The last minute attempt to save an embarrassed king
Unlike in previous years when King Mswati would summon the nation to the National Cattle byre at Ludzidzini and get them packed in no time, the recent Sibaya was different.
In a desperate attempt to calm down the civil unrest in the country, government buses and trucks were ordered to go to communities and get people to attend Sibaya but were embarrassed when people boycotted the national event and refused to go to Ludzidzini. Videos and pictures of empty buses and trucks started circulating as early as 9AM, the time the king was supposed to start addressing the nation. The police and army killed unarmed civilians calling for change and the people were angry at the king and royalty, hence the boycott of Sibaya.
Seeing that the people were not coming the country's security forces had to step in and save the situation. How can the king address an empty Sibaya? Our sources within the royal family reveal that all royal councils were running helter skelter in a desperate attempt to evade the embarrassment. There were only two possible options: either to force people to come or to issue a command and get soldiers and police to attend. The latter became an easy option. A command was quickly issued for the police and soldiers as well as emabutfo to come and fill up the national cattle byre, but they could only do so much. Cameras had to take one angle to make it look decent and dignified.
"Obviously, the king usually comes late but this time around he really wanted to be early but he could not address an empty Sibaya, hence the delay as emabutfo and security forces were trying to fill it up. We were all shocked and embarrassed," says Prince Mshikila* "The order given to them was to scream the king's praises and make some noise throughout the speech. That is why the reaction was not the usual one because it was a staged reaction," he continues.