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Friday, 24 June 2022

Swaziland Newsletter No. 732 – 24 June 2022

 News from and about Swaziland, compiled by Global Aktion, Denmark ( in collaboration with Swazi Media Commentary (, and sent to all with an interest in Swaziland - free of charge.

Cops fail to stop SWALIMO 15 branches launch

Times Sunday print edition, 19 June 2022

“We are growing”.

This was the message sent yesterday by between 500 to 600 members of the Swaziland Liberation Movement (SWALIMO), who attended the launch of 15 branches under Hhohho.

The event was held at Entsabeni Lodge where the members gathered. The members travelled from various parts of the country to launch the event.

According to the Deputy Secretary General (DSG) of SWALIMO, the event was meant for launching Hhohho District. He emphasised that the district had 15 branches which were launched.

According to Primrose Lukhele, who is the Hhohho commander, there were about 300 leaders in the 13 branches. Yesterday, she introduced the top leaders of the various branches. She said the branches were; Hhukwini, Lobamba, Maphalaleni, Madlangempisi, Mayiwane, Mbabane East, Mbabane West, Mhlangatane, Motshane, Ndzingeni, Nkaba, Siphocosini, Pigg’s Peak, Timpisini and Ntfonjeni.

Representatives from all over the country also attended with some travelling as far as Nhlangano.

Thantaza Silolo, who is the Spokesperson for SWALIMO expressed concern that many of their members were not able to make it to the venue. He said this was because police officers had mounted roadblocks around the country at strategic places.

Silolo said it appeared the police officers were targeting people who had worn the blue colours of SWALIMO. He said he was also forced to turn back at Motshane and ended up using a different route to Pigg’s Peak. He further also revealed that there the police officers continued to patrol the route leading to the lodge where the event was held, forcing some of the members to fear approaching.

Noteworthy, police officers were strategically positioned near the lodge. This also included senior police officers who also later spoke to senior officials of SWALIMO.

Meanwhile, the SWALIMO Presidents Mduduzi ‘Gawuzela’ Simelane also addressed the members who went ecstatic after he did so via online.


Pay bogogo E2000 each per month- EFF Swaziland

By Eugene Dube, Swati Newsweek, 20 June, 2022



MBABANE - Economic Freedom Fighters of Swaziland, Deputy President, Mthokozisi Tokyo Kunene, says King Mswati III’s government should increase the elderly grant from E500 to E2000 per month.

This comes after this publication revealed yesterday that elderly people in the country have still not received their grants. They get E500 per month. After three months they get E1, 500.

"The government should increase the elderly grants. Each should be given E2 000 each monthly now. We deny that there is no money in Swaziland this regime is attached to luxury. The bought nicklaces, cars which is a proof that money is there. So this regime should give our elders the money," he said.

Kunene said in the first place elderly grants should be distributed to the elderly on a monthly basis like all working people who get paid on a 30 day cycle in the country, he condemned the illogical concept of giving the elderly these farce of grants after three months."

He added that EFF cannot expect anything much from a government formed by one man and his family.

"This regime cannot pay our elderly after 100 days. How can they survive in such terrible economic conditions. Truly they can barely survive. This regime is like a dead dog," he said.

Kunene said the government delivered a budget speech and the elderly were allocated their funds. It is shocking that while the elderly are not paid but this government employing new soldiers instead of paying the elderly."

He narrated that autocratic rulers worldwide uses fear as a tool of oppression thus their main goal is to enlarge their armies some even parades nuclear warheads, so even this Dlamini dynasty is not an exception as they have fallen out of favour from the people themselves, they opt for military rule, which will continue what hunger started.

"As the EFF we envision a government that will priotise the welfare of citizens, in an EFF led government social grants will be paid on a monthly basis," he said.


Detained and heavily assaulted by Mswati’s soldiers for wearing freedom fighter Amos Mbedzi’s t-shirt.

By Nokwanda Mamba, Swaziland News, 18 June, 2022



LONHLUPHEKO: Chris Dlamini, the Deputy Secretary General of the Swaziland Massacre Victims Association (SWAVISA) was on Friday detained and heavily assaulted by King Mswati’s soldiers for merely wearing Amos Mbedzi’s t-shirt.

Amos Mbedzi is the freedom fighter and member of the South African Communist Party (SACP) who was linked to a military wing of the People’s United Democratic Movement(PUDEMO), he died recently after spending fifteen (15) years in eSwatini prison.

Speaking to this Swaziland News on Saturday, the SWAVISA Deputy Secretary General said he was on his way to a Multi-Stakeholder activity at Siteki when he was detained by the police at a road block at Lonhlupheko merely for wearing the late freedom fighter Amos Mbedzi's t-shirt.

“My only crime was wearing SWAVISA regalia and Amos Mbedzi's t-shirt.I was identified by the police at a roadblock who then handed me over to eight (8) soldiers  who then tortured and assaulted me for about two(2)hours at a nearby shack.Fortunately,I managed to escape into a bus that was passing by,”he said.

Tengetile Khumalo, the Army Spokesperson had not responded to our questions at the time of compiling this report.

