Our second vigil was showered with lots of words of encouragement both from home in Swaziland, South Africa and here in the UK. We were surprised to see the Swaziland embassy staff waiting at the door for us and surprisingly helped us to set up to our surprise and more surprisingly to their surprise they had raised the flag again and thanks to our great supporter Sue Toff who bought us four brand new Swaziland flags, which the embassy staff helped to put up.
Word about the first ever vigil had reached so many people, thanks once again to our zimvigil friends for advertising our Swaziland vigil on their website and for the Zimbabwean for publishing our historic first ever vigil. Without police barriers we stuck our banners on the front barriers of the embassy. The response from the passing public was overwhelming as they stopped to find out about the situation back home and signing our petitions. One passerby had this say.....it’s a sham the world is watching while Swaziland is dying.......this should not be allowed to go in this century.
Just as we were about to finish a white car passed by and the two occupants hooted at us waved with words of encouragement, this to our surprise was the late Prince Dumisa Dlaminis family, they were delighted to meet us as they showered us with kisses and hugs, to them it was a relief and self joy. They wanted us to support them fight the oppressive regime which kicked Prince out of his beloved country because he was fighting for human rights and democracy... my children have suffered with this evil regime ..... We are here till there is democracy in Swaziland we shouted in response they were so relieved to meet us for their full story here is their website www.princedumisa.com.
Our coordinator and organiser Thobile Gwebu was interviewed by zbn news link http://www.zbnnews.com/home/index=80 and motherlandic she spoke of the need for democracy in Swaziland, a stop to human rights abuse and for Britain to stop supporting dictatorship in Swaziland.
We would like to express our gratitude to our David Macallister who helped us open our web site, Rose and Dennis Benton, Fungayi Mabhunu who carried a table and a drum to the Swaziland vigil, Lovemore Mukeyani, Godfry Madzonge, Nobuhle, Sue, Francesca, Lungile, Mark Becon, Susan, David, Greetmore Masunda, and Enock Madzonge.
Last but not list we would like to thank Bongani Masuku of Cosatu, Vincent Dlamini and Banele for their tremendous support.
PRESS NOTICE – 31st January 2010
Launch of the Swazi Vigil
Exiled Swazis and supporters held a Vigil outside the Swaziland High Commission in London on Saturday 30th January in protest at human rights abuses in the small southern African country. Further Vigils are planned between 10 am and 1 pm every Saturday until there is democracy and respect for human rights in Swaziland.
The organizer Thobile Gwebu expressed gratitude for the attendance of representatives from the Zimbabwe Vigil and Action for Southern Africa, the successor to the Anti-Apartheid Movement.
She said the Swazi flag was lowered when the group started drumming and they were filmed by people inside the building.
Swaziland has a population of 1.1 million and is Africa’s only absolute monarchy. A state of emergency has been in force for 35 years. Political parties are banned, activists are imprisoned, and the judiciary, media and other bodies are controlled by the monarch. Women, in particular, suffer gross violation of their human rights. Seventy per cent of the population live on less than $1 a day and more than 1 in 4 Swazis are living with HIV / AIDS.
Next Vigil: Saturday 6th February
Venue: Kingdom of Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB
Nearest Tube: St. James Park
Interview opportunities: Political activists, torture and rape survivors
Further information: Thobile Gwebu 07746 552 597