Friday, July 5, 2013


The governance of the Swazi people is solely dependent on the Swazi people. Even though that is not the reality in Swaziland but such are the dictates of nature. Nature did not put kings and queens upon the earth but people. It is either it was through choice that the people decided to crown kings and queens as their rulers or through force where those at an advantageous position imposed their will on the people. But the burning question is either kings come about through birth or if maybe it is conquest that gives kings and queens legitimacy.
Prince Masitsela: A veteran taker of
the Swazi royals

It is within undisputed Swazi history that Swazi kingship was acquired through conquest even though the conquest was bloody and cowardly. To conquer people by inviting them to a hunting expedition and then ambushing them while they were focused on game is a cowardly act and a shame but it is what it is and it forms part of our history. All we can do now is look forward and try to find the best way that should point us to a brighter future.
The first thing that the Swazi people would do could be to completely get rid of the Monarchy institution and install a republic style of governance. As much as it is my opinion that such a government would be the ideal government under the present global circumstances but it is also my observation that Swazi people are still so much sentimental over culture, tradition and the institution of the Monarchy that they wouldn’t accept a government that seeks to do away with what might seem like the root of tradition and culture.

So it becomes very clear that getting rid of the monarchy as an institution could be met with much resistance from the people, at least for now.

The second point of option would be to get rid of the Monarch as an individual. Of course that would mean that if we are getting rid of the king, the regular entourage consisting of Mahlaba, Masitsela, the queen mother and basically all of royal incorporated would have to go, including the Mambas that have been sticking to the self-appointed royals like a bad habit.

The argument to this is that the present king is king because of conquest but this time around it is the people that will conquer through debate and not bloodshed. After conquest then the people will install their king and the Swazi “tradition” that has the present line of kings being kings will be maintained. It is a lie that a Swazi king is born because this kingship was acquired through conquest, and thereafter those who conquered installed their offspring. So the conclusion, judging from history is that a Swazi king is not born but the kingship is acquired through conquest. That is tradition so we must stick to it.

But having gotten rid of the king and all those that are of the mind that the institution of the monarchy is an institution for personal accumulation, and then we would have to break with tradition and choose a king. As this might sound as breaking with tradition but it is not because such has been widely practiced in many places around the world where it is the people that choose the king. But the chosen king would be the overseer of the tradition and culture and must have nothing to do with governance of the country because that is where compromising the Institution of the Monarchy comes in. Otherwise we cannot guarantee that an elected king cannot pull a Sobhuza 11 stunt on us. So the separation of government and tradition must be strictly enforced.

When king Sobhuza 11 was warned against being the head of Imbokodvo because it was going to compromise the institution of the Monarchy, he ignored the advice and went ahead championing a political party. It was not too late afterwards that this mistake came to haunt him and it forced him to do one of the greatest mistakes ever made by a Swazi  king, second only to Mbandzeni’s mistake when the latter signed over the independence of Swazis for a mere 12 000 pounds a year.

When king Sobhuza 11 made that proclamation in 1973 he turned Lozith’ehlezi into a hideout for a mafia gang that had hijacked a country through a coup de tat. In short Sobhuza 11 defiled the royal house, and it is up to us as Swazis to make that right again.

My personal gripe with the present Monarch is that he was warned by Somhlolo that money would be the death of Swaziland. Actually Somhlolo was advising future kings against the dangers brought by the love of money, but the royals had to sell the story as if Somhlolo was warning the nation when it has been pretty clear that it was the royals that were more at risk to be corrupted by money. We see the present king worshipping money and completely oblivious of the people because money has blinded him. It may seem that the dream was tailor made for Mswati 111 because money has made him to forsake his people.

Swazi kings knew criticism as a thing that was part and parcel of kingship because a king not scrutinised is a rogue king. The nation could go as far as insulting the king and the king would take that in his stride because he knew that the survival of the institution of the Monarchy depended on such scrutiny. But this tradition of scrutiny has been killed by the present king and some of his predecessors. If anybody so much as opposes anything that has to do with the royals and the regime, then that person is thrown into jail or forced into exile. So it is honour’s opinion that a king who thinks himself as above the people he leads must be replaced, and since the royal family has shown between 1982 and 1986 that when they have to install a king they focus more on fighting, so it should fall upon the Swazi nation to choose its own king. And such an undertaking must comply with the following but not limited to:

1.       The king must be voted into office

2.       The king must only deal with issues of tradition, culture and heritage

3.       The king must serve a limited term

4.       The king must not handle any finances

5.       A queen must  also ascend the throne

In case this is wrongly construed, let me clarify. As a Swazi citizen I am asking my fellow Swazi citizens to consider removing the present king and to install a king that will respect Swazi traditions and not allow traditionalists to use our girl children for political ends. It is my request to fellow Swazis that let us install a king that will do more than buy sneakers for the youth. Let us install a king that will not insult our youth by dangling a piece of meat once or twice a year. A king more concerned about the people than private jets. Let us install a king that will be more concerned with increasing the number of houses for Swazis and not with increasing the number of the cars he has. And that a queen can be as equally capable of overseeing issues of culture and tradition.

