As Eswatini rises against its king, its people should be wary of the promise of democracy

Democracy is all good and well, but our neighbour needs to know there are alternatives

24 October 2021 - 00:00

As time runs out for Africa’s last absolute monarch amid a growing clamour for democracy in Eswatini, my mind raced back to a 2013 talk by Chinese venture capitalist and political scientist Eric Xun Li in which he argued that democracy was overrated.

The protesters in Eswatini won’t agree. For them, monarchy is to be rejected for the pain it has brought.  The lives lost. The persecution and torture. Democracy, unknown to them, ought to be better than their current nightmare. ..

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