jeudi, 23 novembre 2017
 

Swaziland : ‘Not Another Cent for Mswati !’

The Communist Party of Swaziland is making its Red October Campaign for the period 2013-2014 a call to cut all funding for the despotic royal family and absolute monarchy, headed by King Mswati III. The title slogan of the campaign is ‘Not another cent for Mswati’.

The CPS is using the campaign to highlight the fact that the money hoarded, stolen and otherwise dubiously channelled to sustain Mswati III, his 13 (soon to be 14) wives and the countless ‘royal’ parasites that make up his dynasty must be made available for the reconstruction and development of Swaziland to put an end to decades of systemic abuse and neglect of the Swazi people.

Mswati must not receive another cent from the state or from the funds he is supposed to be “holding in trust for the Swazi nation” – the euphemistic term that is a smokescreen to hide Mswati’s corrupt seizure of national wealth. Mswati’s predecessor, Sobhuza II, created the funds in the 1970s to sustain the absolute monarchy into the future.

There is no accountability concerning these funds, no parliamentary oversight of them, and none of them figure in the national budget or in any official information on state resources.

The largest such fund, Tibiyo Taka Ngwane is an investment fund with shares in companies, industry, real estate, and tourism. It has 50% ownership of Ubombo Sugar Limited, the Swazi branch of the Illovo Sugar Group. It also has shares in Nedbank Swaziland, Swazispa Holdings Ltd., the Swaziland Development and Finance Group, the Royal Swaziland Sugar Corp., and Bhunu Mall.

Tibiyo is estimated to be worth USD 2 billion.

The second source of Mswati’s illicit income is Tisuka Taka Ngwane, which is a residential and commercial property developer.

Both funds account for some 50% of the Swazi economy.

If we bear in mind that Swaziland is classified by the UN as a middle-income country, but that it nevertheless has the world’s worst levels of HIV-AIDS and TB, mass poverty and drastically low levels of life expectancy ; it is easy to see where the cash resources should come from to put an end to the humanitarian catastrophe afflicting our people.

That poverty and disease are such blights on the lives of the Swazi people is directly and incontrovertibly linked to Mswati’s sources of income.

“We think it is high time that everything held in trust for the Swazi nation is now handed over to the people,” says CPS general secretary Kenneth Kunene. “Mswati has done a bad job at holding it in trust for us. The country needs its wealth back, and the CPS is calling on people to demand what is theirs.”

The Red October Campaign also demands that the R400 million given to the royal family each year from the state budget be immediately cancelled. And that the roughly R200 billion that is estimated to comprise Mswati’s ‘personal wealth’ be expropriated for the Swazi people.

“Mswati and his family are no different than an organized crime syndicate,” says the CPS leader. “And the way you deal with organized crime is to cut off its access to ready cash. That way it will shrivel up and die. And that’s what we want to see happen with the Mswati regime.”

Kunene points out that the royal family also has other income sources, such as from its share in MTN, and skimming of cash from Swazi parastatals. Businesses wanting to operate in the country also have to supply the monarch with bribes and shares of profits. “All these practices must be halted too”, says Kunene, “but it is the main sources of wealth that we want to target with the Red October Campaign.

The Campaign will focus on making people in Swaziland aware of the vast drain on the country’s finances in order to sustain the Mswati autocracy. It will hold meetings, distribute campaign materials, issue regular press releases on the conduct of the campaign and what new information it has on Mswati’s finances. And it will lobby businesses in South Africa and other countries that have operations in Swaziland to refuse to pay any revenue or bribes to Mswati.

The Party will investigate the operations of Tibiyo and Tisuka in detail, and examine how Mswati’s cash greed and depravity is destroying the country.

The CPS will also expose the links between Mswati’s wealth and the degradation and impoverishment of the people of Swaziland. It will point out what the money Mswati gets each month could do if directed to social, health and education needs – all vastly underfunded – and how a strategy to provide free ARV’s and TB treatment for all could be funded from Mswati’s ill-gotten millions.

The broad context of the campaign is the demand that only a democratic Swaziland will be able to ensure that the wealth of the country is properly used for the good of the Swazi people. Putting an end to Mswati’s illegal plundering of the country is a crucial component to creating a free and democratic Swaziland.

Not Another Cent for Mswati !

Pull the plug on Mswati’s cash lifeline !

Spend Mswati’s millions on eliminating poverty and disease in Swaziland !

Forward to democracy, freedom and socialism !

 
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