We all know that the Prime minister is not the problem, but in fear of confronting the root of the problem we all run to take jibes at him. The Prime Minister is just a worker that was employed for his shrewd character. When the time comes he will have to account for his crimes in a just court of law, but in the meantime let us not deceive ourselves and face the institution of the Monarchy and the Monarch himself because that is where all the problems are manufactured. Let us not pretend to be fools and behave as if we don’t know where the problems emanate.

Then after installing the king, let us install a government that will serve the people. Let us install a government for the people by the people. In Africa we are the last absolute Monarchy. This is not because we are unique. This is because we have been lied to for too long. We have gullibly bought into the deception of the royal family because they had no choice but to lie to us, otherwise the wealth of Swaziland would have to be shared among all Swazis and that would greatly reduce the bank accounts of the royals and the elite, and that wouldn’t rest well with them because over the years they have developed insatiable appetites for material accumulation which is caused by greed.  For this we only have ourselves to blame because we have deliberately submerged our heads in the sand when we knew very well that we were being lied to, but pitifully wanting to believe that we were a unique peaceful people we slept our freedom away and now is the time to awake and take control of our destinies.
Honestly speaking, was I to be made the sole decider, Swaziland would be a republic tomorrow.  But I have walked among fellow Swazi citizens and I have heard their articulations and their murmurs. I might be wrong but considering what I have heard and what I have seen, a republic is not the conclusion of the people, but a government completely independent of the interference of the institution of the Monarchy is the conclusion I hear; a Monarchy whose purpose is culture, tradition and heritage, and a Monarch who has enough control over his greed as not to meddle in the financial deliberations of the taxpayer. This is what I hear the people saying. What i hear is that the people have just about had enough of the sticky finger tendencies of the royal family and the elite.

Before I get misconstrued, let me clarify. It is not the Monarch that the people say they love but the institution of the Monarch. When the people talk about things that they love about the Monarchy, they mention culture, tradition, and the pride of being Swazi that is found in heritage. Of course Swazis being Swazis will parade numberless sets of white teeth as they show make-believe smiles because the regime judges merit through the quality of the smile directed to the royals in order to reward. And those that are sincere are mostly recognising the institution than the Monarch himself, because if truth be told, powerful is the unifying force of an honourable king. But I would be lying if I could say anything honourable regarding the king of Swaziland. Of course I might be wrong and subject to correction but I doubt that very much. In the army it is said that it is not the person that the soldier must respect but the rank that that person holds. In Swaziland such is the behaviour of some of the people as they seem to love and respect Mswati 111 when it is actually the throne that they are kneeling to. There is not much that Mswati has done that can command the respect of the people, and I fear that it is too late to earn that honour.

I will also challenge king Mswati 111 to prove if the people love him or not. If for three years in succession he can hold incwala (kingship ceremony), umhlanga (reed dance) and all the other traditional celebrations without giving the people any food to eat and if on the fourth year the people would still be coming in droves, that would be prove that the people love him. If he can give all Swazis enough land which they can totally own independently of the chiefs, and thereafter the people still present cows and money as gifts, would be proof that the people love him.

My take is that people come so much in droves to the royal celebrations because the nation is hungry and the taste of meat, even if it is twice a year is a novelty especially after some sightseeing on government transportation. The reason why people are giving so many gifts to the king and the chiefs is because the chiefs are holding the land at ransom and if the people do not pay the ransom which is the fine, the gifts and the other myriad tributes, then the chiefs will withhold cultivation land or the subjects can be totally evicted. Whatever other love that the people talk about for Mswati is fake love manufactured through force and cruelty, like the kind of love of a lady and her abusive “lover”, and the reason of the lady staying in the relationship being that if she could dump the fool, the idiot would kick her out of the house and she would be without a roof over her head. It goes without saying how abused women sing praises of their lovers and how they run back to the abuser’s arms after being beaten to a pulp.


1.       THE TAKERS: Those that use the system as a tool of accumulation, the royals and the elite, which I would accuse of insanity if they didn’t love the king because he is the person that keeps the milk cow steady so that everyone can steal some milk.

