Letter to Hon. Bacede & Mthandeni

Dear Honourable Bacede Mabuza & Mthandeni Dube, 

Obviously, you did not plan to cross-over to the year 2022 under the dreadful Tinkhundla prison conditions; none would have anticipated that the royal minority regime could send to prison Members of Parliament for expressing the will of the people and voicing out their right to self-determination.

We write this letter on a cold and rainy day that marks the eve of a new year. Numerous people throughout our country are collecting fireworks in readiness for cross-over celebrations, not because they are celebrating life or happy about anything but purely as a tradition to make some ‘little noise’ for a cross-over.

Our nation is aware that there is nothing to celebrate because the demise of Thabani Nkomonye was not enough on the side of the Lobamba regime; when students, youth, workers and rural communities stood up to demand justice for Thabani and for the democratization of Swaziland, the state responded with unprecedented violence and murdered about 80 people, injuring hundreds with some getting amputated.

As we end the year, we have graves to show and we live with relatives and friends who will never be able to walk again, while some still have bullets in their bodies all thanks to the state security forces.

Your Honourable MPs, we are aware that you were living relatively comfortable lives and that your material conditions were by far better than most of us who live in abject poverty and dehumanizing hunger, but you chose to speak truth to power and decided to stand up to the powerful ruling clique, knowing very well that there are consequences for those actions.

When you told the world that you were prepared for anything and that no one would intimidate you we thought it was just a slogan but we have lived to witness your true and genuine preparedness to sacrifice for the ordinary people of eSwatini. It has not been easy for you the same way it has been tough for your families but you soldier on regardless.

We are conscious of the harassment you are going through and are alive to the incontrovertible fact that a day in prison can be like a decade. However, what is inside of you is far more powerful than all the challenges and harsh conditions combined.

Together we shall overcome. You have inspired a nation to come together and wage a popular liberation struggle. Our people are more determined to fight than ever before and their courageous action is an indication that they are serious about freedom.

We will have enough time and sufficient energies to thank you on freedom day but at this moment we think it is proper to appreciate your service to the Swazi people and to humanity in general. You are standing for a right cause and you are on the right side of history.

Your children and grandchildren will be proud of you in the not so distant future; they will pull back their shoulders with authority whenever they mention your names. When that moment comes the grandchildren of Mabulala Maseko, Harries Madze Bulunga, David Cruiser Ngcamphalala, Themba Masuku and Sam Mthembu will be cursing the legacy of their grandparents. Future generations will spit on their graves!

You may not be with us in physical terms but we are with you in spirit and will continue to support you as a commitment to the national democratic revolution. We are angry and we enter the year 2022 with renewed strength and some sense of urgency to take the Swazi liberation struggle to its logical conclusion.

Your freedom will not come from the courts but will be a sum total of relentless struggles we shall intensify in the coming year. We declare the year 2022 as a year of decisive action to conclude the current phase of liberation struggle and we commit to suffocating the monster at all fronts until victory is achieved.

Honourable Mabuza and Dube, you shall come out of prison together with all political prisoners and Honourable ‘Magawugawu’ will lead all Swazi exiles as they return home to a free society. This will happen soon. That is our promise to you.

We salute your efforts and thank your families for allowing you to make great contributions to the noble cause of our people. Your sacrifice is humbling and your discipline heartwarming. We think about you every minute and when Swazi families pray in the evening they mention your names.

We shall overcome and, in the words of renowned African writer Ngugi wa Thiongo, “There is no night so long it does not end with dawn.”

Comradely yours,

The Bridge Editorial Team

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