Norway has been told to ‘stop poking its nose’ into the affairs of Swaziland by a top civil servant in the kingdom.
The Norwegian Embassy in South Africa will next week hold a seminar to discuss the deteriorating political situation in Swaziland, ruled by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch.
Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Clifford Mamba condemned the seminar. He told the Times of Swaziland, the only independent daily newspaper in the kingdom, he was surprised ‘the Norwegian government was poking its nose in the affairs of the country when the kingdom did not do same to their country’.
The international community has identified Swaziland as an enemy of democracy and there is much concern about the way King Mswati and Barnabas Dlamini, the man he illegally-appointed Prime Minister, have used the Suppression of Terrorism Act to squash legitimate dissent in the kingdom, where political parties are banned and those that try to operate are branded ‘terrorist entities’.
Participants at the seminar, to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, will include Secretary of the Swaziland United Democratic Front (SUDF) Vincent Ncongwane, as well as the Congress of South African Trade Unions’ (COSATU) International Secretary Bongani Masuku, among others.
They will discuss how best to assist in developing the understanding of the political conditions in Swaziland, the democratic movement of Swaziland, and how the international community could play a role in supporting the struggle towards democracy.
Speakers will include Christian Hildan, Norwegian Ambassador to South Africa, who will discuss why Swaziland has become an issue of international concern and give his government’s view point while Ncongwane will detail the extent of the crisis in Swaziland.