2.       THE DESERTERS: Then there are those that believe that with the appropriate person at the helm the institution of the Monarchy could be reformed well enough for it to serve as a tradition-anchor and a governing tool. These have a half love half hate relationship with the king but they dare not find fault with the king as they code their anti-sentiments in the richness of the siSwati language which can slap you with an insult so romantically that you will be left smiling. But it is also good to note that this group doesn't seem to have a clear picture on how the institution of the Monarch can achieve the use of power without abuse. They seem to assume that an absolute Monarch can be a constitutional Monarch at the same time; I always accuse this group of suffering from a bootlicking hangover. But the danger of these people come across as those that have tasted some power and would like to enjoy the power in their terms, and those that are still in power but don’t seem to be able to position themselves at the apex of the juicy morsel; so you could say the latter are those that shit in the plate they are being fed from. If I was the system, I would get rid of them like yesterday.

3.       THE OPPRESSED: This group is the subject of many a disillusioned political analyst and the cause for lengthy arguments as to who is who and who is loyal to whom. These are the 70% that live in abject poverty and the majority of the working class. Once in a while one or so of the elite would jump into this group when they feel disillusioned by their fellow takers but mostly this is the group of the oppressed.

 There is also another group that I wouldn't know where to slot,but I might just add  them here. There is a group of academics that once in a while peep into the progressives’ camp carrying bags full of bright ideas and they spill them into the debate space and as some try to point out the shallowness of weekend warrior tendencies, others are in sheer awe of academia’s offspring because none is more eloquent than this group. Every word that comes out of the mouth is so clean as if the inside of the mouth has been thoroughly sanitised. Being the bounty hunters that they are, they quickly disappear into their flourishing careers and successful businesses because they have ascertained that the struggle hasn’t come close where it could be financially viable and however high the position held there is none whatsoever in the form of monetary reward. Some don’t go without having tasted the frustration of holding a high position that does not pay in currency but in gratitude. But of course there are those that are sincere, that after burning themselves out, they take some time to recover. The sincere are very few though.

 Otherwise this super group consists of a small percentage which fall into the camp of progressives and another small percentage that fall into Tinkhundla regime camp. The rest of this group would form what would be termed as a swing vote. In America they normally refer to this group as the swing state. This is the undecided people. These are the people that don’t even know there is a need to decide until they are persuaded to decide. These people live their lives as the circumstances allow them and the chase of survival is so harsh that all that matters is the means to survival.  A priest would come and offer them a morsel to eat, and they will accept the gift and declare their love for him, and if a criminal came along they would take whatever he was offering and show him gratitude and love. As soon as the priest and the criminal leave, they wouldn't even have time to analyse the good Samaritans. If you were to ask them about the criminal and try to ascertain what they thought of him, all they would remember is that the criminal gave them a means to survival and they would sing his praises. This is the group that would be found singing to high heaven at traditional ceremonies in anticipation of the feast that is used by the royal regime to entice them.

 So my advice to career political analysts and journalist is not to try to extract some quotes for a non- fiction piece from this group; especially under such conditions because the person will honestly tell you that s/he loves the person that is about to give him/her the meat. Hunger has never created a rational thinker. Thought processes of a hungry person are informed by the intensity of hunger, and only two rationalizations exist there. One is towards being thankful to the giver and the second is defending the giver lest s/he be harmed and lose the ability to give. Hunger is concerned with the moment, there is no future, and there is no past, all that exists to hunger is the now. Hunger is very selfish because it thinks only of itself, hence hunger being such a good tool to divide people. So many journalist and analyst have used the sentence, “I love my king”, as if it defines the orientation of this group. And such journalists and analysts fail to investigate deeper into such strange behavior  then they go publishing a story that is devoid of truth, presenting the Swazi person as one with a "strange" behavior when such is totally explainable. 

 If I could be more honest I would also add that as the people parade the fake smiles and nauseating bows, the love of the royals is the furthest thing on their minds. Others think of juicy pieces of meat they would be sinking their teeth in later and others dream of meeting individuals with relevant surnames and connected connections in order to work their way up into landing an appointment-position through the king. Most want to be seen as loyal as to find the favor of ruthless chiefs whose relations with their subject are strictly based on tribute extraction. The boot-licking at the royal ceremonies is just phenomenal  Others have been so indoctrinated that they truly believe that they should act the part of the rag that the royals wipe their feet on. Others come seeking a distraction from the daily struggles that they go through almost on a permanent basis. Many young ladies truly hoping to be picked by the king as a wife so that they could escape the grind of rural living also present themselves at the slave market. 

The accumulation system for the Swazi Royal family is tribute-extraction and if tribute is not surrendered “willingly” by the subject, then it is extracted ruthlessly, so the subject has to act accordingly, even if it to say that s/he loves a person s/he doesn't love.


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