The Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN) has issued a follow-up statement relating to the resignation of Barnabas Dlamini as Prime Minister of Swaziland. In this statement SSN says that King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, refused to accept the resignation. SSN also says that the king tried to sack a senior army officer, but the officer refused to go and instead threatened a coup against the Swazi Royal Family.
The full statement is reproduced below.
SWAZI PRIME MINISTER RESIGN AFTER SENSING THE IMMINENT END OF MSWATI’S RULE
SSN statement- 10 March 2011
As reported earlier in the day, the Prime Minister of Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini, has resigned from his post. However, contrary to earlier reports, the king has absolutely nothing to do with it and instead is forcing him to stay on as he is the only person n the country who still takes him seriously.,
Dlamini’s resignation comes as a result of a two major scandals which occurred towards the end of last year. In the first scandal, the premier was assaulted in his office by the army chief, Sobantu Dlamini.
The army chief had gone to the cabinet offices to confront the prime minister on why he had not raised their salaries when raising those of politicians. He had a personal guard of four armed senior army personnel to ensure that his mission succeeded.
Thinking that the king had sent the army chief to embarrass him, Dlamini went to the king to find out what he had done to deserve this humiliation. The king was incensed by this news and immediately issued a directive that the army chief should be fired.
Sobantu flatly refused to vacate his post and told the king that he would rather stage a coup on the royal family than honour his dismissal. When the king tried to get the royal family and his councillors to support him against the army chief, he found that they were all against him. Since he had disrespected the Queen a few months before, even his own mother refused to support him.
The second scandal was the widely publicised theft of public funds by the Dlamini due of Lutfo and Phesheya. Lutfo Dlamini had actually been fired by the king who told the Prime Minister to relay the news to the minister.
Being the ever faithful servant to the king, Barnabas called Lutfo and Phesheya to a meeting at his office. Since he was meeting the two one by one, they were able to debate with him on this issue. Besides being a toy boy to the Queen mother, Lutfo had an extra trump card to use to ensure his political survival.
He reminded the prime minister that he had been fingered as one of the people who had bank rolled the serial ritual murderer, David Simelane and he was willing to go public with the matter. This is why Lutfo was able to get away with open theft. He literally blackmailed the Prime Minister.
Sensing that his king was no longer in charge and effectively isolated in the royal court, the prime minister handed a resignation letter to him, citing ill health as the reason behind it. The prime minister’s resignation would effectively end the king’s rule and as a result he begged that Dlamini reconsider his stance.
The current situation in Swaziland is extremely tense. The king, as stated before, is isolated. The only people who could possibly save him from the impending royal coup are the people of Swaziland who he has all along oppressed and disregarded. Those people, unfortunately, have been planning to topple him for quite some time now.
The very same royal family members that he used to pamper and promote to positions of power have sensed the current mood in the country and are actively urging ordinary Swazis to continue with their uprising against the king. To allay their fears of possible repression from the state, they are going around showing them proof - in the form of Barnabas’s letter, that the country has no prime minister.
The April 12 Uprising has been effectively moved forward as clearly the situation in Swaziland calls for urgent action. As the poet, William Yeats once wrote: The centre no longer holds, all things have fallen apart in Swaziland. The Swazi uprising has begun.