Swaziland is not even a one-party state, it’s a no-party state, you can vote, but the only option on offer is a toothless parliament (uncooked products) that is hand-picked by the king so the whole process is a little futile. Why are we even urged to vote? Who’s fooling who here?

Along with the need for more democracy, the distribution of the country’s wealth is at the heart of the current protests. Swaziland has a massive public sector debt and the government announced job and wage cuts in the year 2011 that have left many feeling aggrieved.

The Swazi King and his government are incredibly corrupt and are living way beyond his (Mswati) means which has put a massive strain on the public purse. Relating to this they have plans to lay off almost half of the country’s civil servants as well as eliminate state subsidies and raise taxes, which are causing a lot of disgruntled people.’

If a woman was to come back and tell her partner she had HIV she may be accused of being a deviant and beaten up

Swaziland’s extreme poverty is the root of many of the country’s problems. According to the UN Development Programme, Swaziland has the world’s lowest life expectancy, at around 35 years, and the highest HIV prevalence, at 25 per cent for the 15-49 year age group. UNAIDS statistics estimate that 42 per cent of women attending antenatal clinics in Swaziland are HIV positive. Some argue this disproportionate figure is directly related to the suppression of women’s rights.

Women in Swaziland have very few rights and we cannot practice safe sex because the decision lies with our partner. Men in our country do not let women access health services and even if they can they don’t talk about it. If a woman was to come back and tell her partner she had HIV she may be accused of being a deviant and beaten up. Women’s rights have no place in the Swazi constitution and neither domestic violence nor marital rape is recognized.

It high time we do away with this evil heartless King and his mother who both do nothing but exhaust state funds and oppress the nation…


By Senele Mswel