The Swaziland Massacre Victims Association (SWAVISA) is an organisation that was formed by emaSwati who were affected or injured during the June 29 massacre last year after King Mswati unleashed his forces to shoot and kill dozens of civilians merely for demanding democratic reforms.

On another, eSwatini citizens are assaulted, tortured and killed merely for wearing t-shirts belonging to the banned political organization.

Sipho Jele, a member of the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) was allegedly killed by the police merely for wearing a PUDEMO t-shirt.


Food crisis: some head teachers release pupils earlier

By Nhlanganiso Mkhonta, Times of eSwatini, 21 June 2022



MBABANE – Some head teachers have resorted to releasing pupils earlier than the usual time due to the ongoing food crisis in schools.

Many schools have made it known that they do not have food under the schools’ feeding scheme, known as Zondle. Most claimed they last received food supplies in the last academic year. Others schools claimed that they were now surviving on sour porridge. The head teachers in the schools, more especially in primary schools, complained that government had taken too long to deliver food to the schools. The head teachers said they reported the issue to the Ministry of Education and Training. Some of the head teachers said they submitted their enrolment in March, so as to give government an idea as to how much food they would need, but none had been delivered since. The head teachers said they were surviving on food from last year.

Busisiwe Msibi, Chibidze Primary School Head teacher, said they last had food for the pupils some weeks ago. She said in her school, there was only mealie-meal, which could not be eaten alone. She said even if they decided to cook sour porridge, it would require sugar. Msibi said the situation was dire, such that pupils were often ill as they came to school on empty stomachs. She said sometimes, as teachers, they had to provide food for some pupils who were taking medication. She said some pupils were from less privileged homes, such that they would come to school and tell her that they only had fermented mealie-meal drink (emahewu) at home.


Msibi said the situation would get worse if the proposed rationing of food in schools would be effected. She said already, the food they were receiving was not enough. Mkhondvo Primary School Head teacher Gladys Mkhonta said in her school, they last had food last Thursday. She said yesterday marked the second day without food. Mkhonta said this brought challenges to the pupils, more especially those who had no money to buy snacks around the school. She said currently, she had no idea as to where the next meal for the learners would come from. She said the only hope was government.

Mkhonta said they had not yet decided to release the pupils earlier than usual but it was inevitable should they notice that the pupils were not coping with the situation. She said they were looking up to government to deliver food to the school. Cyprian Simelane, Ngozi Primary School Head teacher said so far, the school was sustaining the pupils with sour porridge. He said the school only had mealie-meal but no beans, so it would not be possible to cook a full meal except the sour porridge. Simelane added that even for that sour porridge, the school sometimes asked the parents to provide sugar. Nsalitje Primary School Head teacher David Mkhweli said currently his school was left with only one bag of rice and beans. He said the situation was not looking good at all, because there was no certainty as to when government would provide food to the schools.

Muziwethu Simelane, Kwaluseni Primary School Head teacher, said in his school, they were also surviving on sour porridge. He said there were beans as well hence they opted for the sour porridge. He said sometimes he would urge parents to assist by giving the pupils some sugar to mitigate the situation. Principal Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Education and Training Bhekithemba Gama, said they were advising the head teachers to liaise with their regional education officers (REO), who may assist them on how to mitigate the situation until government delivered food to their respective schools. He added that for the teachers to take such decisions as releasing pupils earlier, they would need to consult with the REOs or inspectors.


Thousands languishing at home as attacks in Eswatini lead to safety concerns

By Karabo Ngoepe, Independent online (South Africa), 21 June 2022



Johannesburg - Thousands of Emaswati who work for Inyatsi Construction have been left in limbo following attacks at the company’s operations.

After an arson attack last week, the company suspended its operations Monday, resulting in over 2 300 workers being sent home. They would not be earning a salary until the company resumes operations.

According to sources in the kingdom, the company is reeling from arson attacks and damage to infrastructure, allegedly at the hands of Pro-Democracy movements.

In a statement released by the company, it indicated it had taken a proactive stance to tighten security in response to the escalating and recurring targeted attacks that have resulted in the destruction of machinery and equipment at three of its sites over the last year.

According to the company, the attacks have caused damage of over R65 million.

“These malicious attacks have created an unsafe working environment for our dedicated teams, and we have decided to reconfigure and heighten our security protocols. During this period, our direct employees will have to be on unpaid leave whilst ongoing projects valued at over R 700 million in the current financial year have to be temporarily suspended,” the company said.

“We can no longer defer enhancing our security and safety measures in the face of sustained attacks perpetrated by terrorists still at large.”

The Kingdom of Eswatini has had violent protests since 2021 when Pro-Democracy Forces/Movements called for the removal of King Mswati III. Arson attacks have become a regular occurrence with houses of those working in government, mainly the police, targeted, and so are individuals perceived to be linked to the king.

Many Emaswati have allegedly had their contact details and addresses posted on social media platforms and news articles by a journalist who is part of the Pro-Democracy Movement, calling for “national braais” at the identified places.

