Eswatini Protests

The ongoing protests for democracy which were once peaceful took a turn for the worst, the killing of the innocent has begun, and the silencing of voices is now in full swing

The only absolute monarchy in the African continent is in shambles due to the reign of a power hungry and greedy king.

The #EswatiniProtests came to be after MPs who are advocates for democracy asked the government to rethink its system and adopt an approach that catered for the people of Eswatini allowing them the chance to elect their own Prime Minister, they suggested constitutional democracy which would exclude the King from actively participating in politics. After these submissions were made in parliament citizens in other constituencies embarked on a nationwide petition delivery which urged the rest of the MPs to investigate this issue.
When this seemed to be gaining momentum the parliament banned the delivery of petitions which is the silencing of the little voice they had, the people of Eswatini did not take this lightly and chaos manifested,
Did you know that in 2017 the Eswatini government began to shut down newspapers that were critical of the King’s government and the extravagant lifestyle he continues to live, but with the emergence of independent online media it is becoming impossible for the government to censor information put online. For more information on this kindly check out the Swazi News Website.
Now that you know how tacky the government is, their obsession over censoring the masses is loud and is not new to them either an attempt to shutdown a newspaper for being objective and then succeeding in doing so is enough for one to conclude democracy is something the king despises.

The Kingdom of Eswatini’s government goes to the extent of carrying out unlawful arrests on activists that oppose the systems on charges that are flimsy (sedition and terrorism) this leaves the activists languishing behind bars or out on bail without a charge attached to them for years. In other cases, charges are kept alive or maintained even after the high court dismisses the regulation.
The Protests
The youth of Eswatini’s protest which began on a peaceful note in the Manzini region on the 20th of June, for the right to choose a prime minister of their own democratically instead of having the King do so turned sour when violence erupted and the torching of buildings, businesses linked to the king and the looting of shops began in Matshapa. The protesters also forced for a shutdown of The Times of Swaziland newspaper accusing it of being a pro-government institution. The Violence erupted the minute the acting Prime Minister Themba Masuku suspended the submissions of petitions to the Tinkhundla Traditional Administrative Subdivisions.

In a statement he assured the nation that the government had been keeping up with the protests and would address their grievances, yet they had already unleashed the authorities on the people, the nerve! Also, what are you addressing if you closed the channels used to submit such?
In a statement issued by the Spokesperson of the Swaziland Solidarity Network which is a south African based solidarity movement Mr Lukhele said that the delivery of petitions was the first step and that the government had been given until the end of July to respond to all demands contained in the petitions which the constituencies would then deliver the same petitions to the regional administration. If the government fails to accede the demands of the people, the people will then resort to making the country ungovernable until their demands are met. He then said that the declaring of the POA not being procedural and crushing it in a brutal manner has only fanned the flames of what is gradually becoming a nationwide revolt.

The Southern African Litigation centre which is a non-profit organisation has also come out to condemn the violation of human rights in Eswatini.
The Economic Freedom Fighters have also come out to condemn and call out the King of Eswatini.
On Wednesday SWATCO, the Swaziland Youth Congress had reported the deaths of at least 21 people the movement posted on its social media profile on the different platforms that they were offline due to the shutdown of the internet, and they confirmed the killings of 21 Swazi patriots also assuring that they were not going to back down until the age of democracy dawns upon them.
In a bid to conceal these deaths the military was said to have dumped the bodies of the ones they killed in the fire that occurred at the Swaziland Beverages Company in Matshapa.
This is a clear indication of the regime utilizing the internet blackout as a chance to invade the homes of people, conduct unlawful raids assaulting people randomly and then going on a killing spree with the hopes of being undetected!
On the 1st of July, a Twitter user had this to say:
“I just need you to know that more than 40 people have been confirmed dead in Eswatini what’s happening there now is a crime against humanity and must be condemned as such. Swati people are the least problematic people in the continent. All they want is economic liberation”.
On the 2nd of July Mduduzi Simelane later gave an update on Facebook which confirmed the number of deaths had risen and that it had gotten to 60 also stating that the authorities were being assisted by a foreign force. That time there was an interview conducted by BBC with Sikhanyiso and she twisted the whole thing protecting the image of her father and shifting the blame onto the ‘foreign mercenaries’ as she states it- she also lied about her awareness on the lives lost quickly diverting the attention to that of her kingdom being under attack.

The People of Eswatini demand that the king stop the police and army from killing unarmed civilians, that SADC and the AU force the king to engage in an all-inclusive dialogue and for the world to help with humanitarian support and relief efforts in the kingdom.
To The AU and SADC what happened to the spirit of UBUNTU? What happened to your sense of humanity? How many more lives are we to lose for the fight for our freedom? How long are you going to turn a blind eye on the evils that are taking place? DO SOMETHING!

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