With the elections in Swaziland over, things returned to normal in the kingdom in October. King Mswati III appointed 12 of his family to sit in the House of assembly and the Senate. His chosen candidate was elected unopposed as Speaker of the House and he appointed Barnabas Dlamini as Prime Minister for the fourth time, despite Dlamini’s record of incompetence, untrustworthiness and vanity.
Two reports from international observers of September’s election were published this month. Both the African Union and Commonwealth election mission teams recognised that the election was far from fair. Political parties are banned from taking part and there were severe issues around freedoms of association and speech. Both organisations called for Swaziland’s 2005 election to be reviewed.
There is little chance that King Mswati, who rules Swaziland as sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, will take any notice. The Commonwealth team admitted it had voiced similar concerns in the past two elections in Swaziland in 2008 and 2003 with no effect.
Elsewhere, King Mswati surprised few when he told a group of Christians that men had lived on the Moon for several months in the past. He said he wanted Swazis to do the same thing. His adoring audience cried ‘Hail to the King!’ in vernacular.
These reports and others are contained in Swaziland: Striving for Freedom, the latest monthly digest from Swazi Media Commentary. It is available free of charge on scribd dot com.
Swazi Media Commentary is published online – updated most days – bringing information, comment and analysis in support of democracy in the kingdom.
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