In the interview he is allowed to say he is not a ‘vindictive’ person and he is not intolerant to criticism. ‘If anything,’ Dlamini says, ‘I believe I have become more tolerant.’ He vows he will not be deterred in the fight against corruption and also says he has a ‘long memory’.
But you don’t need a long memory to know that Dlamini is talking nonsense – and the Times, the kingdom's only independent daily newspaper, lets him get away with it.
This is the same Dlamini, whose government vindictively locked up Mario Masuku, President of the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), for nearly a year on trumped up terrorism charges. When Masuku eventually appeared in court in September 2009, he was released within hours.
This is the same Dlamini who in September 2010 said he wanted to torture by whipping their feet, foreigners who criticised his government. That’s not very tolerant.
It is Dlamini’s government which has labelled perfectly respectable opposition groups as ‘terrorists’ and vowed to hunt them down. That’s not very tolerant.
This is the same Dlamini whose sense of self worth is so out of kilter with what the rest of the planet thinks of him that he humiliated the whole of Swaziland in October 2010 when he accepted a world humanitarian award from a known con-man.
I think you should judge people by what they actually do and not by what they say they will do. So let’s look at Dlamini’s record.
It is ironic that the interview in the Times was published on World Human Rights Day, because Dlamini is a vowed enemy of human rights.
In 2004, after Dlamini was last Prime Minister in Swaziland, Amnesty International wrote a report about the human rights abuses perpetrated on his watch that ran for more than fifty-thousand words.
Amnesty reported that while Dlamini ‘was violating the rule of law, the judiciary in Swaziland were trying to uphold it.’
Every judge in the Swaziland Appeals Court resigned after Dlamini refused to accept their ruling. There was no Appeals Court for two years and it only returned after Dlamini was replaced as Prime Minister.
Dlamini repeatedly ignored court rulings, interfered in court proceedings, intimidate judicial officers, manipulated terms and conditions of employment to undermine the independence of the judiciary and effectively replaced the Judicial Services Commission with an unaccountable and secretive body.
Dlamini tells the Times that he is fighting corruption, but he is even today embroiled in a land-scam case where he personally stands to benefit to the tune of hundreds of thousands of emalengeni.
As I said earlier: judge him by what he does, not by what he says.
For more examples of Barnabas Dlamini’s excesses click the links below.
PM ‘STOLE FROM POOR’ IN LAND SCAM
PM TO LOCK UP ENEMIES WITHOUT BAIL
WHO ARE THE SWAZILAND TERRORISTS?
ILLEGAL SWAZILAND PM CRACKS DOWN
SWAZI P.M. EXPOSED ON TERROR ACT