Eswatini: The King who has ordered the police and the army to silence school-protests

In the Kingdom of Eswatini where the absolute monarch, King Mswati III controls everything and appoints anyone he sees fit. The King decides and orders. He can decide if people lives or dies. That is the mere reality of the situation in the Kingdom. It isn’t a myth or a relic of a medieval kingdom in our age. However, that is the mere truth of what is going on.

Today in over 50 schools across the Kingdom there been protests for the Two Pro-Democracy Members of Parliament who is currently detained. They want these two released. As they are fighting for their rights and ability to vote in their leaders. Since, at this very time the King appoints everyone and its all technocrats.

At some schools the army came with live-bullets where the pupils had to run away from schools in question. There is even reports of one deceased. However, that might quickly rise, as the situation is unclear. In other schools, the pupils have gone into hiding in the bushes as they are hiding from the police officers hunting after them. There been reports that the police officers has assaulted pupils who was protesting at some schools too. Therefore, it is a lot of police brutality as well.

It is tragic that state answer with violence against pupils and students. They are using live-bullets, harassment and assaults to silence the protest. It is tragic. That the King is willing to do this. The blood will be on his hands and this is nothing new. He is responsible and the ones that takes charge. This is done while his the absolute monarch and he has the power to shut it down if he cared.

We will know more, as the information leaks, videos and such from the Kingdom. For now, we are uncertain how many the police is arresting, harassing, assaulting or even possibly killing. Peace.

Pastor “Mama” Janet Returns: The Honourable Minister is asking for too much…

Therefore, if you would have a little faith in your government and trust that it cares about your well-being, you would know that Government has not left schools closed to punish you, but rather, to protect you from harm” (Janet Museveni – ‘Reopening of Education Institutions’ 13.09.2021).

The First Lady, Pastorpreneur and Minister of Sports and Education, Janet Museveni really shows her lack of skill and understanding of her role. Not like that is new… because she is the royal highness and the first lady. If she wasn’t any of the above… Janet wouldn’t have been considered or even appointed in the first place.

However, here we are and she continues. This time it’s a less of holy text. Neither is it anything profound or a stark message. The writing isn’t inspiring or hopeful. That’s why we should trust her government. A government who uses drones, captives political prisoners and easily sends the army against it’s dissidents. Still, you are supposed to believe that this government would protect you and not harm you. Well, that is easy to say when your in the inner-circle… and not living in the real world. Where the state can send the authorities and kidnap you just for your association with dissidents. That’s enough of probable cause and the state is allowed to charge them without any questions asked.

So, it is really insulting writing what she wrote in that one passage. However, her lack of tact and understanding is also in another passage of her. Where she is boldly saying: “Sometimes, I see the very rude insinuations you send to me in our dialogue, like, “just open schools” etc. Well, when you put a lot of thinking in this puzzle, if it is even a puzzle at all, you can see that opening schools is the easiest thing to do. After all, that is what many of you seem to really want and I can also understand your thinking. So, why then have we kept schools closed?” (Janet Museveni – ‘Reopening of Education Institutions’ 13.09.2021).

It is not rude to want the schools and educational insinuations open. That is a sincere wish, as the years of COVID-19 is fallout time and also lost learning period for massive amount of students. While the state haven’t solved or found proper solutions to home-schooling or educational curriculum to spread to the masses in new ways. Yes, the President has promised village tv’s and radios, but they haven’t been procured and neither delivered. Secondly, the teachers and lectures haven’t been helped or had any sort government programme to save the lost year.

However, she is still the preacher and had to say stuff like this: We are confident that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who is our God will bless the education sector in this unprecedented season” (Janet Museveni – ‘Reopening of Education Institutions’ 13.09.2021).

She is the Minister of Sports and Education. Janet is in-charge and has the responsibility. It is healthy to have faith in higher powers and believe in spiritual beings. However, if we believe those things and still have a sound mind. We know that God has given us a brain and intelligence to serve and also follow the mandates of our roles in society. Therefore, Janet should make sure the people succeed and not just spread hope.

Janet has the ability and the power to get the funding, the equipment and the additional training the teachers might need at any given time. She can order and secure this for everyone involved. That is, if she cares or have the manpower around her. However, she is just saying “put it all to God” and “have faith in the government”.

That is not how things works. The state should deliver and God can intervene, but he has given us wisdom for a reason. So, the honourable minister should do us a service and actually use any, if she possess it. Because, it is about time to stop preaching and actually work. Even the scripture says your faith is dead, if you have no action. Therefore, for someone quoting God on the regular. She better get to work and open them schools. It doesn’t matter if she finds it insulting or not. That’s her job and she’s mandated to do so. Peace.

