Troika toys around with political groupings

By Lunga Masuku
MBABANE – Hopes were raised when the Government of the Kingdom of eSwatini announced that the Troika Organ on Peace and Politics under the banner of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) was going to visit the landlocked kingdom to investigate the cause of recent violent protests.
Meanwhile, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Thuli Dladla on Wednesday flatly denied that government had a hand in the selection of groups to appear before the Troika organ.
“The Government of the Kingdom of eSwatini did not give them any names, please check with them,” Dladla briefly said on Wednesday.
Those hopes were dashed just after about three days when the body had started its work when it was learnt that three entities were left out of the list of organisations expected to meet the Troika consultative process.
According to a letter written by Thulani Maseko, who is the chairperson of the Multi-Stakeholders Forum on Tuesday, he said it had come to their attention that some political parties, such as the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), Communist Party of Swaziland (CPS) and the Swaziland People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), among others, have not been invited to meet the SADC Troika organ.
“We understand that in particular, PUDEMO has been singled out on the basis that the government alleges that PUDEMO was a proscribed entity under the Suppression of Terrorism Act of 2008 as amended.
“As the multi-stakeholders’ forum, we are deeply concerned about this exclusion of, as it may have catastrophic effect on the legitimacy of the recommendations that the technical team will make to the principals, we kindly enquire whether these organisations were indeed excluded from the fact finding consultative process, if so on what grounds,” read the letter in part.
Maseko implored the technical team to spare no effort in ensuring that no organisation is left out, in particular political parties, as this is fundamentally a political process arising from a governance problem in Swaziland. It was their view that any form of exclusion will result in the legitimacy of the fact finding mission being legitimately questionable.
Retired University of eSwatini Political Science Lecturer, Dr Petros Qambukusa Magagula, popularly known as Dr PQ, that Troika was serious with its work it should engage everyone and they were not to pick and choose.
“Whoever is behind the omission of key stakeholders will be guilty should the situation turns ugly in the not distant future,” Dr PQ briefly told Siyalu Media.

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