Eswatini crisis degenerates into terrorism


King Mswati III

from SAMBULO DLAMINI in Mbabane, Eswatini
Eswatini Bureau
MBABANE, (CAJ News) – ARGUABLY one of the world’s most neglected crises lately, the catastrophe in Eswatini has degenerated into a guerilla warfare that is escalating by the day.

The month of November has undoubtedly been among the most restive in Africa’s last absolute monarchy since the conflict between the King Mswati III’s administration and the pro-democracy movement debased into bloodshed in mid-2021.

Last Saturday, a militant group killed Chief Prince Mahloma of Zandondo, said to be a relative of the king.

He had been held hostage in his home since the previous day with the assailants recording the ordeal, according to informants.

This incident, and the recent spate of police killings, attacks on some companies linked to Mswati III, indicates Eswatini is the latest country to be on the throes of a terror group.

The so-called Swaziland International Solidarity Forces (SISF) has claimed responsibility of the chief’s killing. It has defiantly claimed responsibility of the other killings and arson in recent weeks.

The SISF is shrouded in mystery.

It claims to be on a mission to restore the dignity of the emaSwati but its chilling modus operandi is akin to a terrorist group.

This week, SISF razed to the ground properties of companies that Mswati III is said to have a stake or owns.

Shops and vehicles of the said businesses were burnt.

Losses were reported to run to thousands of Dollars.

On Monday, it emerged the king had summoned the media to his palace, the House of Dlamini, in Lobamba, a co-capital with Mbabane.

In response, the government was at the time of publication contemplating a curfew to curb further unrest.

At the session with journalists at the palace, it was alleged state-controlled media ordered to falsely report an increase in COVID-19 cases as a justification for the curfew.

On Tuesday, a newspaper reported Eswatini had recorded a staggering 87 percent daily increase in COVID-19 cases!

Activists are not impressed with what they believe is propaganda.

“Coming up with schemes and scams to sustain the current status quo that has created so many grievances and strife won’t work,” activist Qhawe Magongo said.

“They should initiate all-inclusive dialogue, release MP’S and accept that if there’s one thing that’s constant, its change,” he added.

Mswati III’s administration this week issued a stern warning.

Acting Prime Minister, Themba Masuku, said the government was taking “drastic and practical steps” amid killings of state security officers and other emaSwati.

He alleged citizens were being influenced with money to perpetrate crime.

“The nation is urged to work with government to create a peaceful environment, that would be suitable for us to dialogue in a free manner and share ideas in terms of how best we build a stable and prosperous country for which future generations shall be grateful to inherit,” Masuku said.

Government has also branded striking junior police officers as terrorists after the aggrieved cops marched to Prime Minister Cleopas Dlamini’s residence demanding a salary increment.

“The march to the Prime Minister’s home was out of order and an indication of terrorist elements existing among the junior officers,” government spokesperson, Alpheous Nxumalo, said at a media conference.

This week, church leaders marched to parliament to demand national dialogue as the solution to the tragic political impasse in the country.

The skirmishes in the former Swaziland are also a cause for concern in powerhouse neighbor, South Africa.

Apart from political and economic ties, the two nations share royal ties.

Newly-crowned Zulu monarch, King Misuzulu kaZwelithini, is a nephew of Mswati III’s.

His mother, Mantfombi Dlamini-Zulu, is a sister to Mswati III.

Mswati III (18 years at the time of coronation) attended the coronation of his nephew, King Misuzulu (48).

– CAJ News





scroll to top