The U.S Embassy in Eswatini has issued a statement expressing concern over the recent guilty verdict for members of parliament Mduduzi Bacede Mabuza and Mthandeni Dube, and urging the Government of Eswatini to ensure transparency in its judicial processes. The verdict has resulted in the elected representatives being unable to effectively represent their constituents.
In the statement released on June 1, the U.S Embassy emphasized the importance of protecting the rule of law and human rights. It called for all Emaswati, regardless of their views or calls for nonviolent reform, to receive equal protection under the law. The embassy stressed the need for the government to safeguard the fundamental principles of justice and uphold the rights of its citizens.
The statement was posted on the U.S Embassy Eswatini’s Facebook page, generating mixed reactions from Emaswati citizens. Some individuals expressed frustration with the embassy’s reliance on written statements, urging them to take stronger action. However, acknowledging the complexities of state sovereignty, they acknowledged the limitations the embassy faces.
One commenter, Chris X Mzilikazy, voiced the sentiment that the embassy should go beyond issuing statements and take concrete action. While understanding the challenges tied to state sovereignty, they emphasized the need for the embassy to explore opportunities to address the situation.
Another commenter, Khabza Khabza, expressed concern about the declining international influence and favorability of the United States, particularly in Africa. They called on the U.S to act responsibly in Southern Africa and support the oppressed people of Eswatini. The commenter highlighted the potential significance of the country within the region and urged the U.S to make the right choices and assist Swazis by advocating for sanctions.
Msudvuka Mshweshwe drew attention to the global outcry surrounding human rights abuses, using examples such as the Guantanamo Bay detention center and the January 6, 2021 insurrection in the United States. The commenter pointed out that the Government of Eswatini did not interfere in U.S domestic laws or policies during such incidents, suggesting that the same respect should be reciprocated.
Lwazi Possible Khumalo expressed dismay at the lack of evidence and witness testimonies linking the two parliamentarians to the charges brought against them. They characterized the verdict as unjust, claiming it was a consequence of their representation of marginalized and voiceless individuals.
Gcina Mamba criticized the embassy’s statement as “useless,” suggesting that the U.S could have intervened if it had the will to do so. The commenter alluded to the U.S taking action in other regions where its interests are at stake.
The U.S Embassy’s call for transparency in Eswatini’s judicial processes and protection of human rights has sparked a range of reactions among Emaswati citizens. As discussions continue, the impact of the statement on the situation remains to be seen, while the embassy faces challenges in navigating the complexities of state sovereignty.