Businesses Burn in Eswatini as Protestors Ignore Curfew
Businesses Burn in Eswatini as Protestors Ignore Curfew. Photo: Twitter video screenshot

Angry protestors in Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) have reportedly ignored a 6pm to 5am curfew set by the government on Tuesday night and are burning businesses with ties to King Mswati as their protest against the royal leader continues.

According to award-winning Zimbabwean journalist and documentary filmmaker, Hopewell Chin’ono, “the King deployed the military to quell the protesters but the protesters have come out in huge numbers in different places demanding immediate reforms!”

During another day of intensifying protests in the Kingdom today, soldiers reportedly took control of the capital city, Mbabane, where protestors were calling for democratic reforms. Acting Prime Minister Themba Masuku appealed to protesters to rather submit their grievances via email… but in a bid to regain control and end the protests, the King’s regime apparently shut down the internet.

In South Africa, EFF Leader Julius Malema issued a statement calling on the Kingdom’s political parties to unite in their demand for reforms and an end to political tyranny.

He also asked the South African Government to shut down King Mswati’s diplomatic offices in South Africa. (At the time of publishing there was no statement from the Presidency yet.)

Some say it was Malema who first planted the seed for this protest, when he addressed EFF Swaziland in December 2019 about the King’s alleged abuse of power and “looting of public funds whilst his people lived in poverty”. Chin’ono said: “What is happening today in Swaziland has been long time coming, it is the youths that were mobilized to end repression and all opposition political parties are fighting for one thing.”

According to Chin’ono, the King wears million dollar watches bought by taxpayers’ money while his people live in poverty.

“63 percent of the Kingdom of Swaziland’s population still lives below the poverty line,” says Chin’ono. “Swaziland has a poverty rate of 69.2 percent! His people are tired of his looting and greed! The man has NO shop, all he does well is collecting wives and looting tax payer’s money!”

According to some reports King Mswati has fled from Eswatini to South Africa, however Masuku says the King “is in the country and continues to advance the Kingdom’s goals”. Masuku called for “calm, restraint and peace”.

Monday night: