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Home | FEATURES & OPINION | SWAZILAND INCORPORATED: 2022 & BEYOND - ISSUE No 5
 
 

SWAZILAND INCORPORATED: 2022 & BEYOND - ISSUE No 5

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Politics is not everything but is one of the major ingredients that contribute to a stable and prosperous society.


Societies that are unstable politically are characterised by under-development, strife, poverty and many other ills, making it difficult for that society to attain its vision or developmental goals.
Societies choose from time-to-time the form of political system that better embraces their aspirations or serve their interests.
There is no single ideal form of political system, but in most cases societies agree on one that takes into account their internal socio-economic and power dynamics.
A political system is defined as a coordinated set of principles, laws, ideas and procedures relating to a particular form of government, or the form of government itself.
Democracy as an example is a political system in which citizens govern themselves.
In our case, section 79 of the country’s Constitution defines our systems as: “a democratic, participatory, Tinkhundla-based system which emphasises devolution of state power from central Government to Tinkhundla areas and individual merit as a basis for election or appointment to public office.”
The King defined  it for the United Nations 68th General Assembly in 2013 as: “We are happy to define our system as a Monarchial democracy. Monarchial democracy is defined as the marriage between the Monarchy and the ballot box. The ballot box is the will of the people. People provide advice and counsel to the King that ensures transparency and accountability. It is a combination of power with empowerment. It means that the Monarchy of eSwatini guarantees the continuity of stability and the democracy of eSwatini, guarantees the shared power of the people.
In order to have stability and peace it is important that we understand the above concepts so that we can quickly move on as a nation and deal with issues that need our undivided attention to attain our vision of being a First World country by the year 2022.
In fact, the sooner we grasp that the better, because any tensions and pronounced differences create an unstable environment and a negative atmosphere which makes it difficult for any serious economic and social development to thrive.
If we master what we agreed upon when we promulgated the supreme law of the land, we shouldn’t be derailed by the many calls for regime change and calls for multi-party democracy.
This I say because the Constitution’s preamble makes very clear statements of intent of what we ought to be: For purposes of this article let me post that because some of us may have forgotten what it states; PREAMBLE
Whereas We the People of the Kingdom of Swaziland do hereby undertake in humble submission to Almighty God to start afresh under a new framework of constitutional dispensation;
Whereas as a Nation it has always been our desire to achieve full freedom and independence under a Constitution created by ourselves for ourselves in complete liberty;
Whereas various vusela consultations, economic and constitutional commissions, political experiments and Sibaya meetings have been established and undertaken in the last 30 years in search of a sustainable home-grown political order;
Whereas it has become necessary to review the various constitutional documents, decrees, laws, customs and practices so as to promote good governance, the rule of law, respect for our institutions and the progressive development of the Swazi society;
Whereas it is necessary to blend the good institutions of traditional Law and custom with those of an open and democratic society so as to promote transparency and the social, economic and cultural development of our Nation;
Whereas it is necessary to protect and promote the fundamental rights and freedoms of ALL in our Kingdom in terms of a constitution which binds the Legislature, the Executive, the Judiciary and the other organs and agencies of the Government;
Whereas all the branches of Government are the guardians of the Constitution, it is necessary that the Courts be the ultimate interpreters of the Constitution;
Whereas as a Nation we desire to march forward progressively under our own constitution guaranteeing peace, order and good Government, and the happiness and welfare of ALL our people;
Whereas the Constitution in draft form was circulated to the nation in both official languages, was vetted by the people at Tinkhundla and Sibaya meetings;
Now, THEREFORE, WE, iNgwenyama–in-Council, acting together with and on the approval of the Swazi Nation meeting as the Swazi National Council assembled at Ludzidzini this 4th day of October, 2004, hereby accept the following Constitution as the Supreme Law of the Land.
The question you have to ask yourself is where have we lost it?
For much too long we have been busy trying to define who we are or allowing those who perceive us from outside define who we are and in the process failing to focus on the things that will make us thrive as a country.
By now we may have seen that it is not necessarily the model of a political system that matters, but how the government of the day cares for its people. One of the most important things any government needs to sort irrespective of its political system is the economy.

In 2013, when His Majesty the King delivered his speech from the Throne, he said the following ahead of the elections later in the year: “Maswati, Sibaya will always remain the highest decision making body in the country.”
Sibaya, as we all know, is a public forum open to all Swazis where they gather at the Cattle Byre to express their views on everything that pertains the governance or system of the country.
I am aware that Emaswati at Sibaya as late as 2016 did express their concerns at the way things were being done, in particular within the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary.
This could be because those whom we elected have failed to heed the King’s call in 2013 when he said: “elections are a vital tool through which citizens exercise the right to be heard and to freely choose their own representatives in the government of the country. I must also hasten to point out that in casting the vote, let us be conscious that we elect men and women of integrity, character and probity. If we are successful in choosing this calibre of representatives, we as a nation of eSwatini, will enjoy our nationhood in the form of national development, peace, security and prosperity. We will become a role model not only to the region and the continent, but to the global village as well. Moreover, we must make sure that these men and women are people driven by national service, national vision, national interest and not personal gain.”
Challenge
His Majesty went further to challenge government and the nation to set its eyes on attaining the First World status by the year 2022.
He said to succeed in this quest it requires us to adopt First World practices. He said these practices must start from an early age, which means instilling discipline in everything that they do. 
“They ought to grow with respect for time, have high regard for perfection, pay attention to detail and with a well instilled competitive principle of being the best one can be in any given situation or challenge they may be faced with.”
It is my view that we have failed to instill those values to our young people but instead we have taught them to put personal interest above national interest.
These then suggests that we may have failed despite the resounding turn-up at the polls to get the good mix of people to drive the country forward.
This does not mean, therefore, that we must lose faith in the system but we need to try again and hope this time we attract people who will fully comprehend what the Swazi nation desires.
Our preamble remains a statement that reflects our values as a people who;
n Desire to start afresh under a Constitutional dispensation.
n As a Nation it has always been our desire to achieve full freedom and independence under a Constitution created by ourselves for ourselves in complete liberty;
n It has become necessary to review the various Constitutional documents, decrees, laws, customs and practices so as to promote good governance, the rule of law, respect for our institutions and the progressive development of the Swazi society;
n As a Nation we desire to march forward progressively under our own constitution guaranteeing peace, order and good Government, and the happiness and welfare of ALL our people.
n  Accept the following Constitution as the Supreme Law of the Land.
Lastly, in 2014 in His speech from the Throne welcoming the new MPs the King said: “As legislators, you are duty bound to have creative ideas for development that should see this country attain its First World status by the year 2022. It is time to monitor progress towards this vision very closely. We need to have a set of indicators that are the key measures of the provision of social services to the people. We charge government to set targets and develop a Swaziland Development Index 2022 by the start of the new financial year and to track this progress. We expect quarterly reports to be submitted to Parliament and the nation as a matter of top priority. To achieve this goal is, by no means, an easy task. It requires utmost dedication on the job, an adoption of the right attitudes and strategic approaches to our work.”
Maybe in reflecting on how much progress we have made, the outgoing MPs and government need to go back to the King’s speech to see whether they have been able to live-up to the game.

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