Was Barnabas Dlamini, Swaziland’s illegally-appointed Prime Minister, telling the truth when he told senators that organisers of the 12 April ‘uprising’ have agreed to meet him to discuss ‘their concerns’?
The Swazi Observer , the newspaper in effect owned by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, reported Dlamini saying parliamentarians should not panic, stating that government was putting ears on the ground.
‘We are monitoring the situation closely and going to be having talks with those who are proposing the march about their concerns,’ he said.
Dlamini’s assertion that organisers of the uprising, that is being coordinated though a Facebook group, are ready to meet him may be wide of the mark.
Only last week, in response, to a previous government invitation for talks the April 12 organising committee said, ‘All that we can say as a committee organizing this historic peaceful mission is that the government of Swaziland knows what to do to avoid this uprising from occurring. We outlined our demands to them clearly. They must end this facade of a government once and for all and hand over power to a transition government elected by the Swazi people.’
It added, ‘Most importantly, the king must vacate office immediately and go on vacation pending the finalization of the future role of the monarchy by the Swazi people.’
So, what more is there to discuss?