The Swaziland Parliament attempted a coup-d’état in the kingdom, the Swazi Observer newspaper reported on Friday (3 July 2015).
It happened when the Swazi House of Assembly suspended its Speaker Themba Msibi after a number of allegations surfaced, including that he had been part of a plot to oust Prime Minister, Barnabas Dlamini.
The House of Assembly set up a select committee to investigate the allegations.
Swaziland is ruled by King Mswati III as an absolute monarch, but the House of Assembly by-passed the King in taking its action.
Alec Lushaba, the editor of the Sunday Observer, wrote in the Swazi Observer, a newspaper in effect owned by King Mswati, ‘Clearly, this was a coup-de-tat (sic).’
A coup d’état is defined as ‘a sudden and decisive action in politics, especially one resulting in a change of government illegally or by force’.
The Swazi Observer was described by the Media Institute of Southern Africa in a 2013 report on press freedom in the kingdom as ‘a pure propaganda machine for the royal family’
It is widely considered to be the voice of King Mswati III.
After a four-hour meeting the House of Assembly referred the matter of the Speaker to the King.
Lushaba wrote, ‘Parliament which this week after a four hour caucus finally resolved to make presentations to the appointing authority [the King], had undermined his authority.’
Lushaba wrote, ‘For a moment, the MPs forgot that they were Swazis and failed to respect the institution of the Monarch, which is vested with authority to appoint and remove people from office.’
Msibi was appointed Speaker by the King following the national election in 2013. Political parties are banned from taking part in elections and the King appoints the government, top political officials and top judges.
Lushaba added, ‘Parliament must be fined 10 cattle for bringing the name of the King and country into disrepute in its handling of the Speaker issue.’
SWAZI HOUSE SPEAKER SUSPENDED