Swaziland is not even a one-party state, it’s a no-party state, you can vote, but the only option on offer is a toothless parliament (uncooked products) that is hand-picked by the king so the whole process is a little futile. Why are we even urged to vote? Who’s fooling who here?
Along with the need for more democracy, the distribution of the country’s wealth is at the heart of the current protests. Swaziland has a massive public sector debt and the government announced job and wage cuts in the year 2011 that have left many feeling aggrieved.
The Swazi King and his government are incredibly corrupt and are living way beyond his (Mswati) means which has put a massive strain on the public purse. Relating to this they have plans to lay off almost half of the country’s civil servants as well as eliminate state subsidies and raise taxes, which are causing a lot of disgruntled people.’
If a woman was to come back and tell her partner she had HIV she may be accused of being a deviant and beaten up
Swaziland’s extreme poverty is the root of many of the country’s problems. According to the UN Development Programme, Swaziland has the world’s lowest life expectancy, at around 35 years, and the highest HIV prevalence, at 25 per cent for the 15-49 year age group. UNAIDS statistics estimate that 42 per cent of women attending antenatal clinics in Swaziland are HIV positive. Some argue this disproportionate figure is directly related to the suppression of women’s rights.
Women in Swaziland have very few rights and we cannot practice safe sex because the decision lies with our partner. Men in our country do not let women access health services and even if they can they don’t talk about it. If a woman was to come back and tell her partner she had HIV she may be accused of being a deviant and beaten up. Women’s rights have no place in the Swazi constitution and neither domestic violence nor marital rape is recognized.
It high time we do away with this evil heartless King and his mother who both do nothing but exhaust state funds and oppress the nation…
FORWARD EVER UNTIL DERMOCRACY PREVAILS IN OUR BELOVED SWAZLAND
By Senele Mswel
Following our article in the Swazi Sunday times on the 21 October 2012, Mswati’s handpicked Ministers have been going round questioning what it is that the Swazi people want, Our Publicity manager Senele Msweli had this to say “The Swazi people require want the franchise on the basis of one man one vote they want political independence (DEMOCRACY) were they will have multi political parties and exercise their voting rights and have a say in the running of the country. They are many people who feel that the reaction of King Mswati III to the protest by students and workers at home ordering the general mobilisation arming the police arresting, abducting, torturing and killing of protestors, the show of force throughout the country not withstanding our clear declaration the this campaign is being run on peaceful and nonviolent lines closer chapter as far as our methods of political struggle are concerned. They are many people who feel that it is useless and futile for us to continue talking peace and nonviolence against a Dictator Mswati III whose reply is only savage attacks on unarmed and defenceless people and many Swazis think time has come for us to consider in the light of our experiences during these t protests whether the methods which Swazi people have applied so far are adequate. Furthermore, King Mswati 111 is GUILTY of contravening basic human rights, supporting and promoting acts of brutality against his own people and Systematic elimination of opposition. Therefore, Mswati is guilty of not serving the Swazi nation but interests of the Swazi royal family ONLY!!!” By Senele Msweli
Senele Gunjie Msweli, who is a member of the management team and one of the coordinators of the Swazi Vigil, had this to say about King Mswati. King Mswati III is an absolute Monarch meaning that all powers are vested in him, ie judiciary, executive and legislative powers. However, Mswati III is also known as Ingwenyama (the head of the traditional system whose powers far exceeds the constitution, and it is the Ingwenyama who enjoys more prestige than the constitution of the country, because the traditional system exceeds the western system of government. This is because in Swaziland society is largely ruled by the traditional system.
King Mswati III is SEVERELY opposed to any form of challenge to his rule, as a consequence. He is ready to unleash the security forces on any person(s) deemed to oppose him. Opposition is violently crushed by the forces (Royal Swazi Police) acting under direct orders from the King. The Ingwenyama in a speech to the nation declared violence against opposition and said “nangabe kukhanyana akukhanywane” (I will strangle you and kill you). After that speech there was evidence of escalation of brutal violence against opposition by the security agents.
Furthermore Mswati III also regards those who oppose him as less than citizens. ie unSwazi, foreign backed, enemy of the state, unpatriotic and should be eliminated, as evidenced in another speech when King Mswati III described such Swazis as timfingo (fiends).
King Mswati III also uses sweeping powers granted by the Swaziland 2005 constitution to enforce a ban on political opinion. The constitution gives the King widespread powers: political, economic and social. The King regards his rule as God-given – an opinion shared by his family and all who support him. One senior prince, Masitsela brother to Mswati III, once described the Swazi royal family as closer to God than the rest of the Swazi nation. It is this opinion that makes the royal Swazi family regard any form of opposition as a direct divine challenge.
King Mswati III is guilty of contravening basic human rights, supporting and promoting acts of brutality against his own people – systematic elimination of opposition, those that are guilty for not serving the Swazi nation but interests of the Swazi royal family.
The Swazi vigil is not just fighting for basic human rights but we also oppose the King’s control of other aspects of the Swazi life such as the economy and his control of society.
The King’s extravagance has a direct impact on the Swazi nation such as, right to education, healthcare, employment and security. The King continues to spend extravagantly on the security forces much against the advice from the IMF who warned about the ever increasing size of civil service. We believe that this continued investment in the army and police force is his way to entrench his position.
In summary King Mswati III is not ready to negotiate on political power, continues to use security forces to crush all opposition. He regards our activities as unSwazi, political rogues, foreign elements, enemies of the state and unpatriotic. Our question is: ‘For how long are we going to suffer under this evil dictator King Mswati III???’