…. History Repeating Itself

History leaves no blank pages. When the People's United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) decided to unban itself and make major announcements after its Ipeleng Conference in Soweto shortly after the Treason Trial in the early 90s, the battlefield was decisively barricaded and there was a drastic change in the Swazi political landscape.

The subsequent organization of the trade union movement, leading to the famous mass stay away (Khukhulela Ngoco), instilled fear among political elites, with some establishing themselves into an organization called "Sive Siyinqaba" which was disguised as a cultural organization. This organization introduced itself as one that was here to protect the institution of the monarchy from what it called foreign elements that wanted to destabilise the country. "Sibahle Sinje," they said of themselves. When they later changed into a political party the late Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini's earlier suspicion that "it was a wine served in a coca cola glass" was proven correct.

At the height of radical and militant youth struggles in eSwatini, spearheaded by the Swaziland Youth Congress (SWAYOCO), in the early 90s up to the early 2000s, the Swazi state was suffocated into extreme panic which consequently led to the immature birth of the Swaziland National Youth Council (SNYC) as a counter offensive to the growing progressive youth voices in the country.

Armed with sharp scientific tools of analysis, a comprehensive political and ideological training as well as mass campaigns, the programme of SWAYOCO was too attractive to young people who saw an opportunity to join a collective that was fighting for democratic change in the country.

The SNYC came into existence in 2002 as a counter vehicle to organize young people around the policies of the Tinkhundla system. At some point it looked so attractive that it made some trapping breakthroughs and neutralised things, albeit temporarily. History has exposed and left it to what it is today - an organization receiving government subvention for doing nothing.

Again, when the Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions (SFTU) and the Swaziland Federation of Labour (SFL) merged into the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA), this progressive unity was seen as a threat by the Swazi state which quickly activated its forces into a trade union federation called Federation of Eswatini Workers Trade Unions (FESWATU) to counter the progressive programme of TUCOSWA.

The same happened when the Swaziland National Union of Students (SNUS) was revived in 2006. When former Deputy Minister of Youth Hlobisile Ndlovu made a failed attempt to convince the students union leaders to change its name and objectives, a group of students were organized to make appearance in strategic meetings under what they called Swaziland National Association of Students. The latter died a natural death and students correctly identified it as a reactionary tool meant to break them and weaken their programme of action. The list is endless.

Now, when the nation woke up to reports of an organization formed to stop other organizations, it was a laughable contradiction to those who have always been following political developments in this country. Reminiscent of the Swazi government style of creating counter progressive organizations to cause confusion and sow seeds of division, Mangololo movement has been formed to fight the growing calls for democratic change which have reached an all time high at the moment.

However, this time the state chose a shady character who is wanting in substance, hence his Mangololo died the moment it was announced. Perhaps they should have chosen another person, not the Gcina Dlamini that we know. Surely, not the Gcina Dlamini from Nqabaneni who is a son of a former Lomahasha based cop, a soil scientist who worked for SWADE and stole funds to fund a failed parliamentary election campaign - he has lost on many occasions and thinks he can do this as a short cut to parliament on appointment by the powers that be.

They should have raised another name, not Gcina who has been stealing gate takings from Highlanders Highlanders Football Club, not the Gcina who stole offerings at Evangelical church in Mbabane, a man who was once arrested for stealing funds for ARVs at NERCHA, an irresponsible act that placed lives of hundreds of Swazis in danger!

While the Swazi state has always been using attention-seeking individuals to form organizations and counter the progressive and democracy movement, this time around they failed the moment they started. Above all, it is laughable that a movement can be formed to stop other movements - what a despicable paradox! History will be the judge.