By Thoboloko Ntšonyane

MASERU- The Kingdom of Eswatini’s King Mswati III has paid accolades to His Majesty King Letsie III during his birthday celebration turning 60 years.

This transpired on Monday this week in Maseru at Setsoto Stadium.

King Mswati was among the dignitaries that had descended to Lesotho to celebrate King Letsie III ‘s diamond jubilee.

Also present as the Head of State who came to celebrate was Botswana’s President Dr Mokgwetsi Masisi.

King Mswati III commended Basotho for having the Monarch in the person of King Letsie III.

He said: “Your Majesty, as you turn 60 years we wish to thank the Almighty God for guiding and keeping you with grace and we pray that He gives you more wisdom and many more years to come. Your leadership acumen has been recognised by many, including the African Union, which has entrusted you with the responsibility of being the AU nutrition champion.

“This is a highly important role that champions the implementation of diverse policies and interventions to address malnutrition in all its forms through agriculture, food systems, and other areas. Furthermore, your passion for youth development as Patron of the Prince Mohato Award, which seeks to motivate the Basotho youth towards self-realisation and community work, is highly commendable.”

He further praised Lesotho for the development unfolding, also calling for peace and prosperity to prevail across the globe.

He said peace and stability must reside among these two nations saying those serve as the “cornerstone” for all our endeavours.

King Mswati III also expressed concern over the pockets of violence in different parts of the world saying they negatively impact many lives and hamper global trade.

He called for the dialogue and consensus building to resolve all the difference, a move that will avert conflict that often “reverses the gains of our post-independence development”.

His Majesty continued: “We do believe that it is for these, among many other reasons, that the people of Lesotho have turned to you to lead the way during the most challenging of times. They are lucky to have you as their leader.”

“We commend the development we see in Lesotho, which demonstrates a commitment by all citizens towards a shared vision aimed at improving their welfare and the general landscape of the kingdom.”

He reflected on the cordial relations of the two States dating back from when the Swazis

used to study at Lesotho in what was then called University of BOLESWA (Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland), now National University of Lesotho (NUL).

For the achievement of the desired outcomes of development and economic prosperity, he said there ought to be an enabling environment for this materialization.

The Eswatini’s King also used the opportunity to invite His Majesty King Letsie III to Eswatini’s 55/55 double celebrations taking place later on September 6, 2023.

Lesotho and Eswatini, share similar monarchies whereas the former is a constitutional Monarch, the latter is an absolute Monarch. With the case in Lesotho, the King serves as a ceremonial Head of State and with Eswatini, the King has executive powers.

The King highlighted that: “The Kingdoms of Lesotho and Eswatini share much in common and date back many years to the days of King Sobhuza II and King Moshoeshoe II. The two kings enjoyed a very close relationship, which deeply united our nations. One of our highways serves as a constant reminder of this bond, as it was named after King Moshoeshoe II by King Sobhuza II.”

HMK: “We applaud the continued exchange visits that we have witnessed between the two Royal families, the Governments, and our people. Our two countries are also intertwined by a similar past as British protectorates and as partners in development.”