, the right to ownership of property, access to quality education and being able to leave a legacy for their offspring. What can be noted metaphorically is that Mbabane is a house led by a father that is not listening to the pleas and cries of his children. If a family feuds, what then shall remain of the house?
Eswatini is a typical scene from the political satire of George Orwell’s Animal Farm, “All animals are equal, some animals are more equal than others.”
Good morning Eswatini.
Written by: Nyamutsamba Ivianashe
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.