samedi, 23 mars 2019

Swaziland : need to intensify struggle for freedom and democracy

Swazis suffer more as the Mswati regime clings on — need to intensify struggle for freedom and democracy

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of Swaziland met over the weekend of 2-3 February to assess the situation in our country, the scope and effectiveness of our work and efforts to intensify the struggle against the Mswati autocracy.

We note that the situation of the workers and the poor in Swaziland its deteriorating apace. This is because of the continuing downward slide in the living conditions, health, housing and basic education of the majority of the population. But it is also due to the desperate efforts of the autocracy to wring more cash from the population, in the form of intensified revenue collection, fines and charges imposed on the people.

The Mswati regime remains hard pressed for cash to support its wasteful spending, most of which is simply focussed on keeping the ruling elite in luxury. The improved revenue payments from SACU alleviated the cash crisis of 2010-2011to some extent, but the regime needs far more cash to stay afloat. This need is constant, because of its inherent unsustainability in being a little more than a vast drain on finances and resources.

The disastrous impact of all this has to be absorbed by ordinary Swazis, and the country’s terrible levels of life expectancy, child mortality, HIV and TB prevalence and lack of development are all reflections of the state of impoverishment that the Mswati regime imposes on the country.

This is being compounded by the regime’s efforts to keep wages low, impose layoffs of public sector workers and other moves to make the state run on as small a workforce as possible in order that the regime can cut its costs.

Amidst all this, the regime is holding non-democratic elections this year, in part intended as a piece of window dressing for the rest of the world and in part to bolster the tinkhundla system of monarchic governance. We reiterate our call on all supporters of the pro-democracy movement in Swaziland, the international community and individual states to come out strongly against Mswati’s farcical elections. The pro-democracy movement must campaign for a total boycott of the elections and urge a total stay-away by the people.

The CPS is continuing to build its campaigns on the election boycott, land for food and an end to all state practices intended to crush the pro-democracy opposition. This latter effort is contained in our overarching Break the Chains campaign for the release of all political prisoners and detainees, the safe return of exiles and the unbanning of all political formations. Our campaigns have helped establish the CPS and raise awareness of conditions in Swaziland, but we need to boost involvement in them and the intensity of activity on them.

We laud the work of the SACP’s Alpheus Malivha 6th District Congress’s Commission on Campaigns, Mass Work And Formations, which is supporting the Break the Chains campaign with a launch of the campaign, due to take place in March. We greatly value this input, which is helping spread awareness about the situation in Swaziland.

Other key campaign work taking place inside Swaziland by the CPS aims to mobilize our communities and to build awareness in them on the need for a Conference on Democracy as a necessary step in the process of replacing the Mswati regime.

All of this work demands the disciplined and committed involvement of every one of our members and office bearers. The CC believes that the CPS has made much headway in sharpening the struggle for freedom in Swaziland since the party was launched in 2011, but that much needs to be done and many improvements made. Our second annual conference, 29 March - 1 April, will be an occasion to assess our work in depth and to review our needs, prospects and programmes.







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