Swazi dissident Mfomfo Nkhambule has formed his own cabinet of ministers to oppose the undemocratic government of Swaziland.
Nkhambule, who is under threat of banishment from his homeland or a spell in jail for criticising Swaziland’s King Mswati III, said he wanted to topple the present government.
In what will surely be seen as a smack in the face for Barnabas Dlamini, Swaziland’s illegally-appointed Prime Minister and his government of ministers which was formed unconstitutionally, Nkhambule has gathered 16 members of the Inhlava Forum political party to create a government in waiting.
Nkhambule, a former Swazi Government cabinet minister and present chair of Inhlava, said he wanted to force a change in the Swaziland Constitution to allow for a new democratic parliament.
At present, all political parties are banned and parliament is in effect controlled by King Mswati, the last absolute monarch in sub-Saharan Africa.
In an interview in the Times of Swaziland published today (16 March 2009), Nkhambule said Inhlava would topple the government ‘gradually’.
‘We will first have a structure of a cabinet within the organisation. People will have to monitor our progress, and when they gain confidence with our way of governance – we will then take over.’
He declined to name the 16 people who would form the new cabinet.
According to the Times, when asked what would happen to King Mswati when they took over, Nkhambule said the king could be given certain powers, but most would rest on the government of the day.
‘He will not be stripped of his title as he will remain the king, but play a different role,’ he said.
Writing in his regular Monday column in the Times today, Nkhambule continued to criticise the role of King Mswati in Swaziland.
He wrote, ‘Do not forget that whoever gets appointed into Parliament or elected into Parliament is appointed primarily to serve the interests of the king and those who are close to the king. There is nobody in Parliament to serve the interests of the majority because there is no majority in Swaziland.
‘The Parliament is His Majesty’s Parliament and so is the judiciary and the cabinet. Do not expect any MP to see anything wrong with what is done by those that are in the corridors of power.’
He added, ‘Those that have eyes to see and brains to think big, know that the present political set-up is not in any way meant to address any of our concerns but those of the king.’
The latest move from Nkhambule may be seen as an act of treason in Swaziland. Already he has been hauled before Swaziland Police’s Intelligence Unit and threatened with 20 years in jail if he continued to write newspaper articles that were critical of the king.
It has been said that if he did not do as the police said he would face torture.Nkhambule has also been told he will be expelled from his local traditional regiment if he continues to advocate for democracy.
Last month (February 2009), Nkhambule said his family had been threatened by ‘certain people with links to the country’s authorities’.