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Swaziland : British think-tank soft sells Mswati’s “elections”

D 15 septembre 2013     H 05:44     A CPS     C 0 messages

NELSPRUIT, 8 Sept 2013 : The Communist Party of Swaziland (CPS) has criticized the efforts by the London-based ‘Africa Programme’ of Chatham House – the Royal Institute of International Affairs for its efforts to soft sell the elections of the Mswati dictatorship in Swaziland.

Chatham House is in Swaziland and South Africa to offer the view that the Mswati regime is open to democratic reform because of the burgeoning crisis that has engulfed Swaziland since 2010. This is despite the complete abundance of evidence to the contrary.

“Whenever there is an election in Africa, you get think tanks from Europe creeping around ‘offering’ advice and political direction,”

says CPS general secretary Kenneth Kunene.

“Their only purpose is to manipulate the situation in favour of modern day imperial interests.”

Alex Vines, who heads the Chatham House programme, has been visiting Swaziland. While there, he criticized the pro-democracy movement, in particular PUDEMO, for opposing Mswati’s sham elections.

“We take exception to this,”

says Kunene.

“If Chatham House was really worried about democracy in Swaziland, why doesn’t it some out in support of the pro-democracy movement ? Instead it supports Mswati.”

Mswati is a big friend of the British royal family, and Chatham House has no intention of painting Mswati in his true colours – as a murderous dictator who is bleeding Swaziland dry.

Vines has been in Swaziland to soft sell Mswati’s elections, in which no opposition parties or programmes are allowed to take part.

“Vines and his Chatham House researchers have utterly no interest in the situation of the Swazi people and how they are suffering under the Mswati dictatorship,”

says Kunene.

“Like the Commonwealth Secretariat, they feign concern over the absence of democracy but then seek to appease, in the most fawning and unctuous way possible, the institution and figure most responsible for the lack of democratic rights. This is their style.”

The CPS leader said it was incredible that Vines and his organization see the economic crisis in Swaziland as nudging the country toward democratic reform.

“This is at best naive, at worst deliberately disingenuous”,

said Kunene

“Not even the IMF thinks that the crisis has compelled to bring Mswati any nearer to giving up power. And at least the IMF knows the situation in the country better than the politically driven Chatham House reporting on Swaziland dressed up as serious research.”

The CPS stresses that Mswati has benefitted from the crisis, using it as an opportunity to further enrich himself from state resources.

Meanwhile poverty, high rates of HIV and TB, and low life expectancy are all worsening, and could all be decisively reversed in a few years with the money the Swazi royal family sucks from the country.

The CPS calls for stronger efforts to boycott the final round of Mswati’s elections, set for 20 September.

“We also condemn the arrest and expulsion of Cde Jay Naidoo, the former COSATU leader, for attempting to investigate the situation in our country,” says Kunene. “This shows the real face of the Nkhanini regime.”



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