We had an exuberant vigil on Saturday 24th March outside the Swazi High Commission here in London, with a lot of tourists visiting Buckingham Palace stopping by and signing our petitions. One passerby had this say "Make sure when he attends the Queen's Golden Jubilee, he (Mswati) gets a hard time . . . he went on to say that we must show him that this is a democratic country people are allowed to demonstrate!!! At the vigil we totally agree with this supporter, this time we will make sure we will give him a hard time, we are going to dress him down, we will make sure the whole world knows about his evil deeds, DICTATORSHIP, the abuse of human rights, abuse of women, rape, torture, murder, imprisonment of political activities and lavish life stlye while 90% of the swazi people are starving.
What the Swazi people are clamouring for was summed up by a group of Swazis who attended our vigil, the group included Jabulile Simelane, whose father (Paulos Majaji Simelane) was Commissioner of Police in Swaziland and was accused of plotting to kill the king and thrown into jail. She said all his relatives were being penalized, as indeed was everyone in Swaziland where there was ‘grinding poverty, hunger, no jobs, no medicine in hospitals, let alone sheets for hospital beds’.
Jabulile said that the Swazi High Commission is London should be closed as it did nothing for Swazis except look after King Mswati’s children studying in the UK who were given £30,000 a month to spend while children at home had no books. She added that Swazis in the UK were to write to the Queen to protest at the invitation to King Mswati to her Jubilee celebrations in June. She said ‘I am sure that Her Majesty cannot know how monstrous Mswati is. Our people are starving but he has £16 billion in Qatar. He should go and stay there. Why is Mr Cameron not doing something about Mswati when he is acting against people like President Assad of Syria.'
Thanks to our founder member and coordinator Kelvin Kamupira, who brought the drum and his singing, Kelvin Kamupira is a human rights activist, who has campaigned for a long time against the obnoxious regime of Zimbabwe's Mugabe. It is Kelvin's ideal to see a free and democratic Southern Africa, in which all the peoples live in peace and in harmony, that is why he helped found the Swazi Vigil. His commitement to the cause in no doubt unquestionable, a true revolutionary indeed.
Special mention also goes to Flora Dlamini who was at the vigil early to help with the banners, Senele Msweli who helped in writting articles and publishing our website, Jabulile Simelani and Margret Dlamini who brought the banners and a new table. Last, but not least Francesca Toft, Fungayi Mabhunu and the Zimbabwe Vigil who helped with our publicty while our website was down.
Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 7th April from 10 am – 1 pm. Venue: Swazi High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB. Nearest stations: St James’s Park and Victoria.