Swaziland
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MINISTER TO CHIEFS: PRESENT CATTLE TO KING FOR CONQUERING UNREST

PIGG’S PEAK – Minister of Home Affairs Princess Lindiwe has called upon chiefs to gift His Majesty King Mswati III with cattle, thanking him for conquering the unrest.

The minister said such a gesture would be in line with the country’s tradition of kwetfula, which is presenting gifts to the King. This come after the country was engulfed by unprecedented levels of political unrest, which led to the burning and looting of various businesses and the killing of civilians and State security personnel. The minister made the suggestion yesterday during a meeting with bantfwabenkhosi and chiefs at the REO Hall in Pigg’s Peak, where she had gone to relay a message from His Majesty the King ahead of the double celebration.

Attained

The country will celebrate 55 years since it attained independence from colonial rule and the King’s birthday where he will also be turning 55 years. “We have been told that in the past, when the kingdom had just undergone a catastrophic event, such as the recent one, chiefs would take cattle to the King (kuyotfula), to say we are thankful that he has defeated or survived such a disaster or war. We are told that is what chiefs would do in the past, it is now up to you what you will do as chiefs to appreciate or thank the King for conquering the recent disastrous situation or war (sic),” she said. The minister added; “The country was under attack and now that the attacks are over, it is time for us to show our happiness. The country now shows signs of livelihood and it is out of that dark snake pit, where the devil had thrown it. The situation now permits us to be happy and celebrate when there is need to do so, such as the birth of His Majesty the King and commemoration of our Independence Day. We must make it a beautiful event to show that we have come out of a struggle and we are now celebrating,” said the minister. She also highlighted that the message that she had come to deliver to bantfwabenkhosi and chiefs was a matter which had already been announced even in Parliament.

Message

“I am here to deliver a message of the big festival, which will be commemorated by the kingdom. This year, we are celebrating 55 years since the country attained its independence. We are also celebrating His Majesty the King’s birthday, as he is also turning 55 years since God blessed the nation with his birth. This is a huge event in the country as we have had quite a number of years without celebrating the King’s birthday. It has been quite a while now, but Their Majesties saw it fit to celebrate the King’s birthday this year as the celebration will be merged with that of the country attaining its independence and, thus making it a big event deserving to be celebrated,” she said.

She further mentioned that it was known that during such celebrations, bantfwabenkhosi and chiefs were called upon to assist the King and ensure that such an event was a success.
“It is a national event, but due to the fact that the double celebration will be staged at Somhlolo National Stadium, in Lobamba, on September 6, 2023, it remains a fact that it will be an event held in the Hhohho Region. It does not mean other bantfwabenkhosi and chiefs from the other regions would not assist, but we deemed it proper to start by relaying the message to the Hhohho bantfwabenkhosi and chiefs as the celebrations will be held in the Hhohho Region,” she said. The minister said for them, it was to assist and support bantfwabenkhosi and chiefs ensure that the celebrations were a huge success. She added that the country had a lot of events this year because after the double celebration of the King’s birthday and Independence Day, the country will go to the national elections, where they would usher in a new government into office.

Celebration

She said the double celebration would be held during the course of the national elections and this meant that there was a lot of work to be done and for the chiefs, it was to help and support the King to ensure that these national events were a success. Member of the Civil Service Commission (CSC), Prince Mphatfwa, on behalf of bantfwabenkhosi and chiefs, thanked the minister for the message from the King. He said they heard the message and would ensure that they assisted and supported the King for the double celebration to be a success. The prince said they were still to meet after the departure of the minister for a caucus among themselves on a way forward.