Vigil Diary Entries

We had a very cold vigil on the 21/04/2012, while back home Mswati was celebrating his 44th birthday. Passers-by were shocked to hear that Mswati was demanding a cow from each of the suffering Swazi people as gifts for his birthday. Our coordinators Flora Dlamini, Margret Dlamini and Jabulile Simelane had the following to say about the Brutal regime of Mswati.

 

Flora Dlamini says, “We noticed that  there was a notice on  the door  at the  Swazi embassy here in the UK informing people that  they will be closed on 20 April  2012 due to the king of Swaziland ‘s birthday.   It is such a shame and really saddening to learn that a country like Swaziland where people are living in such poverty, are still forced to take part in celebrations. King Mswati is such a selfish individual who only thinks of himself. Money spent during these celebrations can help a lot in many ways in the poverty stricken country. This is the time where by all his 13 wives will be travelling to different   countries abroad doing their expensive shopping in preparation for the birthday. Each women is given more than £50.000 in cash for the shopping, while, there is no medicine in Swaziland hospitals yet more than 50% of the population is living with HIV. King  Mswati is all about himself and his family with his children attending the most expensive schools here in the UK. As  Swazis we have had enough of himi and the country can do better without him. Swazi people wants democracy in the country. We shall fight until we see the changes in Swaziland.  BACKWARDS NEVER!"

Jabulile Simelane who is an activist residing in the United Kingdom says, “I’m very much against what Mswati is doing I will always keep saying what a ridiculous king we have. He is such an embarrassment in this world. He tortured my father who once served the royalty but he was kicked out like garbage. Yesterday we were at the Swazi Vigil where we demonstrate every other a week. I was dumbfounded to see a note about the dictator on the door that on the 20 April is going to be a public holiday for who???? Even the Queen of this country (UK) never makes a public holiday - this is so ridiculous. He has just bought an island in Qatar which shows what he can afford while his people are living in grinding poverty."

 

"Maswati lahlala lapha e ngilandi ase nivule emehlo nicabangele tihlobo tenu letilambile emakhaya sifuna inkhululeko barnabas na mswati wakhe abahambe! balibulele live lemaswati akunatibhedlela make uyagula tinso uma angabuyela ekhaya angafa ngeliviki. 

 

"I would like to urge Swazis who are residing in the United Kingdom to come and join us every other week at the Swazi Embassy to fight together in this war. If the Libyans could topple Gaddafi who was the most powerful leader in the world why cant we? sesingahlulwa ngulembungulu Please open your eyes don’t let this dictator brainwash you.

 

"How can u go to every household demanding that a cow be given to the dictator for his birthday? This man has plenty of cows which can feed his nation for over 10 years what is most painful is the concern of the elderly who get paid once in 6 months yet his wives have a lavish lifestyle. This womanizer must go - we are ready for him when he comes for the Queen's Jubilee."

 

Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 5th May from 10 am - 1 pm. Venue: Swazi High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB. Nearest stations: St James's Park and Victoria.

The vigil is gaining momentame every Surtuday as the weather is on our side, passerby are continueing to sign our petitions without fail. A report in the Times of Swaziland (Sunday, 8th May 2010) entitled ‘Swazi Protest in UK gains Momentum’ speaks of several protests outside the Swazi High Commission in London and outlines the petitions we are running. The article quotes Vigil co-ordinator Thobile Gwebu as saying that there is good support from the public who read and sign the petitions. She speaks of supporters’ anger at the quashing of a political activists’ event in Manzini and also says supporters are encouraged by the launch of the Swaziland Democracy Campaign in Johannesburg. She ends by saying that Swazis have suffered enough and it was high time there was political freedom, democracy and respect for human rights in Swaziland. ‘Let us run with endurance in the race that is set before us’.

In a separate article ‘…they should come back home – govt’ the Times quote Clifford Mamba, Principal Secretary of the Swaziland Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, saying the protesters should come back home where their issues would be raised.  He said his government had an open door policy on such issues. He said the Vigil’s picketing and petitions were ineffective because the place to address these issues was in their own country.

Well our response to Mr Mamba is, if these issues are being addressed:

·        Why is there still a state of emergency after 35 years?

·        Why are political parties banned, activists imprisoned, and the judiciary, media and other bodies controlled by the monarch?

·        Why are women suffering gross violation of their human rights?

·        Why do seventy per cent of the population live on less than $1 a day?

