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Scenes at the ongoing national cattle byre blowing off steam session (ably called "kubhunga" by the King) demonstrate just how much as a country we take 10 steps forward only to take 20 backwards.

 We thought after the 2021 fiasco we would by now be in deep introspection on what caused the national anger that erupted into an attempt at a putsch as well as addressing the grievances of the nation that ignited the failed uprising.

Yet here we are again three years later doing the same thing and hoping for different results. Even more tragic is that unlike in the past, the authorities have stopped all manner of pretences about listening to dissenting voices or feigning some misleading narrative that Sibaya is a national platform where everyone can talk and be listened to.

The manner in which Sibusiso Dlamini, founding President of the African United Democratic Party (AUDP), was rudely interrupted while making his submission deserves condemnation from those who punt Sibaya as a national dialoguing forum. Yet the silence is deafening. For over three years now the nation has waited on the King to call for dialogue as promised in 2021.

This is a promise he gave to SADC, to the world and importantly to the people of eSwatini. None of us ghastly anticipated this version of dialogue AKA kubhunga...literally blowing off steam. That the Sibaya forum is conducted in the same midevial way where speakers represent no constituency, are appointed to fire off tangent with no agenda to guide submission and the fact that the monarchy is not obliged to listen or implement what is being said is bad enough.