Times of Swaziland
21 May 2008
As I See It
by Vusi Sibisi
Just how politically polarised the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) is was best illustrated last week when it informed the visiting House's Dr Robert Herman from the United States that being a homogenous nation was the reason why there is no multi-party democracy in the Kingdom of Eswatini.
The rationale behind the EEC's perspective being that multi-party democracy was only good for nations that were divided along ethnic or religious lines. (What political balderdash this is?) Ordinarily you would expect such ludicrous reasoning from either a simpleton or a completely deranged person who has recently absconded from the National Psychiatric Centre. But certainly not from a body of people tasked with the onerous job of overseeing a country's national elections.
As I see it this simplistic if not plain stupid reasoning would have us think and believe that members of the same family are most likely to think alike and or desire the same things in life. In the event it would be perfectly normal for members of a family to love and marry one and the same person. Evidently Dr Herman must have seen through this patent political smokescreen when he responded by saying it was a fallacy to assume that just because a nation was homogenous then the people thought along the same lines.
And of course how does the EEC and, by progression, the ruling elite explain the ever-increasing calls for multi-party democracy to replace the authoritarian Tinkhundla Political System. I am sure they will not come with the ludicrous suggestion that those advocating multi-party democracy are not sons and daughters of the soil but outsiders. For by their differing thoughts and choices, if the EEC line of thinking held sway, advocates of multi-party democracy would have automatically maligned or extricated themselves from the body of citizens - or should it be subjects - that is exclusively homogenous, thinks alike, does the same things, is uniform and conformist in every which way and, above all, is passionate about the undemocratic Tinkhundla System.
As I see it, that the EEC's take on why the ruling class banned and outlawed political parties - on the basis of the nation's homogeneity - just shows the desperation of the ruling elite in coming up with plausible defences for an otherwise indefensible, corrupt and untenable political system. It further removes all pretence of independence and or impartiality on the part of the EBC to deliver a free and fair election results because, like the Muppet Show, it is the ruling class holding the strings that controls it.
But the biggest tragedy of them all is that such thinking, as articulated by the EBC and, indeed the ruling elite - that homogeneity breeds conformity and uniformity and that multi-party democracy is divisive - negatively reflects on the collective intellect of the nation. As I see it, such mediocre exercise of the nation's collective intellectual faculties, makes this a nation of intellectual dwarfs that cannot think beyond the nose and thus are a laughing stock of the world.
As I see it all of us should be holding our heads in shame for the apparent embarrassment that has been occasioned by the EBC on this apparently God forsaken nation!