Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) is a small country in Southern Africa nestled on the border between South Africa and Mozambique. It is notably Africa’s only absolute monarchy. The king effectively rules by decree, with no meaningful checks or balances.
Today, the country in in the midst of its most intense and significant protests against that monarch in recent history. The monarchy’s response was violent, with many protesters killed and disappeared. The internet was shut down for over a week. Many of the protest leaders are now in hiding, even as pro-democracy protests continue.
On the line with me from Harare, Zimbabwe is journalist Mako Muzenda. We kick off with a discussion of the nature of Eswatini’s monarchy before having a broader discussion about these unprecedented protests.
If you have 20 minutes and want to understand why ongoing pro-democracy protests in Eswatini are of global importance, have a listen.