The arson attacks generally followed the posts, and the journalist would allegedly boldly indicate that the Pro-Democracy Forces/Movements were behind them and would not stop. Instead, they would be intensifying their fight.

Protests have been a regular feature in Eswatini. Picture: Swazi News

The owners of Inyatsi Construction are perceived to be linked to King Mswati. As a result of that narrative, the company has been at the centre of some of the arson attacks. At least three sources in Eswatini have told the Sunday Independent that those responsible for the attacks believed they were inflicting pain and frustration on King Mswati, who they believe has been delaying the country's proposed dialogue.

“There is this misconception that the company has ties with the King, which is not true. They believe the company is making its money through government contracts assisted by the King but look at the situation now. The ordinary people are now suffering," said a source speaking anonymously.

The country has an unemployment rate of 23.4 percent, ranking 11th out of 94 countries globally and fourth in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC). The country has a poverty rate of 52% and GDP growth of -3.3%.

“The company currently has 18 projects in the country, including roads, water projects, maintenance, township developments and agricultural development projects,” said the source.

The publication has established that the site that was attacked at the Sigombeni was part of the Eswatini Water and Agricultural Development Enterprise (ESWADE), which the European Union funds. According to ESWADE, the EU, through its National Development Plan (2021-2027), set aside €14.545 million (R278.37 million) to achieve increased Water Storage Capacity; Enhanced Production Capacity for Smallholders and Strengthened Institutional Capacity.

It is still unknown what the impact of the attack on the site would be on the project and if the EU would still fund it. However, the company indicated that it would be negligent for them to continue with the 18 projects as if it were business as usual.

“These 18 projects include roads, water projects, maintenance, township developments and agricultural development projects which all directly impact communities, including vulnerable groups. Although Inyatsi Construction is a clear target of these attacks, the company itself is not the real victim. The incalculable and far-reaching consequences of these attacks have been sadly borne by the communities, sub-contractors and employees who rely on the company," read the statement.

“As Inyatsi Construction, we value our human resources, and their safety is of utmost importance. As we reconfigure our operations to heighten safety and security protocols in the wake of sustained attacks, we have seen it prudent to suspend operations temporarily for security reasons,” read the statement.


 Seven PUDEMO members arrested

By Thokozani Mamba, Times of eSwatini, 23 June 2022



SITEKI – People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) Lubombo Branch Treasurer Tenele Mashwama was yesterday arrested in a joint operation of the party.

They were arrested together with six other members by police officers from the Lomahasha and Siteki Police Stations. Tenele and Manqoba Kunene were arrested yesterday in the wee hours at around 5am, while Light Mkhabela and Manqoba Nyoni were apprehended at their respective homes on Tuesday morning. This latest incident comes against the backdrop of another matter whereby PUDEMO Head of International Relations Siboniso Mkhabela had his two cellphones and clothing items in a bag, together with a notebook, confiscated by the police during a roadblock manned at Lukhula area on Friday. Mkhabela was on his way to the Multi-Stakeholders Forum (MSF) prayer service which was held at Good Shepherd Mission Church when he was stopped by the police, who were in a joint operation with the army. On Monday, the Siteki Police Station released his bag with his clothing items.


It was further established that the police further arrested three others who were later released at the Simunye Magistrate Court. The quartet of Tenele, Nyoni, Light and Manqoba were charged jointly for contravening the Public Order Act of 2017 and Traffic Act of 2007. They are all expected to appear at the Simunye Magistrate Court today. The quartet are represented by the Siphofaneni based Lawyer Maxwell Nkhambule. Nkhambule confirmed the matter and stated that the four were expected to appear in court today. Chief Police Information and Communications Officer Superintendent Phindile Vilakati confirmed the matter. “We have four who have been charged by the police,” she said.

Worth mentioning is that it has been gathered that the police were still looking for others who were on the list, used to arrest the four PUDEMO members. Narrating the circumstances leading to the arrest of the quartet, PUDEMO Head of International Relations, Mkhabela stated that on Monday after the police released his bag with clothing items, they left Siteki Town but were followed by a Toyota van without number plates and it overtook them at Lonhlupheko.


Mkhabela said while approaching Maphiveni T-junction, a soldier flagged them down to stop but some of the occupants of the vehicle they were travelling in advised that they should not stop but sped-off. He said they drove to a homestead around Maphiveni area and fled in different directions towards the Black Mbuluzi River, leaving behind some of their items inside the car. “We lost each other but reunited after about six hours of being in the bushes. We found that soldiers had been deployed around the homesteads at Maphiveni and roadblocks were manned at Nduma and Lomahasha. Some of our members went to the car and found some of the clothing items,” he said. Mkhabela said two phones belonging to Tenele were missing. He added that there was a police car that was parked close to his home.

“The death of Mpostoli and Sigubhu sparked the intensifying fight for democracy and that police allegedly shot one pupil. As Lomahasha residents, we will use peaceful means of protesting and don’t believe that the burning of tyres warranted the state to deploy soldiers at Lomahasha,” he said. Mkhabela further said if it called for seeking the help of the international community, he was ready to do so. Meanwhile, recently, police officers from Lomahasha Police Station fired four gunshots to stop a Nkalashane High School pupil from fleeing at his home.


