THE MDC Alliance yesterday described embattled Eswatini monarch King Mswati III and President Emmerson Mnangagwa as “twins” in terms of the deteriorating human rights situation as well as shrinkage of democratic space in the two countries.
This was said by MDC Alliance secretary for foreign relations Gladys Hlatywayo while addressing the Press in Harare yesterday.
Hlatywayo claimed that Mnangagwa could actually be advising King Mswati III on how to crush demonstrations in his strife-torn country.
“The government of Zimbabwe is essentially the same with the Eswatini government in terms of its character,” she said.
“It’s a government that violates human rights, it’s a government that does not believe in the rule of law, it does not respect international law, and so there is no basis whatsoever for us to be engaging the Zimbabwean government to solve the Eswatini issue.”
Mswati has been violently cracking down on pro-democracy protests.
The MDC Alliance has in the past tried to demonstrate against Mnangagwa’s government, but this has been met with brutality and arrests of its members.
During the August 2018 post-election demonstrations, six civilians were shot dead, while about 17 people were also killed by security forces during the January 2019 fuel protests, while several others were left injured. Hlatywayo said it was very unlikely that the Zimbabwean government would intervene in the Eswatini crisis to ensure that the protests do not cause any further bloodshed.
“For all we know, they are actually giving solidarity messages to King Mswati III and even giving him strategies on how to maintain his stronghold on power,” she said.
“When there were reports that King Mswati III had fled Eswatini, some people even suggested that he was headed for Zimbabwe. The fact that people were actually entertaining such thoughts shows you the character of the Zimbabwean government.”
The MDC Alliance also called on Sadc to act decisively on the crisis in Eswatini, saying the people should be heard, and adding that the autocratic government in the kingdom must end.