Manzini – The Chairperson of Southern African Development Community (SADC) Organ Troika on Politics, Defence and Security, President Mokgweetsi Masisi of Botswana, has dispatched a second fact-finding mission to eSwatini following recent political and security disturbances in the country.
This is contained in a statement issued by Dr Lemogang Kwape, Minister of International Affairs of the Republic of Botswana in his capacity as the Chairperson of the SADC Ministerial Committee of the Organ. It was directed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation of eSwatini, Senator Thulisile Dladla.
Minister Kwape acknowledged receipt of a letter dated July 7, 2021 on the SADC Organ Troika Fact Finding Mission to the Kingdom of Eswatini.
“We also had productive engagement with the government of Eswatini, and we wish to express our sincere appreciation for the candid manner with which all the government representatives shared information on the disturbances in the country,” he said, speaking of the first round of meetings on July 4 at the Royal Villas.
According to Minister Kwape, the mission did not manage to have consultations with all the key stakeholders in the country. As a result, President Masisi had decided to dispatch a second fact-finding mission to the country scheduled for July 9-10 to have consultations with the other key stakeholders.
He pointed out that the SADC Secretariat had sent a team that was due to arrive July 8 as an advance party to engage with government with a view to developing a programme for the consultations with the stakeholders.
The first fact finding mission last Sunday comprised the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Botswana, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. The mission was led by Minister Kwape.
The purpose of the mission was to gather first-hand information on the disturbances, including the state of security in the country, and to appeal for calm and restraint from all stakeholders, as well as to propose consideration on an open national dialogue as a way forward in the efforts towards finding a lasting solution.
In that regard, the mission held consultations with government representatives. The mission also made an attempt to meet with a broad spectrum of other stakeholders across the Eswatini nation.
However, due to the short notice, it was not possible to meet all the stakeholders and as a result, it was agreed that a second mission would be dispatched urgently to continue with the consultation process.
A meeting was held with a few civil society organisations to assure them of a second mission to the country.
Siphofaneni Member of Parliament Mduduzi Simelane, who is at the forefront of calls for political reforms was reached for comment, but his cellphone rang unanswered when this reporter sought to establish if he and his counterparts welcomed the second fact-finding mission and whether or not they would participate in the consultations. – Eswatini Bulletin