Senele Gunjie Msweli, who is a member of the management team and one of the coordinators of the Swazi Vigil, had this to say about King Mswati. King Mswati III is an absolute Monarch meaning that all powers are vested in him, ie judiciary, executive and legislative powers. However, Mswati III is also known as Ingwenyama (the head of the traditional system whose powers far exceeds the constitution, and it is the Ingwenyama who enjoys more prestige than the constitution of the country, because the traditional system exceeds the western system of government. This is because in Swaziland society is largely ruled by the traditional system.
King Mswati III is SEVERELY opposed to any form of challenge to his rule, as a consequence. He is ready to unleash the security forces on any person(s) deemed to oppose him. Opposition is violently crushed by the forces (Royal Swazi Police) acting under direct orders from the King. The Ingwenyama in a speech to the nation declared violence against opposition and said “nangabe kukhanyana akukhanywane” (I will strangle you and kill you). After that speech there was evidence of escalation of brutal violence against opposition by the security agents.
Furthermore Mswati III also regards those who oppose him as less than citizens. ie unSwazi, foreign backed, enemy of the state, unpatriotic and should be eliminated, as evidenced in another speech when King Mswati III described such Swazis as timfingo (fiends).
King Mswati III also uses sweeping powers granted by the Swaziland 2005 constitution to enforce a ban on political opinion. The constitution gives the King widespread powers: political, economic and social. The King regards his rule as God-given – an opinion shared by his family and all who support him. One senior prince, Masitsela brother to Mswati III, once described the Swazi royal family as closer to God than the rest of the Swazi nation. It is this opinion that makes the royal Swazi family regard any form of opposition as a direct divine challenge.
King Mswati III is guilty of contravening basic human rights, supporting and promoting acts of brutality against his own people – systematic elimination of opposition, those that are guilty for not serving the Swazi nation but interests of the Swazi royal family.
The Swazi vigil is not just fighting for basic human rights but we also oppose the King’s control of other aspects of the Swazi life such as the economy and his control of society.
The King’s extravagance has a direct impact on the Swazi nation such as, right to education, healthcare, employment and security. The King continues to spend extravagantly on the security forces much against the advice from the IMF who warned about the ever increasing size of civil service. We believe that this continued investment in the army and police force is his way to entrench his position.
In summary King Mswati III is not ready to negotiate on political power, continues to use security forces to crush all opposition. He regards our activities as unSwazi, political rogues, foreign elements, enemies of the state and unpatriotic. Our question is: ‘For how long are we going to suffer under this evil dictator King Mswati III???’