As we lament the death of many emaSwati and beloved comrades who fell in the frontline of the struggle there is a lot to be thankful for as we end this year. This has been a historic year for the entire Swazi nation and particularly to the freedom fighters. 

For the first time in the history of this nation, resolute Members of Parliament courageously stood in parliament and called for political reforms. A system and its leaders who have never been challenged right inside parliament shook to the core. For the first time in the history of this nation, resolute emaSwati stood up with undeterred tenacity and delivered petitions, solely calling for political reforms

A panicking Acting Prime Minister unjustifiably stopped the delivery of the petitions in an effort to silence a generation that can never be silenced. His irresponsible actions led to national protests which resulted in the deaths, injuries and loss of property. Had it not been for the recklessness of the then Acting Prime Minister, violence would not have occurred. 

Together with his masters, they are yet to answer for the crimes against humanity committed at their instruction. Swazi law and the judiciary can be in their zipped pockets but not international laws. Our hearts go to all families who lost their beloved relatives.

As a result of the DPM’s recklessness, our beloved Members of Parliament are unjustifiably incarcerated. Why are these MPs made to occupy the position of DPM in prison? We know who should be there. We decry the fact that they have been denied bail and continue to be behind bars. Their unquenched spirits inspire us.

eSwatini Deputy Prime Minister Themba Masuku was the Acting Prime Minister during the civil unrest in the country

Maswati lamahle, against these atrocities, there is a lot to celebrate. Again, for the first time in the history of this country, a panicking and shacking Head of State started insulting Emaswati and calling them names. A clear signal of panic! For the first time in the history of the country, SADC Troika officials visited the country on three instances within a few months. For the first time, a sitting Head of State flew into the country to try to drill sense into the mind of the King.

For the first time, the King bowed to the pressure persistently exerted by emaSwati and called for dialogue. Comrades, the pressure you have exerted within such a short period is well felt. We have successfully built on the strong foundations laid by many freedom fighters and comrades in the past years.

It was in the height of events, when Emaswati had gained total control of the country, when Princes Sikhanyiso rushed to the media to call for calm and issued a public apology on behalf of royalty. Such has never been seen nor heard but the push and resilience of emaSwati pressured her and indlu yaDlamini (as she said) to apologize and call for calm. That was a good move by her which her elders should have leveraged on. The country wouldn’t be where it is today.

Maswati and fellow comrades, the pressure you exerted in your calls for democracy was heard by the whole world. Media houses from all over the world zoomed into Swaziland. Your call for democratic reforms is clear. Even the deaf heard very well. With bare hands and resolute spirits, you have fought a fully armed system!

As we move into 2022, we shall hit the ground running. With renewed hope, renewed strength and utmost tenacity we will push for democracy in Eswatini. We have one sole focus: to have “people elected leaders” in the country; leaders who will be accountable to the people; leaders who will value and respect the people. We call in one voice; Eswatini must attain full democratization. No leader must be imposed. No leader must be a monster to the people.

I call upon all comrades, our youths, elders and the international community to fight this noble fight. We are already seeing the winning line. As we step into 2022, let us summon our strength and move forward. The monster must fall, the people must govern.

NB: Simelane is an exiled member of Parliament and also President of the recently formed Swaziland Liberation Movement (SWALIMO)