Southern African Development Community (SADC) delegation continues to engage with different stakeholders in Eswatini. This is part of their fact-finding mission after the citizens of Eswatini took to the streets a few weeks ago calling for democracy a few weeks ago.
During the protest action, infrastructure was destroyed and more than 70 people were allegedly killed by law enforcement agencies.
This is the second time SADC is visiting Eswatini this month. SADC is currently engaging pro-democracy groups such as political leaders and civil organisations.
Among other things, the citizens of Eswatini are calling for the unbanning of political parties. They also want to be allowed to vote for a prime minister of their choice. Speaking on behalf of the Swaziland Multi-Stakeholder Forum, Mary Pais Da Silva says their meeting with the SADC delegation on Monday, was a success.
“And their questions directed us to talk about political and security in the country and the causes of the disturbances that we have seen over the past few weeks. So what we discussed was the historical context of the political system in the country coming from the 1973 and the 2005 constitution that does not allow political participation. ”
Pro-democracy groupings boycott the national dialogue called by King Mswati III :
Member of Parliament, Mduduzi Simelane says they are now pinning their hope on SADC.
“The question is- will they have the capacity and power to help the country to get into a dialogue and solve all problems? Or it is just one of those exercises with no tangible solution coming thereafter. We were told that they will report to the team of ministers. I guess that team of ministers would then go forward to the president. That is where I’m not sure if they are reporting will bring the desired fruit and the desired fruit being the setting up of a proper dialogue in Eswatini. That dialogue we are sure can you give us the best way forward.”
Simelane says although they are not happy with the manner in which the prime minister is appointed, they are expecting the newly appointed Prime Minister, Cleopas Dlamini to put the needs of the citizens first.
“ Coming close to him as a person, I would urge our people and say let’s give him a benefit of the doubt. It is up to him to decide; either he wants to go to the books of history as the trendsetter of our country, as one of the people who brought change. Or he would opt to be among those who suffocated and killed our people.”
It is reported that the situation is currently calm in Eswatini as the SADC delegation continues with its mission.