In his first comment on the protests, the king called them “Satan” and said that they had regressed the country.
King Swatini appointed a new prime minister and ignored the calls for democratic reforms as the police suppressed the protests.
Since violent demonstrations broke out in the kingdom last month, King Mswati III announced in his first public speech that the former pension fund boss Creopas Dlamini will succeed the COVID-19 contractor who had been infected with COVID-19. Prime Minister Ambrose Dlamini who passed away in August.
Mswati said to the crowd gathered at the Luzizni Palace about 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) south of the capital Mbabane on Friday: “I pray that I have someone who can restore the country to normal, restore the country and revitalize it. economic.”
“The person I announced to the whole country is Cleopas Dlamini,” he said.
The new prime minister has the same surname as his predecessor, but this name is very common in Swatini, and the two have no known relationship.
The announcement was made at the following time Demonstration Require the right to democratically elect the prime minister in other reforms of the last remaining monarchy in Africa.
In his comments on the protests, the king called them “Satan” and said that they brought the country back in time.
On Friday, before the king’s speech, the protesters once again took to the streets of Manzini, the second largest city.
Swaziland National Teachers Association (SNAT) Secretary-General Sikelela Dlamini told Reuters that police fired tear gas and used high-pressure water cannons to disperse protesters in the city.
Activists said two people were injured and the police arrested 15 others.
A video posted on Facebook by the Swaziland Democratic United Front (a pro-democratic coalition that includes political parties, churches, and trade unions) showed protesters singing and dancing in the street, then fled after gunshots rang behind them.
It is not clear who was firing, nor what their goals were.
Lucky Lukhele, a spokesperson for the pro-democracy Swaziland Solidarity Network, told AFP: “The police have been shooting at the crowd since 7 am.”
Civil society and opposition groups demonstrated in Manzini and Mbabane at the end of last month, looting shops and looting property, some of which belonged to the king.
In the worst riot in the country’s history, police clashed with protesters and at least 27 people were killed.
eSwatini is a landlocked country in southern Africa, formerly known as Swaziland.
In 1986, King Mswati III, who was only 18 years old, was crowned with 15 wives and more than 25 children. In a country where two-thirds of the population lives below the poverty line, due to his iron fist and extravagant lifestyle And be criticized.