Broadcasting Bill: King has power to freeze all broadcasts

By Mfanasibili Sihlongonyane, Independent News, eSwatini, 19 June 2022



Mbabane – The Eswatini Broadcasting Bill, 2019 gives His Majesty the King, powers to take over all broadcasting stations or any particular broadcasting station in Eswatini.

Article 69 (1) reads, “Where there is in force a proclamation of a state of public emergency or threatened public emergency under the Constitution, the King may make an order authorizing any officer or any authority to (a) take over all broadcasting stations or any particular broadcasting station in Eswatini; and, (b) control and direct all broadcasting services from the broadcasting stations or broadcasting station to which the provisions of paragraph (a) related for as long as the King considers it expedient; and in so doing may require the exclusive services of the persons employed in, working maintaining or crying on, the same.”

Subsection 2 of the bill continues to highlight that when an officer or an authority is authorized to take over a broadcasting station in terms of subsection (1), the person owning or controlling the broadcasting station shall give up possession to the King or the officer or authority, and the person employed in, working or maintaining the broadcasting station, or carrying on a broadcasting service from the broadcasting station shall, if the King in terms of that subsection requires their exclusive series, diligently and faithfully obey, during the period the broadcasting station is in possession of the officer or authority all such orders and other directions as the officer or authority may give in connection with the working or maintenance of the broadcasting station.

Subsection 3 then reads, “Reasonable compensation shall be paid to a person who suffers loss or damage through the exercise of the powers conferred by this section from monies appropriated for that purpose by Parliament in such amount as may be agreed between that person and the Minister.”

Then subsection 4 of the same article states that that if a dispute arises as to the amount of compensation payable in terms of subsection (3), any person claiming to be entitled to compensation may refer such dispute to a court of law.

The article further stipulates in section 5, “In determining the amount of any compensation including costs or expenses payable under this section, the court or other person dealing with the matter, shall have regard to the fact that the take-over has been necessitated by a state of public emergency.”

Subsection 6 reads, “This section shall, with the necessary modifications, apply in relation to diffusion services, the premise apparatus, equipment and wires required in connection with those devices, apparatus, equipment and wires required in connection with those services, apparatus, equipment and wires and the persons employed in working, maintaining or operating the same.”

Clause 70 (1), then indicates that where there is in force a proclamation of a state of public emergency or threatened public emergency under the Constitution, the Minister may, at any time by notice, require the Commission to direct the licensees specified in the notice to publish, at such times as may be specified in the notice, such announcement relating to the public emergency as is specified in the notice, with or without visual images of any picture, scene or object mentioned in the announcement.

According to subsection 2, where the licensee published any announcement under subsection (1), the licensee may announce that the publication is pursuant to a directive by the Minister. Then subsection 3 of the same clause highlights that the Minister may, at any time by notice, require the Commission to direct any licensee specified in the notice to refrain from including in the programmes included in their licensed series, any matter or classes of matter specified in the notice.

Subsection 4 further reads, “Where the Commission (a) gives a licensee a direction in accordance with a notice under subsection (3); or (b) in consequence of the revocation by the Minister of a notice referred to in subsection (3); or (c) in consequence of an expiry of a notice, the licensee in question may publish an announcement stating the giving or revocation of the direction, or of the expiration of the notice.

For complaints relating to public broadcasting or broadcasting services, Article 71 stipulates that where a person has made a complaint to the Corporation or to a broadcasting service, acted contrary to the Code of Conduct and, the person has not received a response within fourteen (14) days after making the complaint, or the person has received a response within that period but considers that response to be inadequate, that person may lodge a complaint with the commission about the matter.

Meanwhile, recently, the Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) hosted the Eswatini Broadcasting Bill 2019 Workshop for the House of Senate at the Hilton Garden Hotel. Present during the one-day workshop was ICT Minister Princess Sikhanyiso, Senate President Lindiwe Dlamini, senators, the ministry officials and stakeholders.

The bill advances the establishment of the Eswatini Broadcasting Corporation, a national broadcaster, by amalgamating the operations and resources of Eswatini Television Authority (ETVA) and the Eswatini Broadcasting and Information Services (EBIS).



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Friday, 17 June 2022

Swaziland Newsletter No. 731 – 17 June 2022


Swaziland Newsletter No. 731 – 17 June 2022

News from and about Swaziland, compiled by Global Aktion, Denmark ( in collaboration with Swazi Media Commentary (, and sent to all with an interest in Swaziland - free of charge.


King, prepares 'new' law to punish pro-democracy MPs

By Eugene Dube, Swati Newsweek 13 June, 2022



LOBAMBA - King Mswati III through his cabinet is currently amending an old law to deal with a powerful emerging generation of pro-democracy members of Parliament who give him sleepless nights demanding greater political reforms.

The law might be weaponized by the royal regime to deal with progressive lawmakers.

