The national dialogue, Sibaya was called following weeks on civil unrest in the kingdom, demanding political reforms among others. Instead the groups organised a march in Manzini.
Security forces swiftly dispersed the group, leading to chaotic scenes in Manzini.
“People were here in their numbers now they have been dispersed by armed police forces and can see the helicopter above but people will regroup. We saw that the Sibaya is empty because people saw that as a waste of time.” says the chairperson of the Multi-Stakeholder Forum, Thulani Maseko.
In Ludzidzini Royal Residence, King Mswati III addressed the nation, taking a swipe at the protesters, describing the civil unrest which left a destruction of property, as satanic.
“The people that were burning building are satanic and they are not well,” said the King of Eswatini.
He also announced Cleopas Dlamini as the country’s new prime minister:
However, a Member of Parliament who has been calling for reforms in the kingdom, Mduduzi Simelane, denounced the King’s address as a shame.
“As we seen now the buses that were sent to ferry our people are empty we know for the fact that they will take the soldiers and the police and dress them privately and parade them as if this is mass. No matter how far a lie will go it will be overtaken by the truth the people want to go to the march at Manzini. We had gun shots since last night trying to intimidate people from coming to the march for democracy but the massage is loud and clear, people are fed-up of the system.” says Simelane.
Residents of Eswatini also raised concern over the fuel shortage that’s caused by riots in South Africa.
The country gets most of its fuel from Durban in South Africa’s province of KwaZulu-Natal.
“We have a crisis of fuel as a result some people when they get to the filling station the fuel is finished. The situation is becoming worse and some cars are left here by motorists.” says Mbongwa Dlamini, a resident of Eswatini.
“I have never seen a shortage of fuel like this in this country. I believe it is caused by the looting and burning of trucks in Durban and truck drivers are afraid” says Shaka Makhanya, another resident.
More than R500 million has been set aside to rebuild infrastructure destroyed during the recent protests in Eswatini.
Eswatini dismisses as false reports that King Mswati III has fled the country: