Swaziland. In August, King Mswati dissolved the
parliament ahead of the planned parliamentary elections in
October. The decision was seen as an attempt to respond to
the opposition's call for voters to boycott the election.
Political parties are banned in the country, which is then
governed for a quarter of a century by decrees of the king.
Only individual candidates are allowed, and even if they are
nominated locally, they must in practice be accepted by the
king. Before the election, police and military house surveys
were conducted by several opposition leaders.
Countryaah, the election was described by the opposition as a father
and was followed by unrest, among other things. several
explosions. Shortly after the new government was sworn in in
November, the Deputy Prime Minister's office in the capital
Mbabane was destroyed in an explosive attack. One person was
killed and several injured. Three ministries had to be
evacuated following threats of further blasts.
In April 1998, the King launched a plan to "conserve the
environment" involving both public and private sectors. Five
critical areas were identified in the country. At the same
time, major construction projects were initiated such as
bridge construction, changes in watercourses and the
construction of irrigation systems for areas ravaged by the
Although political parties continued to be banned,
parliamentary elections were held in October. The opposition
and trade union movement called for a boycott, and not many
voters registered. The government responded again with a
search of a number of opposition politicians' homes.
A number of lawyers and prominent politicians - including
the former Justice Minister - who were advisers to the King
were charged with government fraud. Prime Minister Barnabas
Dlamini became involved in a marriage scandal when he was
accused by the former husband of the Deputy Governor of the
National Bank of destroying their marriage.
The permanent movements of the rural population created a
positive attitude towards changes in the judiciary, the
rights of the people and the resettlement policy. A report
by the Ministry of Economic Development indicated that the
main cause of rural poverty was forced displacement of the
peasants. In January, a number of villages clashed with
King's officials as they set out to be forced to relocate.
In October 2000, the government forced 40 families to give
their land to one of the king's brothers. The decision
triggered demonstrations that paralyzed the country in the
following days. The protesters simultaneously demanded civil
rights and the implementation of labor laws.
In mid-2001 Mswati decreed that all inhabitants were
banned from making fun of the king. At the same time, the
royal decree gave the king the right to ban any publication
that "does not conform to the Swazis' morals and ideals."
The decree was immediately used to ban two opposition
In March 2002, a petition for immediate food aid was
issued to 200,000 people dying of rape. The corn reserves
were exhausted and the usual supplier, South Africa, did not
have sufficient reserves to export to Swaziland.
In October 2003, parliamentary elections were held and
the King appointed Absalom Themba Dlamini as prime minister.
At the beginning of 2004, Mswati asked for DKK 15
million. US $ to build a palace for each of its 11 wives. At
the same time, the Prime Minister declared that the country
was facing a humanitarian disaster as a result of the lack
of rain for the previous three years.
In June, the European Commission decided to support
Swaziland and Lesotho with DKK 2 million. Euro to help the
100,000 victims of the previous 2 years of drought. In
February, the areas were declared in exceptional condition.
The emergency assistance should cover the distribution of