An insider at Swazi Parliament said "Currently, the existing law (Parliamentary Privileges Act of 1967) prohibits the police from entering the chambers of the Houses of Parliament (House of Assembly and Senate) during a sitting. It provides that order and security in the chamber can only be provided by officers known as “Sergeant-at-arms”.

She said, “The proposed law seeks to amend the 1967 law to allow either Speaker of the House of Assembly or the Senate President to call the police to get into the chambers if there is trouble.”

“The proposed law is still being debated in Cabinet. If it is passed there, it will be gazetted and then tabled in Parliament as a Bill.”

The senior politician added, “It can only become a law once it is passed by parliament.”

The politician dropped a bombshell about the law.

“It will allow the police to get into the chamber for any reason during a sitting. It would depend on the Presiding Officer why he/she wants the police in chamber at that particular moment.”

Mfomfo Nkhambule, a former lawmaker for Mtfongwaneni Inkhundla condemned the state.

“This is bad. Previously such draconian laws were used. However now we want democracy hence we must have sound law. A parliament should be independent.”

“Bayaganga.This bad habit of bringing police to Parliament started when the late Prime minister Barnabas Dlamini brought police who removed the late Clerk Ben Zwane at Parliament.”


“Swazis should talk to their MPs. Such a law should not be allowed in our country. The opposition MPs are likely to be removed in Parliament because of this repressive law.”


Food prices surge: Govt to ration food in schools

By Setsabile Nkambule, Times of eSwatini, 16 June 2022



MBABANE – Due to the insufficiency of the E49 million budget allocation for the schools feeding scheme, government has decided to ration and cut pupils’ meals.

This is according to the Ministry of Education and Training Principal Secretary (PS), Bhekithemba Gama, who was interviewed by this publication yesterday. Previously, there were a number of complaints by parents and teachers about the shortage of food in schools, which resulted in poor concentration levels by some pupils who rely on the food they get from school on a daily basis. As a result, some schools opted to serve pupils smaller portions of food. This publication yesterday reported that the most affected schools were in the Manzini Region. Unconfirmed reports were to the effect that about 28 schools were no longer able to serve pupils with food, since the beginning of this academic year.

According to the PS, the prices of food had increased quite significantly, while the budget allocated towards the school feeding scheme was only enough to cater for the previous food prices. He said that was why they took the decision to stop supplying some food items to schools as they had become too expensive.


“As we are all aware of the increase in prices of some food items, we as a ministry, have taken a decision to ration food in schools. This is because the budget we currently have only caters for the previous prices before inflation. Due to this, we have not been able to afford some of the food items such as cooking oil and peanut butter,” he said. Gama mentioned that the current budget, which went into the schools feeding programme, was E49 million per annum. The PS said this amount was now not enough, especially because schools in the country had also increased in number, which made it difficult for government to cater for them all due to the hike in food prices.

Gama mentioned that they hoped in the next financial year to get an improved budget which would cater for the current food prices. The PS stated that the ministry was still to decide on how to go about effecting the rationing in the schools as this also caught them unaware. He said they would have to revisit the prices of the food items and then see which items they would have to compromise on.


“We still have not come up with a plan as to how we will go about rationing the food, but we will deal with it as we go through the academic year. This is because this was not planned since the increase in prices came as a surprise to us,” he said. He advised the public not to panic as the ministry had the situation under control. Gama mentioned that the ministry was also working with nutritionists to ensure that the impact of the food shortage was not felt as much among the pupils. He said they would also receive suggestions from the different schools through the regional education offices (REOs), to find out how the schools thought this would be best dealt with. He said this was because pupils were best known by their teachers and head teacher, which was why they needed their input in the matter.

Meanwhile, Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) President Mbongwa Dlamini stated that the rationing of the food by the ministry was a wrong move, as already, the food government was supplying to the schools was not enough. He said if the hike in food prices meant the rationing of food in schools, this then meant that even civil servants’ salaries needed to be reviewed  or they would not be able to go to work as they also could no longer afford food and  transportation  due to the hike in prices of various commodities.

“This also then means that we should tell government that we cannot go to work because our salaries have not been reviewed, while basic needs have now become expensive .This is just proof that government has failed emaSwati and the move of rationing the food is making this situation worse. There are children who only eat at school as they come from poor backgrounds. This move will not only compromise their concentration level, but will also bring about sicknesses such as malnutrition,” he said.


Dlamini mentioned that government instead needed to engage the different stakeholders such as teachers, head teachers and parents to find out the best way to deal with these issues.
“Government needed to engage us to find out our opinions on this as clearly they have failed to look after emaSwati. We would have given them our opinions and also found solutions to this problem. This is because when the children fail due to the lack of concentration, government will place the blame on teachers and their lack of teaching. This will also lead to a high number of children who will suffer from malnutrition, as due to COVID-19, parents lost their jobs and those working can hardly afford many things because like government is saying, things are now expensive,” he said.

Dlamini expressed that emaSwati needed to come together to fight this as this would create a generation of angry people. He said as teachers, it pained them that pupils were more than just their responsibility, but people who they had grown to value. Dlamini said it was unfortunate that the teachers too could not be of much help as the money they were earning was not enough to cater for their needs and also help the pupils.

