King Mswati reportedly flees Eswatini following raging civil unrest

King Mswati reportedly flees Eswatini following raging civil unrest

Eswatini, being one of the longest-standing monarchies in Africa, sees its citizens calling for democracy. 

King Mswati III_gallo
File photo: Gallo Images

The hashtag #eSwatini and #Swaziland started trending on social media late in the night on 28 June 2021 and in the early hours of June 29 with videos of protest action - mostly the youth of the country - calling for political reform. 

Since 1973, political parties have been banned in the country where King Mswati rules as the complete monarch who chooses the Prime Minister, ministers, judges, and civil servants. The country's youth have taken to the streets to finally explicitly express their disapproval of this system.

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Protests in the country have been taking place for the past 10 days in at least 10 locations - mainly in rural areas - but the night of 28 June saw tensions elevated and buildings burned. 

Several tweets poured through displaying the road blocks in the streets of Eswatini and fires to local stores in the country: 

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Prior to this specific incident in the protests, the youth staged a protest in a village in the kingdom's Manzini district to demand the right to vote for a Prime Minister of their choice. 

"As youth we no longer want the present system of governance," another protester, Noma Matsebula, told AFP.  

The share their thoughts regarding a monarchy-run country. If it is acceptable that the youth of Eswatini are causing havoc for a pro-democracy in their country. 

READ MORE: More protests erupt in Pietermaritzburg

Another thing which might have sparked this raging element of the protests on this night is the the government’s ban on protests the previous week, with the National Police Commissioner giving out the warning that breaches of the ban would be met with zero tolerance.

King Mswati III; crowned since 1986, has also been criticised for his lavish lifestyle and alleged human rights violations. He is a well-known polygamist with at least 15 wives and 23 children. He was selected to be the next King at the age of 14 and he was crowned King shortly after his 18th birthday in 1986.

In 2019, the country was rocked by a series of strikes by civil servants who accused the monarch of draining public coffers at the expense of his subjects.

We await clear reports of King Mswati's whereabouts and communication from the government. 

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Main Image Courtesy: Supplied

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