dimanche, 24 février 2019

Communist Party of Swaziland national conference to make unbanning of parties, and press freedom immediate aims of pro-democracy struggle

Swazis from inside Swaziland and South Africa will meet over the Easter weekend for the third national conference of the Communist Party of Swaziland. The conference will be held in Barberton, Mpumalanga, South Africa.

The main subject of the CPS national conference is the mobilisation for the total unbanning of all political parties and formations in Swaziland. This is currently the overriding concern, not just of communists but also of all sections of the pro-democracy movement.

Civil society organisations, including the trade union federation TUCOSWA, are also hampered by harassment and disruptive bureaucratic regulations from operating openly and from criticising and campaigning against the autocratic establishment.

The unbanning of political parties is a key demand in the struggle for democracy in Swaziland.

Despite talk of being a “monarchic democracy”, Mswati III is desperate to retain the absolute monarchy. During Mswati’s phony elections last year, the regime fooled few in pretending to be edging towards democracy.

Nearly a year after these elections, what do we have ? Autocracy pure and simple. All meaningful executive powers is in the hands of the King, assisted by a supine government packed with the King’s men and women.

Mswati will not tolerate any loss of power, such as might be envisaged under a constitutional monarchy. Democracy is Mswati’s biggest nightmare. It would be his end.

This is why the CPS places strong emphasis on the unbanning of political parties and unlimited free association for all areas of civil society.

The CPS will examine how the judiciary is used in Swaziland to persecute communists and other pro-democracy activists, and will look at the work of the Party’s Break the Chains Campaign to release and drop charges against all political prisoners, detainees and others who face prosecution.

Linked to this, we also demand full press freedom, the lifting of all forms of censorship on the news and information media, and an end to the persecution of journalists and editors, including the editor of The Nation,Bheki Makhubu and human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko.

Informers and police and secret service agents who have infiltrated papers must be exposed and dismissed.

Press freedom and the free flow of information are cornerstones of democracy. They are crucial to the liberation of Swaziland. A free press is another of Mswati’s nightmares.

Democracy will make the autocracy crumble and fall. Democracy is a central demand in the class struggle in Swaziland of the working class and poor in rural and urban communities against the ruling elite, which is a combination of the upper middle class and traditional aristocracy.

This elite, including the whole extended royal household, is the main barrier to democracy, free and fair elections, and bringing equality to every area of life in Swaziland. This elite must be expelled from power.

The CPS national conference takes place at a time when the situation of the majority of Swazis has deteriorated further. The monarchy continues to expropriate resources from the state to sustain its luxurious lifestyle.

It squanders money, including on pointless vanity projects, at the direct expense of education, health, housing and services. Our country continues to suffer the world’s worst levels of TB, HIV-AIDS and the lowest levels of life expectancy.

The CPS national conference will examine all these issues and look at how they can best be tackled in the coming year. The Party aims to achieve definite results over the next 12 months in the campaign to unban political parties and win democratic freedoms.

In this context, CPS delegates will look at the possibilities of strengthening international solidarity, including from the near region (SADC area) and from within the wider international community.

The CPS will also focus on its own development and how to make the Party a stronger force for mobilisation at grassroots level inside Swaziland.

It will examine our relations with other elements of the pro-democracy movement, and with parties and organisations abroad, to see how to further unity in the broad movement around demands for democracy and equality.

The CPS will also examine its own contribution to international solidarity, including its links with communist and workers parties worldwide.

The Party will voice its support and solidarity with the ANC-led Alliance in South Africa, which is facing concerted right wing and ultra-left opposition to the National Democratic Revolution ahead of national elections, 7 May.

The conference will also decide on the CPS programme between now and the next annual conference, and will elect a new central committee.


Felix Mabaso

International Organiser

Email : felixmabaso@yahoo.com

Mobile : +2774 922 8277

Kenneth Kunene

General Secretary

Email : ken.manze@gmail.com

Mobile : +2772 594 3971

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