A HISTORY OF POLITICAL TYRANNY

1894 - Britain and the Boer Republic of Transvaal jointly rule Swaziland.

1907 - Swaziland becomes a British High Commission territory

1921 - King Sobhuza II succeeds to the throne

1962 - The Ngwane National Liberatory Congress (NNLC) is formed

1964 - Swaziland's first constitution enters into force

1964 - King Sobhuza establishes a political party, the Imbokodvo National Movement (INM). It secures all the seats in the new Legislative Council.

1967 - A new constitution comes into effect, providing for the introduction of self-government once independence is gained.

1967 - The Legislative Council is dissolved. Elections to a new bicameral parliament - including a House of Assembly and Senate - take place. The INM gains all 24 elective seats in the lower house. Despite not gaining any seats, the NNLC emerges as the main opposition.

Independence
1968 - Swaziland is granted formal independence, within the Commonwealth, and adopts a new constitution. Authority is vested in the new parliament, a proportion of the members are nominated by the monarch.

1972 - Elections to the House of Assembly see the INM retaining 21 seats and the NNLC gaining the remaining three

1973 - King Sobhuza suspends the constitution and bans political parties.

1977 - The parliamentary system is abolished and replaced by traditional tribal communities.

1978 - The new constitution enshrines electoral representation by 'Tinkhundla'. Under the system candidates are nominated by Tinkhundla's (local councils) and elected by secret ballot. The king retains the power to appoint a proportion of parliamentarians. Parliament's role is advisory.

1978 - Elections are held.

1979 - The new parliament is opened.

1981 - King Sobhuza's diamond jubilee.

King Mswati III crowned
1982 - The body advising on Swazi tradition - the Swaziland National Council - made up of members of the royal family, is renamed the Supreme Council of State (Liqoqo).

1982 - King Sobhuza dies

1982 - Queen Mother Dzeliwe is authorised to act as Regent until Prince Makhosetive reaches 21.

1983 - Queen Regent Dzeliwe is deposed. Queen Ntombi, Prince Makhosetive's mother, is made regent.

1983 - The People's United Democratic Movement (Pudemo) is formed

1986 - Prince Makhosetive is crowned - three years early - and assumes the title of King Mswati III.

1986 - King Mswati dissolves the Supreme Council of State (Liqoqo)

1987 - Elections for the electoral college take place, but turnout is low. Many interpret this as a sign of dissatisfaction with the Tinkhundla system.

1988 - A motion calling for a review of the legislative structure is rejected by the prime minister, despite majority support in the senate.

1990 - Pudemo calls for electoral reform.

1991 - King Mswati agrees to review the Tinkhundla system by setting up a commission. Pudemo rejects the commission.

1992 - The king sets up a second commission to review political reforms.

1992 - Pudemo rejects the second commission's proposals. King Mswati dissolves parliament and announces he will govern by decree until the elections.

1993 - Elections are held

1995 - The Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions (SFTU) organises a general strike

1996 - Pudemo announces a campaign of civil disobedience, citing the government's failure to respond to demands for a multi-party system and constitutional change. Strike action again takes place.

1996 - King Mswati announces a Constitutional Review Commission to draft proposals for a new constitution.

1997 - Half of the labour force observes a general strike called by the SFTU. The government declares the strike illegal.

1997- September - The king dissolves the National Assembly (the redesignated House of Assembly) to prepare for elections. Elections are held in November

Aids epidemic
2001- September - The king forbids men from sleeping with teenage girls for the next five years to help stem the Aids crisis.

2001- April - Constitutional Review Commission recommends King Mswati's powers are extended and that all political parties continue to be banned.

2002- November - King Mswati takes delivery of a $45m jet, despite the country's parliament voting to cancel the order.

2003- October - Parliamentary elections; pro-democracy activist Obed Dlamini wins a seat.

2004- February - Prime minister declares a humanitarian crisis after three years of erratic rainfall.

2004- March - UN Aids envoy says Swaziland has the world's highest rate of HIV infection

2004 -July - King proposes to build new royal residences to house some of his wives.

2005- March - High Court rules that Swaziland's banned political parties are "non-existent" under the law. The parties had been bidding for a say in a draft constitution

2005- August - King signs a new constitution. The document has been eight years in the making.

2008 - The Suppression of Terrorism Act is made law. The Act is condemned as flawed by Amnesty International

2008 -November - Pudemo leader Mario Masuku detained under anti-terror laws over palace bomb attempt.

2009- September - Opposition leader Mario Masuku released from prison, says he will continue to fight for democracy.

2010 - May - Worker and Trade unionist Sipho Jele is killed by police in custody for wearing a PUDEMO t-shirt.

​2010- September - Pro-democracy demonstrators march through Manzini, despite the arrest of some 50 activists the previous day.

2011- March - Economic crisis worsens, with government warning of possible civil service pay cuts.

2011- April - Police crack down on opposition ahead of planned demonstrations for political reform.

2011- November - Swaziland is hit by a budget crisis described by the IMF as "critical", with the government struggling to pay the salaries of public sector workers

2013- February - Police crack down on christians at a prayer meeting in Manzini

source: British Broadcasting Coporation London