By Esther Banda
LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-Eswatini’s leading political party People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) is daring SADC to help in meaningful democracy in that country.
The call comes as King Mswati’s administration is being accused of killing eight unarmed civilians over the past months and wants him to account for the fatal actions.
PUDEMO President Mlungisi Makhanya told Maravi Post that the people of Eswatini formally Swaziland just like others in region deserve the right to democratically choose a government of their own.
Makhanya observes, “What we are having in Swaziland is absolutely the only monarch on the continent that is enjoying legislative, judiciary and executive powers.The government in Swaziland is selected by the King without any meaningful participation by the citizens.”
“So people of Swaziland decided they have had enough since the banning of political parties in 1973 and now we want a prime minister democratically elected by the people and allow free conduct of political activities,” added Makhanya.
Makhanya also pleaded with the new SADC chairperson who is also President of Malawi His Excellency Dr. Lazarus Chakwera to ensure that concerns in Swaziland and Mozambique are well put into consideration.
“We also want the people of the region to stand up in solidarity with the people of Eswatini and other countries experiencing gross human rights abuses,” said he.
He added, “It is definitely possible to have democracy because we do not think that the people of Swaziland should remain as a museum of backwardness while the people of the region are living under democracy.”
Malawi’s Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Rejoice Shumba explained that SADC has different structures that deal with various issues one of which is Double Troika being headed by President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera and the Organ Troika by Matamela Cyrill Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa.
In a written response, Shumba said, “Regarding the issue (Swaziland) at hand, it falls under the mandate of Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation which is headed by His Excellency Ramaphosa.”
She added, “The Organ Troika has already been engaging the Kingdom of Swaziland on this matter and do eventually report to the Troika of SADC which is headed by President Chakwera.”
Shumba also said the SADC Organ Troika met in Lilongwe, Malawi on August 16, 2021 2021 and comprehensively deliberated on the matter to come up with solutions to address emerging challenges that are threatening peace, security and stability of the whole region.
“Therefore, among other issues, the outgoing Chairperson of Organ His Excellency Dr. Mokgweetsi Masisi of the Republic of Botswana reported on the Mission he undertook in the Kingdom of Swaziland to the SADC Summit,” she added.