MBABANE – Government’s assertion that the ongoing spate of protests had the backing of foreign activists, who brought in the none surrender spirit.
Retired University of eSwatini political science lecturer, Dr Petros Qambukusa Magagula, popularly known as Dr PQ, regards such a statement as an insult to the intelligence of Swazis. Supporting his view, Magagula said no foreigner could tell any Swazi national when to get angry because they understood their country and livelihoods better than any outsider.
“Government should desist from such since it means Swazis cannot feel the pinch of the shoe, saying they need a foreigner to tell them that they should now complain about the pain they were feeling, and such words will aggravate the situation since Swazis have been complaining for such a long time a long time without being listened to,” Dr PQ told Siyalu media.
He said it did not need one to be a political scientist to understand what annoyed any human being, who has been under an environment stifling his/ her political aspirations and basic liberties. He urged government to ensure that they should communicate well during such times in order to allow for reconciliation to take place.
On two occasions, the acting Prime Minister, Themba Masuku has insinuated that there were foreign elements helping locals in the ongoing protests. Dr PQ wondered why the government was not arresting the foreigners it believed entered the country illegally.
The acting PM Masuku was quoted to have said Swazis should be careful of strangers who wanted to lead them astray thus they should stick to what he said were values of the Swazi people of embracing a peaceful negotiated settlement.
On another development, Dr PQ has advised government not to think that unleashing security forces personnel on the citizens would make the issues die a natural death, as he said history should have taught world leaders that when time for change came, no amount of force could stop the people from getting what they desire.
Attempts are already underway to broker peace between government and the warring parties. This came to light when Secretary of the Swaziland Council of Churches (SCC), Reverend Zwanini Tshabalala told Reuters News that they had already engaged the acting Prime Minister, when they had a brief meeting where they introduced their desire of mediating in the ongoing impasse.
“As the church we feel we have a role to play because as the body of Christ we any form violence and it was for that reason we would to see things returning to normality,” Tshabalala told Reuters this week. To further strengthen the peace talks, the Southern African Development Community organ on Peace and Security- Troika members arrived swiftly to eSwatini on Sunday only to find that key stakeholders were not invited to the meeting. However, Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Thuli Dladla was on radio on Monday morning apologizing on the omission of key stakeholders. Siyalu Media has it in good authority that local political groupings were left out and they ended up gatecrashing the meeting and time was already against the guests.
The Kingdom of eSwatini formerly Swaziland has experienced unprecedented spate of protests that saw a number government structures and equipment were burnt by protesters such that the damage was in the region of hundreds of hundreds of millions. Minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade, Mancoba Khumalo said the damage has reversed the country’s gains by over ten years.
Meanwhile, His Majesty King Mswati III recently told SABC that the kingdom did not believe in the barrel of the gun but surprisingly an undisclosed number of Swazis have been shot dead during the riots. Army commander, Jeffrey Gubhuzamlambo Tshabalala was quoted by state broadcaster that the people shooting at Swazis were foreigners using uniform similar to local soldiers. It was interesting that some of these said soldiers they were heard hurling insults in SiSwati even females they dragged out of their rented flats.
Reacting to that, Dr PQ urged government not add fuel into the raging flames if she was serious about the ongoing stand-off. He is of the view that he would like to know as to why were the soldiers failing to apprehend the foreign soldiers since they have already had it in good authority that foreign soldiers were attacking unarmed civilians.
“I refuse to accept the allegation that foreign elements were dictating terms in their presence yet it takes them minutes to silence Swazi activists. They rather say nothing than talking something that does not make sense,” added Dr PQ.