King Mswati III of the Kingdom of Eswatini formerly known as Swaziland has allegedly fled the kingdom amidst pro-democracy protests that have spiraled out of control.
Protesters angered by economic decline have become increasingly vocal in demanding political reform. Swazis are demanding an elected Prime Minister under a Constitutional Monarch and freedom of speech amongst other things.
KING FLEES KINGDOM AS CHAOS ERUPTS
Swazis have been on the streets protesting about police brutality since the death of Thabani Nkomonye earlier in June. The 25-year-old was a final year law student at the University of Eswatini and was allegedly killed by police who also allegedly tried to hide his death and tamper with evidence.
The kingdom is one of the world’s last remaining absolute monarchies and is ruled by King Mswati III who was crowned in 1986 at the age of 18, succeeding his long-serving father King Sobhuza II, who died at the age of 82. He reportedly rules by decree and has been criticised for the heavy-handed treatment of opponents and for requesting public money to pay for new palaces and luxury cars.
ESWATINI ON FIRE
According to Swaziland News, Eswatini is facing growing calls for democratic reforms, citizens in the rural areas petitioned the King’s Government through their MPs, demanding democratic reforms.
The country is ruled by King Mswati as an absolute Monarch, political parties are banned from participating in elections, the King appoints the Prime Minister, Ministers, Judges, a majority of Senators and all members of the various Governing Councils.
The publication also reported that King Mswati has issued a decree stopping the delivery of petitions across the the country as pro-democracy protests intensify spreading rapidly to the rural areas.
The decree was announced on Thursday (24 June) by Acting Prime Minister Themba Masuku who currently holds Executive powers on behalf of the King. The decree came about 48hours ahead of a petition delivery at Siphofaneni Inkhundla whose Member of Parliament Mduduzi ‘Magawugawu’ Simelane is facing persecution and intimidation from government for calling for democratic reforms.
Thousands of citizens across the country marched to their various Constituencies to deliver petitions demanding democratic reforms including an elected Prime Minister, the King’s Government through the Acting Prime Minister said the protests have been hijacked by elements seeking to influence regime change.