Pastor “Mama” Janet Returns: The Sermon of Digital Destruction

A report by online retailer Jumia detailing mobile trends in the country by end of last year shows Uganda’s internet penetration has reached 42% with up to 19 million Ugandans now connected to the internet out of the total estimated population of the country that stands at 44.5 million people” (New Vision – ‘42% of Uganda’s population now connected to internet’2020).

Again and again First Lady of the Republic Janet Museveni writes her sermons or speeches. Because, she is a minister and the First Lady. Many will publish this without any question or sincere commentary. The Ministry of Education and Sports should have a ministry to run, but for some strange reasons has time to write these small “articles” boosted with scriptures and lessons for the general.

It is funny that she is talking about digital addiction and such. When the government she represents has blocked several of social media sites, which is only available through the usage of VPN. This is has been the case with Facebook who have been blocked since the general elections in January 2021. The government also have no issues shutting sites down or pages in general. The Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) can easily take away access and licenses to anyone who dares to go to hard on the government policies. Therefore, it is rich reading a text by the first lady… like we don’t know what the state does and is willing to do!

The Pastor starts by: “The problem of social media or digital addiction is relatively new, but it has really reached all over the world. It has been called the modern day addictive drug – like tobacco or alcohol. It leads to poor school performance, breakdown of family communication and delinquent behaviors” (Museveni, 06.09.2021).

Data and internet is an expensive thing in the Republic. It is not like data bundles are inexpensive and something anyone can afford. Especially not in Uganda. Still, the usage of internet is rising and usage is growing. However, the average citizen doesn’t have the network or cash to use the internet for long time. The smartphones has helped, but it’s not like it is steady problem up-country or elsewhere. Most likely this digital addiction isn’t a huge problem in Uganda. Then the data-bundles needs to be affordable and the telecom companies needs to make the internet speed better across the republic.

The Pastor continues: “As you, my young friends devote all your time on Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Tik Tok and all other social media platforms, it is very easy for your academic work to suffer. As parents spend lots of time on the same platforms, communication in families breaks down and before you know it, family members are living as strangers under the same roof. As the saying goes, “too much of anything is always bad”” (Museveni, 06.09.2021).

She is right that to much of anything is bad, the same goes to Social Media usage. That me and Janet agrees on. However, the new generation is used to be bombarded with information from several of sources at the same time. Youth are used to having radio, social media and the books in the dorm at the same time. Some have to read in silence to study, but everyone isn’t the automatic book-smart and follows the programme. That’s why students study differently. Social media should never be a wedge between families either, but if it is… then there is usually something underneath that was amplified by the social media. That’s how I see it and then the person or family member should seek guidance somewhere. Not just stop using time on social media in itself.

Academic work can suffer from everything. From noisy neighbours, friends wanting you to join social gatherings and other social pressure as a student. Social media only shows it and makes it public, if so… and should open the students mind to do the right thing. However, a university student on a grant or little subsidizes doesn’t have the funds to be constantly online. Especially, not with the taxes and the costs that comes with it. Unless, the student has “blessers” or “sponsors” to cover the bill.

The Pastor continues: “Time is one of the greatest resources God has given to us, to waste time is to waste your life. Apostle Paul cautions us in Ephesians chapter 5, verse 15 that, “Pay careful attention to how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil”” (Museveni, 06.09.2021).

It is ironic that she speaks of wasting time and how your are wasting life. When she is the wife of the President for Life who has little to no achievements to prove of after years in office. The husband of the Pastor hasn’t delivered what he promised when he came in and still delivers the same suffering, which was rampant during previous regimes. Therefore, she shouldn’t throw stones in a glass-house or the State House for that matter.

Janet should teach this lesson to her husband Yoweri before she speaks of this again. Because, its distasteful that she does this in 2021 after her husband being in-charge since 1986. That says it all. The ones she is lecturing was most likely not even born or thought of when her husband took power. He could have left a legacy of achievements and policies to study for eternity. Nevertheless, the greed and will to oppress have depleted this. That is something the Pastor should repent and confess about herself.

She continues with calling it a “sin”, that you need “discipline” and put a “set time”. The sinner and sinful part is weird. Just like Social Media only is foolish and a waste. Not that it has a possibility to broaden perspective or get new inspiration from either people you know or people far-far away. The discipline and set time is to be anticipated. However, plenty cannot afford to be constant online with the pricing and discipline only matters pocket-wise. Only the little elite and lower middle-class has ability to be online 24/7 but that is not for everyone. So, this lessons are a waste in itself.

Janet should fix the problems of the Ministry instead of writing pointless lectures like these. The Pastor should become a minister in a church and retire from government. Especially, when she writes stuff like this on the regular now. Peace.

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