By the middle of last week, with sheer and unbridled brute force, the Eswatini monarchy and its government had managed to force a retreat by pro-democracy protests and restore a semblance of calm to streets of various towns of Eswatini. However the calm masks a simmering anger.
In recent days people in Eswatini have told Maverick Citizen that King Mswati III’s regime is using threats and intimidation, particularly in the rural areas, to cow people back into subservience.
One eyewitness told our correspondent that during the first outbreak of protests young people were involved in targeted acts of arson particularly “of buildings associated with or owned by the Royal Family” as well as in looting.
This has been confirmed in other media reports.
However, when the army responded “they immediately opened fire on both the men manning blockades, but also local village compounds; they indiscriminately attacked and beat any local young men they could find whether they were involved in the blockades or looting or not”.
Our source says that in her village, just outside Mbabane, she witnessed the army “chase young people across the grasslands that backs onto the village, firing indiscriminately if they ran away or tried to…