“This makes me really angry because the pupils will suffer due to this. It is unfortunate that some of the schools are now operating with the assistance of some teachers who make financial donations to the schools, and due to the hike in so many commodities, we as teachers are no longer able to help as we can hardly take care of ourselves,” he said.


A nutritionist, who requested to remain anonymous, stated that this was a recipe for disaster. She said this was because a large number of children in the different schools were from poor backgrounds and relied mostly on the food served at the different schools. She said this also meant that a lot of them would suffer from mulnutrion as government would not be able to provide some of the most importantfood items.

“Already, these children are not having a balanced diet at the school. Rationing the food will cause more problems health wise as these children do not normally eat in their homes. This will also bring about children who will not attend classes due to hunger and being fatigued. I think this decision is just a recipe for disaster and will cause so many problems to the children,” she said.  


She said the best advice she could offer the ministry would be to rather have partners on board who would fund them until the next financial year where they would then review the situation. She mentioned that on the other hand, schools needed to reintroduce the growing of vegetables to avoid running out of food items they could have been able to grow. “I think the schools should reintroduce gardening as this will benefit the pupils. They would be able to eat what they get to grow in the garden, with or without the help from government, on some food items. Government needs to find partners who will assist through funding while they wait for the next financial year, as this is just not right and would instead cause a more angry society. Children who eat poorly are more likely to develop certain long-term health problems and complications, including Osteoporosis later in life and cardiovascular diseases,” she said.

Foreign meddling allegations cloud Eswatini’s dialogue process

SADC should distinguish between this sideshow and the people of Eswatini’s long struggle for democracy and human rights.

By Ringisai Chikohomero, Institute for Security Studies, 14 June 2022



Recent allegations that Eswatini’s July 2021 ‘winter revolution’ involved foreign-funded protest action aimed at regime change have put the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the country’s pro-democracy movements in a bind. They have also emboldened King Mswati III’s position on the format of the delayed national dialogue – a process he committed to in November 2021 after SADC’s intervention.

A year after student leader Thabani Nkomonye’s death, which sparked the most recent violent wave of popular protest and civil unrest, Eswatini is drifting further away from solving the crisis through dialogue. Opposition party members and civil society continue to demonstrate, and the security forces continue to carry out illegal detentions and torture against protest leaders. 

SADC seems to be losing whatever traction was built by South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa during his visit to Eswatini last year, and the pro-democracy movement is faltering. The regime change allegations have muddied the waters and could delay efforts to democratise the kingdom, at least with SADC’s intervention. The king has yet to give timelines for the traditional Sibaya talks and still needs to respond to SADC’s terms of reference for the national dialogue.

On 13 May, the Eswatini Financial Times published an article that alleged the pro-democracy and anti-monarchy movements were foreign sponsored. The claims were repeated on Twitter by Zimbabwe’s controversial former cabinet minister Jonathan Moyo, who produced apparent dates and minutes of meetings and key players involved.

Regime change allegations have muddied the waters and could delay efforts to democratise the kingdom

The meetings are said to have taken place in Rwanda, Mauritius and South Africa. The National Democratic Institute, an American non-governmental organisation, is reportedly funding the ‘winter revolution’, with planning and logistics allegedly provided by organisations like Amnesty International and Canvas Africa. Eswatini’s pro-democracy movement and the organisations mentioned in the allegations have denied the accusations.

The government of Eswatini’s response to the allegations has put SADC in a bind. The story presents the government as under attack, with the monarch as the main victim. As SADC prepares for its August summit, it must balance calls by Eswatini’s citizens for democracy and human rights with perceptions that it supports an endeavour tainted by a regime-change narrative.

By linking the alleged ‘winter revolution’ with a planned Zimbabwe protest in May, Moyo strengthened the regime change argument in Eswatini. A group of social movements in Zimbabwe had pushed for a nationwide shutdown to protest the rising cost of living in the country. The shutdown failed to materialise.

The narrative is that the global North is ‘at it again’ – attempting to use concern for human rights and democracy as a justification to fund and support regime change. This well-worn argument conjures up memories of alleged efforts by the North to push for regime change in the region and elsewhere.

SADC is sensitive to any notion of foreign-sponsored regime change clothed in popular protest

Liberation movements, including South Africa’s African National Congress, are wary of foreign powers’ apparent accusations of human rights violations made to topple legitimate governments. In recent years, Zimbabwe’s government has used this narrative to get SADC off its back. The regional bloc has been engaged with that country’s political crisis since South Africa’s then president, Thabo Mbeki, took on the SADC mediation role in 2007.

In the case of Zimbabwe, SADC member states seem to have bought the regime-change story and now sing from the same anti-sanctions hymn sheet. This position has allowed the government to continue its draconian tendencies and clampdowns on civic space.

Whether or not the reports of foreign funding in Eswatini are accurate, SADC is sensitive to any notion of externally-sponsored regime change clothed in popular protest. The regional bloc will now likely favour a more cautious approach than what the people of Eswatini have called for – a firm stance and push for comprehensive and inclusive national dialogue.

