Today, the Swazi people will rise up against the long regime of King Mswati III in protest against the government and this will continue for the next three days. They are demanding that the King and his cabinet step down immediately. This day correlates the day Mswati’s father, King Sobhuza, suspended the countries constitution in 1986. People are hoping to gain momentum from the success of the protests in Egypt to force a regime change.
Swaziland suffers from a budgetary crisis precipitated by a collapse in revenue from the Southern African Customs Union, and the Times of Swaziland reported on Tuesday that even senators appointed by the traditional “Tinkhundla” parliament were calling for the resignation of the cabinet – according to All Africa News.
Criticism against the government is that they have failed to deal with poverty, unemployment, and the high rate of HIV/AIDS.
The Swazi Press reported, “Police arrested key leaders of the protests on Monday and Tuesday morning; The government instructed bus owners not to allow groups to hire buses to take Swazis to a large protest planned for the commercial centre of Manzini on Tuesday: Buses that were running to Manzini were being stopped and their passengers detained at police stations; and Police stationed at the protest venue were rounding up protesters.”
“International investors are reluctant to invest in Swaziland because of the lack of democracy. Statistics indicated that Swaziland faces high levels of inequality between rich and poor because more than 70 percent of the population live on less than $1 a day,” said Maxwell Dlamini, president of the Swaziland National Union of Students. He said more than 300 000 people in Swaziland depended on aid and that this was reason enough for Mswati to be removed.
Pray for the people of Swaziland and as they go through a critical period of time. Pray that no matter the result, there is change that comes to the Swazi people to experience economic breakthrough and democratic freedom.