Swaziland: Uniswa to Teach King's Vision From God

opinion

The state-funded University of Swaziland (UNISWA), which has King Mswati III as its Chancellor, is to incorporate 'Monarchical Democracy' into its academic programmes.

The university's Vice Chancellor Prof Cisco Magagula made this announcement at the UNISWA graduation ceremony.

'Monarchical Democracy' is the new name given by the king to the tinkhundla system of government in Swaziland. Under this system King Mswati rules as an absolute monarch, political parties are banned from taking part in elections, and people are not allowed to elect any members of the kingdom's Senate House.

Under 'Monarchical Democracy', the king appoints the Prime Minister, the government and judges.

In September 2013, King Mswati announced that he had received a vision (widely assumed to have been from God) in which he was told to introduce the new 'Monarchical Democracy' system of governance into Swaziland.

Media in Swaziland which are always subservient to the king reported the announcement as if it heralded a new vision in democracy. Only, later, when interviewed by the international news agency Reuters, did the king admit 'Monarchical Democracy' was only a new name for tinkhundla, coined to make it easier for non-Swazi people to understand.

The tinkhudla system is widely recognised outside Swaziland as a non-democratic system of government.

At the UNISWA graduation ceremony on Saturday (12 October 2013), Prof Magagula said, 'The university would also like to thank His Majesty and Chancellor for defining the Tinkhundla System of governance ['Monarchical Democracy']. As an institution of higher learning mandated to teach, undertake research, and generate new knowledge, we will ensure that this defining of the Tinkhundla System of governance is incorporated into our academic programmes.'

Prof Magagula did not disclose how the university intended to change its academic programmes in order to incorporate 'Monarchical Democracy'.

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