I am sure by the time you read this letter you have already heard about the recent appointment of Prince Lindani and Sicalo to the positions of Director of Economic Affairs in the King’s Office and Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Defence respectively.
To say those appointments were shocking would be an understatement. At a more insidious level, these appointments smack of ‘nitongentani’. This makes us sick to the stomach.
It is the ultimate slap in the face to the many unemployed Swazis who have to bribe, have sex and kiss people’s asses just to get a job. Even his own family members from letinye tindlu are struggling with jobs and opportunities but Mswati now wants to keep it within his own immediate family. Screw everyone else!
Meanwhile, King Mswati’s children draw salaries for jobs they never do. Sikhanyiso, for example, is a police officer, sits at the board of MTN and also member of Liqoqo and Minister.
In all these positions she gets paid. She has never been to any single police station yet she draws a salary as an officer. If at all you have to give your children something, why hoard everything though?
Prince Sicalo already sits as a member of Central Bank and looking at the other board members you even wonder what he says in those meetings. Does he even talk and what do the rest even think to have him around?
Added to this is that both Prince Lindani and Sicalo are high ranking soldiers whose positioning in the two recent portfolios spells disaster for the future stability of this country.
By parachuting his kids into senior positions without any form of work experience, political acumen and academic credentials King Mswati is plantings seeds of chaos. This would be forgivable had it not been for the fact that the king is setting a dangerous precedent that will plunge this country into a conflict that will sure scar this nation way after he is gone.
It was always never advisable to have his kids become soldiers for the future security of this country but to have them parachuted into senior positions in such a manner shows how out of touch the king is about the needs of this nation or public sentiments. He does not care anymore.
The recent appointments undermine the many professionals who have worked hard and deserve promotions and recognition. But not to the king!
Right now these children are controlling portfolios where, unless their political ambitions are castrated, they could very well harm him never mind the nation. We shudder to think what would happen were the king to die with both his sons senior soldiers and now amassing the necessary political clout.
As things stand as a country, we will be casualties of a conflict between factions of the royal family just like we were in the early 80’s after the death of Sobhuza. Our parents were reduced into spectators on a game they should have played.
But even more insulting is what has Lindani and Sicalo done to deserve such senior positions? What is the highest academic achievement they have? Why does the king think that he can do as he please in this country?
Who told king Mswati this is his personal fiefdom? Who lied to him that he has a country because in truth the nation has a king, not the other way round. We are not subjects in this country no matter how many times the king has been made to believe. We are citizens, we pay tax. To have a Monarchy is an honour our king must treasure. Many countries had kings but today they don’t.
We can logically assume that the King’s other children will also want a piece of the ever-shrinking cake. Can we afford to work hard only for the king’s children to have it that easy? What about many of us without jobs and opportunities?
The king must be reminded that we do not owe him anything. We have already given him the love he did not even deserve. We gave him our taxes and he used them to buy all the niceties the world can offer.
We gave him loyalty way beyond what is normal hence he constantly reminds us to give him peace… which must be understood as a code word for unquestionable loyalty. What has the king given to this nation except for an arrogant middle finger at our poverty and suffering?
Over the years we have watched him bend traditions and culture as and when it suits him. We have not forgotten how he treated the late Inkhosikati LaDube right up to her painful death.
The tears have not even dried on the suicide of Inkhosikati Senteni and how the king did not even honour her with a burial deserving of a queen.
If the king can treat his own wives as he does, frustrate Inkhosikati Senteni to a point of suicide, bury his Queens like nonentities, parcel his children to petro dollar rich Arab friends for his own monetary gain and bully his own daughter into leaving a partner she loves or be angry she is pregnant then what of us?
The king does not care about anyone or anything. The king is about himself and no one else. Even his own members of the royal family are frustrated with him. He listens to no one. He excommunicates those who give him sound advice. He has a shocking sense of entitlement that we are his personal property.
We have watched in complete disgust as our university collapsed right before our eyes never mind the many chieftaincy disputes the king has fermented everywhere through placing his relatives on places they know they should not even be chiefs.
He has divided the army. He has driven well meaning business out of the country because he wants to double as a king and businessman. He wants everything and those cowards in parliament and cabinet are afraid of standing up to this bully.
Parliament is busy with phoney wars fighting between and among themselves when the real threat to the country’s security is King Mswati III.
King Mswati has proven beyond any shadow of doubt that he is beyond redemption. He does not care about this country or its future stability. He cares not about the brewing polarisation in the army and what it means for the future stability of this country.
He will be gone when the country erupts into conflict. Yet we Swazis sit and watch one man drag us all down. We ask parliament to stop being cowards and face what is the real problem in this country.
We ask our people to stop voting and participating in King Mswati’s staged elections because it has been proven that it has no power. We ask members of the royal family to stand up to the King no matter the consequences.
We call for inner patriotic spirit that will preserve this country for our children long after we are gone. If this country goes down it won’t be the progressives who will suffer the most but all of us.
We know King Sobhuza was wrong about this Tinkhundla system of government but we never doubted his loyalty to this country. He genuinely believed he was doing what was best for his nation. His patriotism can never be questioned. But this king will sell us to his Arab friends to the very indilinga we were told not to choose.
No amount of whining on social media and lamenting helplessly will change our situation. No outside help will save us. We are on our own. We are the ones we been waiting for.
Swazis, stop being cowards. Our collective future is at stake here. We are sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Ulibambe Lingashoni Editorial