He made the comments only days before the 12 April ‘uprising’ is due to take place. The Facebook group coordinating the uprising says it wants to ‘topple’ the royal regime in the kingdom ruled by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch.
Dlamini yesterday (1 April 2011) told media editors at a regular meeting that he refused to give in to protestors. He said he would ignore the mass protest of 18 March 2011 when an estimated 8,000 people marched on his office demanding the resignation of the entire government.
The Swazi News, an independent newspaper in Swaziland, quoted him saying, ‘As Swazis, we all know that some things cannot be granted when asked for. When we speak of regime change, we are speaking of a coup and that borders on treason. The petition says that Cabinet must resign and go home but we cannot just abandon our duties because we have a responsibility to serve those who elected and appointed us.’
He claimed untruthfully that ‘the people’ elected the cabinet, when in fact Dlamini was elected by nobody and appointed by the king, contrary to the provisions of the constitution.
Dlamini also claimed that his cabinet wasn’t responsible for the financial mess the kingdom was in today. He said that it was previous governments that were to blame. He said this even though Majozi Sithole, the Minister of Finance, has held his post for 10 years.
All of Dlamini’s assertions went unchallenged by the Swazi media today.