dimanche, 24 février 2019

The State of Democracy in Africa : The Swaziland Case

African left networking Forum Conference

Chairperson of the session Cde Joyce Moloi-Moropa .

Cde Blade Nzimande, the General Secretary of the SACP

Cde Gwede Mantashe, the Secretary General of the ANC and National Chairperson of the SACP

Representatives of the Left International Forum and the Left Party of Sweden

Members of the Central Committee of the SACP

The Leadership of the Alliance Partners

Leadership of Left Organisations of the Entire Globe

We bring revolutionary greetings from the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) and Working Class of Swaziland. May we also express our appreciation for being invited to such an important conference.

Our organisation has just turned 27 years on in July 2010, having been established in 1983 in Swaziland, at time where the then Head of State had usurped state power through a proclamation and decreed that there shall be no political plurality in the country. He banned all political parties through a draconian law that is popularly known as the 1973 decree.

Swaziland remains a hostage to the forces of semi-feudal and neo-colonial reaction. These forces are rooted in the most primitive and backward forms of accumulation, savaging on our people and looting of their every bit of resources to feed the limitless greed of the ruling regime.

Our country, just like most in the African Continent, had the best resources which are enough to sustain the economy of the small population, but are all looted to feed the royal family and its cronies and as such Swaziland is leading the world in terms of HIV/AIDS prevalence, has terrifying high levels of poverty and unemployment with poor health and education systems.

We also note the deafening silence from both regional and international bodies about the suffering of our beloved people to such an extent that Swaziland is elected to chair important organs such as Troika in Peace and Stability by SADC for instance. We are aware that this was a capitalist agenda and as such it led to the second banning of PUDEMO and to its branding as terrorist organisation in 2008, however we can assure you that no amount oppression shall silence the revolutionary organisation to waver and succumb to such ruthless oppression.

In Swaziland there is lack of basic freedoms of association, assemble, organisation and opinion.

Political parties are banned by law.

Rights to associate are censored by the powers that be and the state organs are unleashed on citizens that from time to time sharpen the contradictions as carried royal constitution that is not people driven. This has been clearly evidenced by the killing of a worker, comrade Sipho Jele on the 1st of May 2010 who was hanged inside one of the king’s prisons for merely wearing a t-shirt with a PUDEMO emblem. Further to that a house to member of SWAYOCO, which is the youth League of PUDEMO, was mysteriously bombed by a commercial explosive device after a frantic effort by the royal police of coercing his neighbours to get into their houses and sleep and few minutes after that, the house was blown

Trade Union activity is highly restricted.

Grass root or community organisation and meetings are prohibited and can only be sanctioned by the local authorities (that is traditional leaders).

There is no media freedom, the press is highly censored and muzzled.

The population is not free to access information especially if such puts the fascist regime in bad light.

State sponsored violence is used to destroy students and youth activities.

Having said these, it is evident that there is absolutely no democracy in Swaziland and our task is to :

1. Democratize all the spheres of our society, particularly the state and its apparatus. The clear intention of this objective is to promote and deepen the culture of democracy in which mass participation at all levels of our society ; transparency and accountability remain the basic tenets of democracy.

2. Transform the economy and land ownership patterns which form the material basis of the ‘tinkhundla’ power and are central to the dismantling of its monopoly over the country’s wealth and power for the effective empowerment of the working class and rural poor majority of the Swazi people.

3. To restore meaning and essence of being a Swazi as related to dignity and freedom, so as to instil into our people a feeling confidence as a complete human being and nor to define themselves as a second class citizens or objects of royal exploitation, one thing which is ‘tinkhundla’ version defining a Swazi.

4. Central to all our liberation efforts, is the struggle to dismantle gender and class inequalities, which remain the heart of the ‘tinkhundla’ aristocracy. The liberation of women and the poor shall be the main indicator of the extent to which our agenda to defeat the legacy of ‘tinkhundla’ shall have succeeded in improving the life conditions of our people.

5. Finally comrades, we seek to reclaim our national heritage and resources, cultural pride and to promote social cooperation and solidarity amongst the people to overcome the divisions as having been created by the ‘tiknhundla ‘aristocracy, which make slavery and inequalities an acceptable way of life amongst our people.

In conclusion comrades, sons and daughters of the soil, we reiterate our call for international solidarity for a practical and immediate support for our struggle. It is in the interest of every revolutionary present here that every Swaziland achieve democracy and political stability which by extension the achievement of democratic and stable Africa and the entire world therefore. Now that some progress is being seen in Zimbabwe, we then call upon all democracy loving governments and organisation to put smart targeted embargos on the Swaziland Royal Family and its friends as well as Swaziland’s top government officials so that this unnecessary and lavish spending comes to an end. If Swaziland is not free, the neighbouring countries shall be the first to feel the pinch since our people shall ceaselessly migrating into the entire parts of Sub-region and Africa Region, as well as other countries of the globe.

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