Human rights watchdog slams ‘authoritarian’ King Mswati III’s ZITF invite

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By Staff Reporter

CiZC said the invitation makes President Emmerson Mnangagwa complicit in the continued violence and oppression in Eswatini.

“The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition disapproves the move by the Government of Zimbabwe to invite the authoritarian ruler of Eswatini, to officially open Zimbabwe’s premium business show,” CiZC said in a statement.

“King Mswati III is a soiled leader with the blood of innocent citizens killed for legitimately demanding elections based on one person one vote, and not selections in that Ngwane Kingdom.

“His government stands accused of deploying the military to shoot at civilians, jailing hundreds, injuring thousands and killing many including the most recent victim of state sponsored terror, Advocate Thulani Maseko,” protested CiZC.

According to the pressure group, King Mswati III’s presence in the country is an affront to the values of democracy and human rights.

“By welcoming an absolute monarch who is known for his repressive tactics, President Emmerson Mnangagwa is being complicit in the continued violence and oppression in Eswatini.

“As leaders of the Southern African region, they have a responsibility to uphold democratic values and human rights for all citizens.”

CiZC implored SADC leaders to uphold democratic values and fundamental human rights for all citizens in the region.

“We stand in solidarity with the people of Swaziland demanding political and economic justice, particularly economic reforms where the Monarchy controls all economic facets and the ordinary citizens are reduced to beggars.

“What saddens us most is welcoming a ruthless and unaccountable leader to Bulawayo, itself a hub of unresolved injustices where an estimated 20,000 civilians were killed by a similarly unaccountable and unapologetic government in the 1980s.”

The group also called for SADC Chairperson, Namibian President Hage Geingob to mount pressure on King Mswati III to account for the murder of Maseko.

“As King Mswati III comes to Zimbabwe, we reiterate the SADC Organ Chairperson, Namibian President, His Excellency Dr Hage Geingob’s January 23, 2023, statement that, “… the Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini must ensure that the killing of Mr. Maseko is swiftly, transparently and comprehensively investigated, and that any or all persons suspected of committing this heinous crime are brought to justice”.”