ALMOST EVERYBODY WAS ROOTING FOR THE SUCCESS OF THE KING
The coronation of King Mswati 111 brought temporary relief to an embattled palace, and popular democratic activists sensed a shift in the balance of forces which favored giving the young king a chance to give the nation some political direction. According to Ray Russon, ‘the coronation brought a lot of hope to a lot of people’, and this led PUDEMO to
…. Give the young king an opportunity to assert himself. But after two
years it was clear that he was not addressing the fundamental problems
faced by the country. It is for this reason that in January 1989 a statement was
released by the movement, reasserting itself in demanding more concrete
action towards democracy.
Whatever legitimacy the coronation gave to the institutions of the monarchy was clearly short-lived. From 1989 onwards, the pro-democracy movement intensified its activities, ultimately transforming itself into a mass social movement and shifting the balance of forces against authoritarian rule.
(The above is an extract for “When the sleeping Grass Awakens” by Richard Levine, the title and the subtitle is my authorship)
|The Selfishness and greed of one man has led to a nation|
under siege by the royal cabal.
My submission: Ray Russon could not have captured the mood more appropriately concerning the times. The PUDEMO that is now seen as a rabble-rouser did ‘hold its forces’ in order to give an opportunity to the young king. Actually almost everyone was rooting for the young king. I am ten years old at the time, and I too am more expectant than a woman in full term. Had the young king shown to be a just and an honest person who had respect for democracy, I am sure that PUDEMO would have worked very much along with him. But one of the first things that the he does is talk about upholding the ‘traditional’ institutions, and everybody who somehow comprehends politics at the time knows very well what the young king is saying.
It is very discontenting to then hear institutions like Sibahle Sinje bragging about “protecting” the institution of the Monarchy as if the rest of Swaziland unreasonably took a stand to question this institution. What upset the people was that from the beginning Mswati 111 was unapologetic on how he wanted to maintain Swaziland as his personal property. He was not even a decade on the throne and as a nation we had to contend with the tantrums of a king demanding a private jet. Hunger is rampant, HIV/AIDS is building a strong foundation and what the king is more concerned about is getting a private jet. When the dialogue is supposed to be the development of the people, the young king swerves the dialogue towards the Fokker 28 and the Fokker 100 airplanes, and in the meanwhile acquiring a fleet of exotic cars.
Had Mswati 111 been concerned about the welfare of the Swazi people, Swaziland wouldn't be having the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence in the world that it has today. The young king walked into the midst of those that had prepared the throne and forgot the people in whose name the throne existed, hence today the king sheds tears as those that prepared the throne keep demanding perpetual tribute and surely it has been proven that there is no honor among thieves.