The nation Of eSwatini legitimises taiwanese Democracy, the Taiwanese legitimise a corrupt, undemocratic, oppressive Monarchy
Dear People of Taiwan,
When many nations in the world ridiculed your sovereign right to declare your small country a democratic republic, separate from communist China, we, the nation of Eswatini recognised your right and claim to freedom. Little did we know that in exchange you would donate military helicopters to eSwatini’s undemocratic government headed by Africa’s last absolute monarch, and contribute to the killing of over 40 young men and women in the space of three (3) days whose crime is seeking a democratic dispensation and an accountable government.
Many in the tiny Kingdom do not know much about the geopolitics of your region nor the history of it, but many in our region understand very deeply the need for freedom.
So whilst the people of Eswatini, really had no input in the decision of the government of Eswatini to recognise you as a sovereign country and shun the communist China agenda that seeks to have you as part of their country, Swazis are truly happy and support the fact that you as a people have the freedom to elect your government and influence the many policies that affect you, because they want that freedom too.
Ironically, the recognition and support of Taiwanese freedom means the continued suppression and oppression of the rights of the peoples of eSwatini to have full citizenship which, includes being able to vote for a government, choose policies that form the basis of their society and hold the government accountable. You see in Eswatini, whilst they are a very proud people, in truth they are subjects of an absolute monarch who has more regard for how he fills his money boxes, acquires wealth for his large family and close network than ensuring the 1,1 million people living in the country do not live in poverty.
Can you believe that over 60% of the 1,1 million people in eSwatini live in poverty? Even though the GDP of eSwatini is said to be at about $4,4 billion, clearly very little of that goes towards re-investment in the country in the form of social security, health and education sectors. eSwatini has a disproportionately high occurrence of HIV and with it comes the breaking of family and social structures that have resulted in the high number of orphans. Currently, in the middle of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the eSwatini government says it does not have money for basic health medicines and is almost completely reliant on donations for COVID-19 vaccines. The government headed by King Mswati III never chooses the people of Eswatini.
President Tsai Ing-wen (Credit: taiwan.gov.tw)
Still on the economy, eSwatini is considered a low middle income country due to its GDP, even though the truth of it is that most of that money benefits the King who has a stake in all the big industries and companies in Eswatini, and many companies belong to foreigners. There are quite a few Taiwanese companies operating manufacturing businesses in eSwatini to take advantage of insanely generous tax breaks as well as easy access to lucrative markets in the EU and the USA through the preferential trade agreements eSwatini has as a ‘poor’ country, to no advantage to the people of eSwatini. The cheap and unprotected labour provided by the people of eSwatini make it very profitable for Taiwanese companies to set up clothing manufacturing businesses in eSwatini for example and supply to the USA through the AGOA preferential trade agreements, giving Taiwanese businesses a competitive advantage they would not have if they were operating from Taiwan. With very little benefit to the people of Eswatini except meagre wages as unprotected workers.
The people of Taiwan do make quite a lot of contributions to the people of eSwatini, but the balance is obviously skewed to the benefit of the people of Taiwan and the elite of the Kingdom of eSwatini. As the Kingdom gives your democracy legitimacy, you give the corrupt, oppressive and undemocratic royal elite and their cronies legitimacy, quite the paradox wouldn’t you say?
There is much to say about the condition of the people of eSwatini, much of the poverty is sustained by democratic governments supporting the undemocratic government of eSwatini, like Taiwan and the $1,6 billion loan India is about to make to the government of eSwatini. The Indian loan is a different matter and the people of India will also be addressed, but directly to the people of Taiwan it is to bring awareness to some of the undemocratic pillars on which your democracy is being built on.
The lives of the 1,1million people of eSwatini matter, they too deserve to live in freedom and live in a democracy, this is what you can do to help the people of eSwatini:
• Introspect on whether your freedom is worth it if it denies another nation its freedom?
• Lobby your Members of Parliament to ensure that their policies and agreements with the Kingdom of Eswatini all promote democratisation
• Hold your government accountable for the contributions made on the behalf of the people of Taiwan, they should only support social security in Eswatini such as the health and education sectors, no military assistance
• The scholarships provided to students of Eswatini to study in Taiwan are given with preference to poor students, currently most scholarships go to those with connections to the monarchy and its elite.
#Eswatini #Tawain #PeopleOfTaiwan #Kungahlwakwenile #SwaziLivesMatter #AfricanLivesMatter