Mbabane: The Multi-stakeholder forum has vowed not to attend Sibaya tomorrow.
Multi-stakeholder forum comprises of political parties under Political Parties Assembly and Civil Society Organisations representing: Democracy, Governance and Leadership, women, youth, Church, labour, people living with disabilities and business.
The resolution was taken at a meeting held at Tums Water World, Sidvokodvo where the Forum indicated that they choose to go for the planned march in Manzini over Sibaya.
The Multi-stakeholder resolved that the planned march for ‘Change and Justice’ by citizens of Eswatini, in Manzini on Friday, July 16, 2021, will continue as planned. According to the Multi-stakeholder forum, the march aims to reiterate the demands of the people for a genuine, honest, and all-inclusive dialogue, to honour the deceased comrades, and to show solidarity to the mourning families and friends.
According to a statement issued by the Chairman of the Forum Thulani Maseko, during the meeting, they noted that the King summoned the nation to the Kraal, despite being aware of the planned national march by all citizens of Eswatini on Friday, 16 July 2021 in Manzini.
They observed that the call by the King is a ploy to mislead SADC TROIKA into believing “we are a dialogue-driven nation and to create an impression that the national authorities do engage the people on issues of national importance, which is not the case.”
The Forum highlighted that the call of the Sibaya meeting is a means to distract the advanced preparations of the MARCH for ‘Change and Justice’ by the people through their legitimate organizations.
In the statement the Forum noted that the national authorities have been silent about the massacre which took place two weeks ago, resulting in the death of over 70 Swazis and crippling hundreds, many of whom are still in hospitals that lack basic medical facilities and equipment. “Throughout the injuries, burials, and pain suffered by the nation, there was no remorse nor assistance from the government, hence, the people have lost confidence in the leadership of the King and the Tinkhundla governance system.”
It has also been highlighted that Sibaya was a super spreader of COVID-19 as was experienced during the last Incwala ceremony where many lost their lives. “It is highly irresponsible to expose the people to the existing conditions of the confined kraal, for the anticipated hours in a situation where there is still a total absence of vaccines in the country,” reads the statement.
The nation was forced to adhere to a curfew citing COVID-19, so it is not understood why the King would be an exception to this regulation by summoning people to the kraal. What is more, the Government banned the nation from legitimately delivering petitions to their elected representatives in the various Tinkhundla.
The stakeholder highlighted that it has been proven that over the years that Sibaya has no significant value in shaping the destiny of the country and as a people.
The forum further stated that they were ready to engage the SADC TROIKA on the five historical demands that were reaffirmed by the Political party Assembly (PPA) leadership as well as the broad spectrum of civil society which remain the foundation for a peaceful, long-lasting solution for the future of this nation. We remain resolute despite the attempted detraction by the national authorities, reads the statement.