Swaziland
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MZWAKHE’S APOLOGY TO UMPHAKATSI FOR JOINING ‘UMZABALAZO’

MBABANE – Repented former political party member and gospel musician Mzwakhe Myeni this past week offered his apology to the people of KaNgcamphalala under Chief Mshikashika.

It has been ascertained that the apology was for having participated in the mass democratic movement (MDM) and at one point disturbed a meeting at the Lusabeni Umphakatsi, which was attended by the chief, by shouting the words ‘amandla!’ and demanding multiparty democracy. He is also said to have been vocal around the community and recruiting people to join the mdm as he had become a member of the Swaziland Liberation Movement (SWALIMO), where he was Lubombo District Chairperson. He was expelled from SWALIMO in September 2022 after a disciplinary hearing found him guilty of dishonesty, forgery and falsification of information. Both Myeni and Lusabeni Indvuna Zephania Dlamini confirmed the apology, which was made in front of a large number of members of the community who had gathered at the umphakatsi to be briefed about development initiatives in the area.

Myeni was reportedly part of the agenda even though the community is said to have not been told why he was included in the day’s programme. The indvuna said Myeni had first approached him and asked that he be taken to Chief Mshikashika to offer his apology to him but was told that he would have to apologise to the people first. “We could not allow him to go to the area’s authority, first but he has to respect hierarchy. The first point of call has to be the people of the community. Secondly, he has to apologise to the indvuna and council. He then has to apologise to the princes of the area. After that, he can be taken to the chief,” the indvuna said. Dlamini said although it took some time for Myeni to offer the apology, he eventually appeared before the residents.

Repented

“After we had discussed the main agenda item, Myeni was then given an opportunity to talk because he had to tell the residents what prompted him to do what he did in the presence of the chief and elders of the area. He told the residents that he was taken by the winds that were blowing during that time and found himself shouting the ‘amandla!’ statement. “He said he has now repented and was sorry for his actions. The community accepted his apology but indicated that he has to go to the chief to also offer the apology to him,” said the indvuna. Members of Myeni’s family were reportedly also present when he offered the apology just like they were also in attendance during the meeting where the gospel artist made the political statements. The indvuna said the next step was for Myeni to go to the indvuna and his council to offer his apology there.

Myeni, on the other hand, said his apology was based on that as a role model it was wrong of him to engage in acts meant to cause a revolt against the country’s authorities. “Firstly, I apologised for joining ‘umzabalazo’ and appearing as part of the campaign to cause a revolution in the country. The residents welcomed my apology and said most people had been hoodwinked into believing that what was being said by those behind the revolt was true yet, it was not. The whole community of KaNgcamphalala understood,” he said. Thereafter, he said he advised the youth of the area not to work against government but to support the many development initiatives brought by government in the community. “Almost 90 per cent of the homesteads here now have electricity. His Majesty the King has also given us access to his farm at Manyonyaneni to use and we are all reaping the benefits. This shows that the King cares for his people. ESWADE has also ensured that 95 per cent of households will have access to clean water in a space of three months from now. I, therefore, urged the youth to distance themselves in activities that are against government and, this was met with applause,” he said.

Myeni said some residents asked why it had taken long for him to apologise and he indicated that he had long approached the indvuna but there were still processes to follow before he was given the platform. “I told the people that what happened was the biggest mistake I ever made as a child of God and as a citizen of Ncandweni. It will never happen again. I urged the youth to distance themselves from such activities,” he further said.

Revolt

He said many residents offered their own advice to him on how he can avoid being involved in acts of revolt against the authorities. “They thanked me for voluntarily apologising to them. The meeting ended with everyone satisfied at what I had said. The women of the area thanked me for having humbled myself and apologised. They even called my mother’s name and attached it to the apology I had offered,” he stated. Myeni said his apology was in no way a campaign strategy as he had openly declared his willingness to contest for a Parliament seat in the national elections. “No one among the residents thought I was campaigning and that was never mentioned in any way. They just listened at what I was saying and there was no confrontation since this was coming from my heart,” he said.

He added that before the apology, he had felt a void in his heart because of the need to reach out to his chiefdom to declare that he had since changed. Myeni said he had declared through the newspapers and television, but never came back to his community as a citizen of the area to apologise and declare his support for the Tinkhundla System of Government. In April, Myeni informed the Times SUNDAY that he no longer believed in political parties, but was in full support of the Tinkhundla System of Government that is rooted on individual merit as a basis for election or appointment to public office. He even announced that he would be participating in this year’s national elections under the portfolio of Member of Parliament.