The illusion that is my country’s democratic freedom: Power to the people to kill themselves?

We here say that in relation to governance, democracy is the best thing that would ever happen to sovereign state.
There are number of reasons for this but the most widely cited is that it Gives Power To The People.

Gives power to the people, what do these words mean exactly? Well, effectively democracy-the word-means that “people rule”, hence the phrase: the people shall govern!
It is in principle, a state of government/ruler-ship where the power of decision making in relation the present and future of a people living as a nation is made by non other but the people themselves. From the building of toilets to the waging of wars. That is what is.
Now, I grew up under a kingdom. Effectively a born subject of non other but King Mswati 111, king of Swaziland. That given, I happen to be a South African Zulu on the merit of my father’s blood ties to the Zulu Kingdom and thus effectively my own. 20yrs down the line, South Africa is now a democracy. A beautiful one at that. Considering these things I gave myself time to watch both kingdom and democracy play out. I ended up noticing that South Africans enjoy a number of things, freedom of speech for example. Essentially it means speak your mind and the truth as you see it. Swaziland has this too. The people sit around their king in the Royal Kraal and speak their troubles as they have done since the ancients: with respect and dignity. The papers are used too and believe me such are not pretty. South Africa’s free speech is essentially more intense than Swaziland’s. The people here are radical and more to the point…Leading to my troubles. The RSA government has now proposed and is now in a process of passing an information protection bill. While Swaziland has adopted the military styled Terrorism act (a fraction of the subjects and some foreigners hate the Kingship). Political parties are banned in Swaziland (obviously) while some democratic countries use Freedom of Speech limiting laws to stifle if not ban opposition parties. America is one good example of this. While it is publicly accepted that they (Americans) have Freedom of Expression, it is essentially not all of them. The American First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says Congress shall make no law limiting the freedom of speech, or the press…(www.lincoln.edu/criminaljustice/hr/Speech.htm). The law is clear at first glance but a number of years down the law history line we find the Parker vs.. Levi 1974 linked amendment. Here an American soldier made a public appeal against the army, urging black Americans not to be involved in the Vietnam war because America was wrong to get itself involved. All these happened because he had refused to train medics who were to go to Vietnam based on his ethics as a medical doctor. This led to the US government limiting military personnel’s Freedom of Expression.

 

Now how is it that a country thought to be liberal and free as is America comes to have limiting laws on some of its citizens; the military? Well the usual reason is that there is a need to protect the health of the military and thus that of the country. Medal of Honor creators are said to have bridged this need in their use of an ex-Afghanistan participating soldier in some details of the game. Mr.. Snowden, a former CIA officer is on the run from the US because he revealed the US’ spying games on foreign governments and even on its own people.

Mean while, my people the Swazi are now faced with a very displeasing future. The country will, as of January 2015, be removed from America’s AGOA free trade beneficiary program; rendering more than 60% of the country’s working class jobless, hungry, deprived of education and very much at odds with not only the Prime Minister but the king himself. Very nice recipe for a civil war don’t you think? Oh and it is working.

 

As far as I am concerned, my country is dying for nothing. Democracy as is advertised and marketed by the USA is nice on the books but it is not what makes a country and its people happy and secure in their dreams, liberties, abilities, efforts and securities. Neither is it Socialism, Capitalism, Monarchy, Caliphate or even Communism. It is rather the motivations, aspirations, morals, and judgments of the people in power. The passengers can only tell the bus driver where, how, why and how fast they want to go. It is up to the bus driver to decide weather, how, why and when will he carry out the passengers’ wishes.

 

Funny how the more things change the more they stay the same, isn’t it?

The illusion of power, Oh dear!  

 

South Africans often look down on my country of birth. They despise the idea of one man ruling the whole country. Most make the mistake of equating King Mswati’s rule to that of ruthless, heartless and greedy dictator whose heart is bent on serving himself and no one else but himself and his family. They equate him to the Apartheid regime where we the blacks mattered only to till the soils and sow the fields. We were no people then but serfs if not slaves to the master on a black horse; subhuman.

That’s what they compare Swaziland to. They are entitled to their own opinion-pristine or rubbish-but as far as I am concerned the Swaziland I grew up in the past 22years is far better than this South Africa my poor children might find themselves growing up in. A country of uncertainty and pain all day every day, a country so at odds with itself to the point of it being a cancer to itself. This people are dying: crime is on the rise and happens every day, we murder each other gruesomely, we rape ourselves-even our grandmothers viciously and kill them off in cold blood. It’s all a bloody scene and it the scariest part is that it is all becoming altogether too normal…water under the bridge. Even our roads have turned to blood-rivers, you may ignore it all you like but fear is everywhere here, such that even hopping on a bus to town or shutting your eyes to sleep is a risk ridden affaire. Oh and politics are now corrupted by business, Marikana and Lonmin 2012 saga is the latest most gruesome of all examples of this. Zuma, my president, Shabire Shaike and the Arms deal all bring my point closer to home; messy business man playing around with my peoples’ hopes, blood and sweat. Politicking their way off to the cheese cake that is government sit and drive us to this cliff we-most of us anyways- do not see.

I am not saying Zuma is killing the country. I am rather saying he is watching it die for the sake of power to the people. It is not proper governance that comes first here. It is first fame then governance. The choices   you make as president in this country seem to directly translate to more elections chances in the party’s favor…more power to them dear and that’s it, literally.

Is this the democracy our fathers and brothers fought for? Is this the freedom my great grand fathers and all the other Zulu Chiefs and their numerous kings fought and died for? Is this the freedom the Dutch and French of old South Africa in their purest of hearts wanted for the present day hate free born Afrikaner? The freedom murder, still and marginalize the meek? Jungle Africa the state of weak law enforcement, a country under siege, not free at all!

 

Again I say:

 As far as I am concerned, my country is dying for nothing. Democracy as is advertised and marketed by the USA is nice on the books but it is not what makes a country and its people happy and secure in their dreams, liberties, abilities, efforts and securities. Neither is it Socialism, Capitalism, Monarchy, Caliphate or even Communism. It is rather the motivations, aspirations, morals, and judgments of the people in power. The passengers can only tell the bus driver where, how, why and how fast they want to go. It is up to the bus driver to decide weather, how, why and when will he carry out the passengers’ wishes.

 

Funny how the more things change the more they stay the same, isn’t it?

The illusion of power, Oh dear! We are not free at all. Just dying. And bye the way ruling parties do act like absolute monarchs sometimes.  

 

 

 

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