King Mswati III on Friday appointed Cleops Dlamini as the new prime minister of Eswatini replacing Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini, who died in December.
Dlamini was previously Chief Executive of the Public Service Pension Fund. Mswati made the announcement at a public meeting at one of his residences broadcast online and state radio.
The announcement was made during a sibaya, a traditional forum for public dialogue. It was the first time the king had addressed the violent protests in the country that have led to the deaths of at least 50 people.
The appointment is made amid widespread protests over King Mswati’s alleged maladministration that has plunged the majority into abject poverty.
Reports suggest that pro-democracy activists embarked on peaceful demonstrations to mark yearly 12th April 1973, where political parties were banned and the beginning of rule through absolute monarchy.
They were reportedly met with violence from Royal Police.
The regional body, SADC, sent a fact-finding mission to analyse the political and security situation in the country, with a view to supporting the people of Eswatini towards finding a durable solution.
The appointment is made when even Members of Parliament are said to be calling for an elected and more representative prime minister.
While Eswatini citizens can elect a parliamentarian to present their constituency in government, the king reserves the power to elect the prime minister.