eSwatini residents concerned about food, money amid continuing protests

Protesters have ransacked food outlets and even bombing some bank, bus ranks are abandoned and property belonging to King Mswatini III has been set alight.

Citizens burned eSwatini Beverages premises on 29 June 2021, as pro-democracy protests continued in eSwatini. Picture: @SwaziNews/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - eSwatini residents are concerned about food, money and petrol becoming more difficult to get hold of as the uprising against the kingdom’s monarch continues.

Protesters have ransacked food outlets and even bombing some banks, while bus ranks are abandoned and property belonging to King Mswatini III has been set alight.

The whereabouts of the king are still not clear. Some have said he was spotted in Johannesburg, but the government insists he is still in eSwatini.

Protesters are refusing to abide by a 6 pm curfew, with many citizens confirming to Eyewitness News that the internet was shut down for a few hours on Wednesday morning.

ALSO READ:

Pro-democracy protesters are demanding that the king relinquishes power and give way for a democratic rule of law.

Sakhile Nxumalo is a leader of the Swaziland National Union of Students and a member of the Swaziland Youth Congress, part of the many political formations and organisations in the forefront of the pro-democracy protests pushing for King Mswati III to relinquish power.

Nxumalo said they were prepared to die for their cause: “I don’t know if I will die and if this is going to be my last call. Some people must die, and others must live. We have degrees and master’s degrees but we have no jobs.”

Many parts of the country have become ghost towns, with banks forced to close, businesses shutting up shop and fuel stations running dry.

Mbongwa Dlamani is the president of the Swaziland National Association Teachers. He said people were becoming desperate.

“People are in desperate need of cash. But if you do have cash, you cannot buy at shops because they are either closed or vandalised. People are now getting more angry as the police brutality increases.”

The uprising is the latest campaign among citizens to democratise eSwatini which is the last absolute monarchy in Africa.

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.