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eSwatini: King Mswati is still in charge, not in hiding – PM

King Mswati III is safe and has not fled the country in the aftermath of violent protests that have rocked…

King Mswati III is safe and has not fled the country in the aftermath of violent protests that have rocked part of eSwatini, acting Prime Minister Themba Masuku said on Tuesday.According to Masuku, Mswati has remained in charge of the levers of power contrary to reports that he has fled the southern African country. 

“I would like to take this opportunity to assure emaSwati and the international community that His Majesty King Mswati III is in the country and continues to lead in working with government to advance the Kingdom’s goals,” Masuku said in a statement.

The unconfirmed reports had said that Africa’s last absolute monarch had allegedly gone into hiding on Monday after protesters rampaged through Matsapha town near the capital Mbabane.

The protesters, who have been demonstrating for several days to demand democracy and a return to multi-party politics, had engaged in running battles with the police after setting alight several shops in the town. 

Masuku said the eSwatini authorities would later on Tuesday give an update the nation on the protests.

“In the meantime, we appeal for calm, restraint and peace from all emaSwati.”

Mswati has ruled the kingdom of about 1.3 million people since 1986. He controls parliament and appoints ministers and has refused to allow political parties in the landlocked country.

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