SADC should adhere to its principles and insist on talks agreed between Ramaphosa and Mswati

There is arguably a thin line between claims of funding regime change and supporting active citizenship. Eswatini’s democratic movement risks losing goodwill from stakeholders in the region, such as South African opposition party, the Economic Freedom Fighters. The tag of ‘paid mercenaries’ can’t sit well with its supporters.

Regional actors concerned with Eswatini’s democratisation must consider that the allegations could be a red herring. SADC needs to distinguish between this sideshow and the citizens of Eswatini’s struggle that has continued since the 1973 decree banning political parties.

The regional bloc should adhere to its principles and insist on the talks agreed between Ramaphosa and Mswati. This will help ensure that the national dialogue goes ahead and show SADC’s ability to handle crises decisively.

Eswatini’s pro-democracy movements also need to change tack. Their current push for extensive reductions in the king’s power plays into the regime change narrative. The transition requires a willingness to compromise and work incrementally towards achieving a parliamentary democracy.

Ringisai Chikohomero, Research Consultant, ISS Pretoria


SACP’s Amos Mbedzi laid to rest

By Koketso Motau, SABCNews, 12 June 2022


The South African Communist Party member who was incarcerated in Eswatini for 14 years, has been laid to rest at his home village of Makonde outside Thohoyandou in Limpopo.

Amos Mbedzi was sentenced to 85 years imprisonment after a bomb explosion.

The Eswatini government said Mbedzi, Musa Dlamini and Jack Govender were setting up a bomb to blow up a bridge after receiving information that King Mswati would be passing over the bridge.

The government said the bomb exploded prematurely, killing Dlamini and Govender, and injuring Mbedzi.

Hundreds of mourners gathered at the Makonde soccer ground, to pay their last respects.

Amongst the mourners were representatives of political parties from South Sudan, Sudan, Mozambique, and Swaziland.

Mbedzi joined Umkhonto weSizwe in 1988 when he was a student at the University of Venda.

In 1989, he left the country to go to Uganda for military training. He returned in 1993 and was integrated into the South African Defence Force but resigned in 1996 to focus on his work in the South African Communist Party.

Mbedzi was arrested in Eswatini in September 2008 and sentenced to 85 years in prison in 2011.

This, after he was convicted of the murder of his accomplices, terrorism and unlawful possession of explosives and contravening the Immigration Act of  Eswatini.

His family says Mbedzi was denied medical attention while he was incarcerated in Eswatini.

Mkhondo Mbedzi’s son says: “When we made eye contact, it was the first day I see my father’s tears. He was like, young man, these are the tears of joy. Don’t think otherwise, I am the strongest man you know. He was not allowed to speak Tshivenda, but that day he said “ndikhodibua ngamanda, nikhoda”.

Mbedzi died last week Tuesday, at a Polokwane Hospital after the Eswatini government transferred him to South Africa in March, to complete his sentence because he was terminally ill.

The SACP says King Mswati of Eswatini must be held accountable.

Solly Mapaila, SACP first Deputy Secretary says: “This was one of our finest revolutionaries, comrade Amos Mbedzi. He was killed by the despotic Swazi government, and especially by its leader king Mswati III. And we blame them, the Swazi government for denying him healthcare and inflicting assault on his body and torturing him.”

Meanwhile, the People’s United Democratic Movement of Eswatini alleges that the explosives which killed Mbedzi’s accomplices and left him injured, were set up by Eswatini to assassinate the trio.

It says the charges faced by Mbedzi were fabricated by the government, after he survived the assassination attempt.

The Eswatini government said it would release a statement with regards to the allegations.

Pudemo spokesperson Lucky Lukhele says: “Firstly Mbedzi was unjustly sentenced and he lost two of his best friends, advocate Musa Dlamini and his fellow former defence member and MK comrade, Jack Govender. In one of the charges he was charged for murdering them how bizarre, that could be. So, King Mswati has killed Mbedzi and that is our first reaction because Mbedzi suffered a stroke when his mother passed on.


Six years later, terrorism appeal heard

By Kwanele Dlamini, eSwatini News print edition, 11 Jun 2022

It has taken six years for government’s appeal against the judgment declaring certain provisions of the Sedition and Subversive Activities Act of 1938 and Suppression of Terrorism Act of 2008 unconstitutional to be heard.

The Supreme Court yesterday heard preliminary points of law and reserved its judgment. Depending on the outcome of the judgment to be issued, if it is favour of the respondents, it will be the end of the matter and there would be no need for the court to hear the merits of government’s appeal.

The respondents the matter include the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) President Mlungisi Makhanya, former Swaziland Youth Congress SWAYOCO) Secretary General Maxwell Dlamini, Human Rights Lawyer Thulani Maseko and others. At the time of his death, former PUDEMO President Mario Masuku was one of the respondents.

The appellants the Prime Minister, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and Attorney General (AG)

The judgment being appealed by government was issued by a full bench of the High Court on September 16, 2016.

Judge Mbutfo Mamba and Judge Jacobus Annandale issued a majority judgment and Judge Nkululeko Hlophe dissented.

