As the country sinks deeper into violent confrontation, pride and arrogance from our leaders refuses to let go, and save this country from destruction.

 We cannot go on like this. No! It is seriously baffling as to why our leaders are incessantly refusing to give the long-anticipated dialogue a chance. All sane-thinking, and peace-loving citizens of the country had long been making a clarion call for the dialogue process to take place in the hope that our leaders would listen - and act - but, in vain. Sadly, as things stand, hopes are fast disappearing like water in the desert that dialogue will ever take place. It is now a case of vanity - futile, vain, wishful thinking. For reasons best known to themselves, our leaders are ferociously digging in their heels.

Why? Who is holding a gun to our heads, defying all logic, and allowing the glorious chance offered by a dialogue process to slip by? Are we all patriots who profess to love this country with a passion as we claim? Or, are there some in our leadership positions who have adopted the stance of taking the country down with them rather than coming to the negotiation table? Why are there so many suspicions, and a growing school of thought that is gaining moment by the day that someone or a cabal of sorts with sinister motives is preventing the dialogue process from taking place? Could there be fear from these faceless people in leadership positions that should the dialogue process take place, some people would lose all perks and benefits of being in power? People died horrifically last year, in June during the unprecedented unrest. Some members of law enforcement officers, especially the Police, are being brutally murdered.

There is ongoing violence in our country and things do not seem to be getting any better, especially in the absence of the dialogue that was promised to the nation. Why? As much as power not only corrupts but, does so absolutely, the people refusing to allow the dialogue process to take place do not seem to have any conscience left, especially as they see the loss of lives and destruction of properties. Is that how we are going to live our lives from now onwards? We cannot be like rats who scamper in fright at the sight of humans.

No one is safe in eSwatini anymore. If one knows what is good for him or her, it has now somewhat become safe to guard one's tongue by not openly criticizing anyone who is on either side of the political divide. Is this life? I don't think so! We want to live our lives in peace, and harmony. We just cannot take it anymore. Priority should not be given to treading carefully as one lives his or her life, fearing to exercise freedom of expression, association, and assembly. We want our younger generation to grow up in a peaceful, and harmonious environment. We cannot afford to live by the bullet, under a cloud of an eye for an eye hegemony.

The country is fresh from trading blows with the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. We are battling to rebuild our lives which were torn apart by the dangers we faced as we struggled to survive the deadly effects of the virus. Many people lost friends, and family members during the pandemic. Then, came June 29, 2021, things fell apart... We faced a new type of deadly pandemic - unprecedented unrest, state brutality, arson attacks, you name it. Oh! My God! Some of us cannot, and will never forget that deadly, June 29, 2021 period. Young men and women died tragically. Others were maimed horrifically for life, with vital limbs missing. The whole nation was affected by what happened during that tumultuous period.

Even the intervention of the controversial SADC failed to bring any sanity to our leaders by forcing our government to come to the negotiation table. Our leaders are wasting crucial time, hiding under the sickening excuse, and banner of "dialogue cannot be held whilst the violence is ongoing.."  Conflict is mostly resolved through negotiation, sitting around the roundtable, trashing out differences, and reaching an amicable solution. The bullet, hatred, and an eye for an eye stance cannot, and will never bring any peace. History is bloated with numerous accounts of how the use of violence as a means of solving problems had failed to bring peace in many civil strifes. Those countries that finally achieved peace never wasted any time by postponing dialogue. They dialogued successfully during spates of violence and finally agreed to disagree. Ending the violent confrontation calls for maturity, level-headedness, and the will to discard the fear of losing power, from visionary leaders. EmaSwati are a peaceful people, in spite of oppressive rule. We are a nation that believes in settling disputes through dialogue, instead of using the bullet, and matches as a means of settling disputes.

Unless, and until our leaders discard the fear of losing decades of being in oppressive rule, we must kiss goodbye to any chances of achieving peace. It is excruciating to see such a tiny country of less than two million people comprising of one ethnic group, failing to sit down, talk, and solve their problems amicably. The quest of the people for at least, being listened to, and given an ear for their cries for dialogue needs to be addressed. There is just no way of stemming or at least halting the tide of violence by being aggressive using violent means. Our government needs to refrain from using violence to whip into submissions the people. It is a fact of life that our leaders are in power because of the masses. There is just no way they can lead themselves.

It is the people who pay taxes that enable our leaders to live opulent lifestyles. We cannot allow pride, and arrogance to destroy this country. The violence has gone too far. An eye for an eye stance will leave us all blind. Let us all give peace a chance. We are, or rather, used to be a God-fearing nation. Our leaders profess to love and worship the 'Living God.' God hates oppression, and the use of violence to suppress people. Is using heavy-handedness a solution? The blood that has been spilled must come to an end. We are one nation, which speaks one language. We are all interrelated.

We cannot allow violence to set us against each other. The violence must stop. Our leaders must discard pride, and humble themselves, by allowing the process of dialogue to take place. It is enough. We are tired of living in fear. Let us all build the country through a peaceful resolution of our problems. We cannot allow ourselves to be drawn into civil war. It is easier to destroy than to build. Let us follow the example of our next-door neighbours, South Africa, who saw the need to dialogue after years of violence brought about by the apartheid system of governance. We all have a stake in the running of the country.

None of us should lay claim to the wretched claim that the country exclusively belongs to them. The people want peaceful coexistence with each other. It is time to reconcile, negotiate, and put aside guns, and matches. Adopting the "tooth for tooth, eye for eye" system of rule has only moved the world to where it is today. We live in an increasingly violent world. This is true for our country, also. We need to stop allowing our country to be marred by crimes, conflict bloodshed, police brutality, and so on. Let us not allow our egos to render us lacking in basic values of humanity such as compassion, love, trust, and so on. Let us take note of this quote: "Violence is not the answer. It is a tool of the weak used by those who can't win through reason or don't have the power to do so. " - Anonymous. May sanity prevail? Lucky Nxumalo (kindly use this ghost name)