The majority judgment declared certain provisions of the Sedition and Subversive Activities Act of 1938 and Suppression of Terrorism Act of 2008, as unconstitutional. Government filed a notice of appeal on September 23, 2016. On October 11, 2016, government filed a supplemented notice of appeal. In terms of the rules, a record of proceedings ought to have been filed between October 11, 2016 and December 11, 2016, but none was filed. The record was not filed until six months later, March 17, 2017. The matter was marred by postponements, due to the non-availability of judges who were not conflicted. A number of judges had dealt with the matter one way or the other and it was until yesterday that it was finally heard.

The bench comprised Chief Justice (CJ) Bheki Maphalala, who was presiding, Judge Stanley Maphalala, Acting Supreme Court Judges Mabandla Manzini, Judith Currie and Andreas Lukhele. Government instructed South African advocate Gregory Harpur, who was assisted by Senior Crown Counsel Vikinduku Manana.


Unlike in MPs Mduduzi Bacede Mabuza and Mthandeni Dube’s trial, members of PUDEMO and other supporters of the respondents filled the public gallery. Observers from the South African Litigation Centre were in attendance.

Harpur was the first to address the court. He said the application for condonation for late delivery of the record of proceedings, application for condonation for government’s non-appearance in court on October 23, 2017 and the counter-application for an order declaring that the appeal had lapsed were dealt with in favour of government. He said Judge Phesheya Dlamini, sitting as a single judge, granted condonation for government’s non-appearance on October 23, 2017, and the matter was removed from the roll. Judge Dlamini ordered that the appeal be reinstated and referred the file to the registrar for allocation of hearing dates.

This, according to Harpur, meant that government had been condoned for late filing of the court record.

The advocate also made submissions on the issue of supplementing the record and amendment of the notice of appeal and supplementary heads of argument. Harpur informed the court that the supplementary affidavits had been omitted from the record as a result of a genuine mistake on the part of government.


He said his instructing attorney did not notice that these aspects had not been included in the court file and the registrar had similarly mistakenly overlooked that the documents were accepted by the court into the file. The advocate said it should be considered a ground of appeal that the court erred in not having regard to the supplementary affidavits.

Lucky Howe, who represents, Human Lawyer Thulani Maseko, was the second to the address the court. He pointed out that the AG had stated that the matter was of national importance; however, it took the AGs Office six months to file a record of proceedings yet recognised that the matter was of national importance.

He submitted that the AG did not apply for condonation for the late delivery of the record of proceedings. According to Howe, this was because government knew that it did not meet the threshold.

Judge (Majahenkhaba) Dlamini, said Howe, who is a former AG, was appointed a Supreme Court judge a few months after government had defaulted.

“That is their reason for not filing; that they lost the AG. The AG’s chamber is not a person. A record does not need the AG to read.

The chamber of the AG has more than 20 attorneys. The excuse that the AG was appointed a judge can’t be accepted. They claim that the new AG was away. It’s got nothing to do with the AG. They had to file a record. They had two chances to file but failed,” said Howe.

He also submitted that from 2020, the AG allegedly did nothing about the matter but now says he recognises that the matter is of national importance.

Howe continued to say: “They were given a chance to reinstate the matter but the AG believed that since he was the AG, he could just sit and do nothing.”

Judge Manzini enquired from Howe if it was not a reason that the matter could not proceed because a number of judges were conflicted.

Howe said it was a combination of the two. He said Judge Dlamini, when sitting as a single judge, condoned the appellants’ non-appearance, struck off the roll the reinstatement matter and ordered that the rest of the issues would be dealt with by a full bench.

He disputed that there was ever any condonation for late filing of the record. He pointed out that Judge Dlamini reinstated the condonation and abandonment of the appeal applications.


Police abducts Nkalashane High student amid protests, reportedly tortured.

By Bongiwe Dlamini, Swaziland News, 14 June, 2022


LOMAHASHA: Ayanda Matimba, a student at Nkalashane High School was on Tuesday abducted by Mswati’s police amid a protest calling for the removal of their Headteacher Ceasar Quamba.

Reached for comments Ceasar Quamba, the Nkalashane High School Headteacher asked not to comment on the matter 

“I have no comment, ngiyacela Nkhosi, ngiyacela, ngicela kunga-commenthi,” said the Headteacher.

Superintendent Phindile Vilakati, the Police Spokesperson had not responded at the time of compiling this report.

Speaking to this Swaziland News, Siboniso Mkhabela, an influential resident of Lomahasha confirmed the arrest of the student who was allegedly abducted in the morning on Tuesday.

“This follows the consistent and resilient protests by Nkalashane high school pupils.In 3 months, over 20 parents meetings have been called with no solution.It looks like the issue is both administrative and political. If we had an effective Government and Education Ministry this matter would have long been resolved. Clearly the pupils want their MPs out of jail.This further shows that the young people of Lomahasha are determined to make the country ungovernable until freedom day,” he said.

On another note, Mkhabela said they received information from other officers suggesting that the student was being tortured at Lomahasha Police Station.



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