·        Why are more than 1 in 4 Swazis living with HIV / AIDS?

More bad news from home that demostrate the violetion of human rigts is without fail . Swaziland’s illegally-appointed Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini has made it clear that he is in charge of the kingdom’s police force and will use it against democracy activists.


Dlamini, who has an international reputation as an enemy of freedom and democracy, was explaining why dozens of police invaded the funeral of democracy activist Sipho Jele two weeks ago. Officers tore up pictures of the deceased man and confiscated banners belonging to opposition group, the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO).


He said police would break up gatherings and make arrests even if no crime had been committed. The police just needed to believe that a crime might be committed.


Dlamini’s remarks at a gathering of the kingdom’s senior media people fly in the face of comments by Swaziland Commissioner of Police Isaac Magagula that the police were a service to the people of Swaziland and would treat people as ‘clients’ and with respect.


Dlamini told the meeting that police suspected crimes would be committed at Jele’s funeral so they broke it up.


‘At Jele’s funeral, the police would not just sit back and wait for something to happen first before responding to the situation. But they had to do something about the information brought by the Intelligence Branch,’ the Swazi Observer, the newspaper in effect owned by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, reports him saying.

 


Dlamini said that at future funerals or other occasions if the Intelligence Branch happened to detect a security threat, police then they would attend to ‘ensure law and order’.

The vigil is growing sronger more supporters are signing our petitions and it is getting more publicity in the media back home. Our fellow supporters ACTSA replyed to the resent headline article that read ''Non swazis are paid to toyi toyi in London''.  

The people who hold vigil in support of democracy and rights in Swaziland outside the Swaziland High Commission every Saturday are not paid; they volunteer to attend in their own time. Some are Swazis, some have visited Swaziland and some have never stepped foot on African soil but what they all have in common is a desire to support the people of Swaziland in their efforts to establish freedom and democracy in their country. The Saturday vigil is not organised by ACTSA but we have held vigils in support of democracy and freedom outside the Swaziland High Commission in London.
The plight of the Swazi people has been overlooked for far too long by the international community and I am delighted that the Swazi government has taken note of the Swazi-led demonstrations in London. All over the world there are Swazis who are at the forefront of organising and protesting for democracy and rights in their country. The support they receive is based on solidarity with their cause.
In Southern Africa the Swaziland Democracy Campaign is an outstanding example of how Swazis and non-Swazis can work together for the common good of the people of Swaziland. ACTSA is the successor organisation to the British Anti Apartheid Movement, and many of those campaigning for democracy and rights for Swaziland now are the same people who campaigned for freedom and democracy for South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Angola and against the attacks of the apartheid regime across the region. ACTSA works in solidarity with the people of Southern Africa for development, democracy, peace, rights and justice for the region.
There is a growing movement across the world calling for an end to the denial of political freedom in Swaziland and ACTSA is proud to be amongst those standing in solidarity with the people of Swaziland as they work tirelessly for democracy and rights for their country.
Tony Dykes
Director ACTSA (Action for Southern Africa)

Mario Masuku recieved more praises from Democracy supporters AMNESTY PRAISES MARIO MASUKU The following is a speech made at the ceremony to present Mario Masuku, president of the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) with a Democracy Award, in Denmark, earlier this month (March 2010).It was made by Lars Normann Jørgensen, general secretary of Amnesty International in Denmark.Amnesty International has for many years criticized the widespread persecution of opposition in Swaziland, and has within the past year, been particularly concerned about the consequences of the terrorism legislation, the government introduced in 2008. It is the organization's view that certain provisions of the legislation are clearly contrary to the human rights.
Amongst other things the act has caused random arrests of some Swazi people, mistreatment of detainees, and taken legal actions without a sufficient evidence base.

More interesting news from home is about the corrupt detecting Mswati gorverment.On 25 March 2010, the Prime Minister (PM), [Barnabas] Sibusiso Dlamini, answering a question from editors on why government has refused to register the MCC, hinted that there was no need for the MCC as the statutory Media Commission was on its way.The PM's comments confirmed recent reports by lawyers representing the media and helping to register the MCC that government had declined to register the MCC arguing that its objectives overlapped with those of the proposed statutory Media Commission.
The media is currently weighing options of going to court to compel the government to register the MCC. However, the media are yet to meet with the Minister for Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) on the way forward with regards to the MCC.
This is the corrupt Gorverment's way of having their way of dectacting all the moves of the media.  

We would like to thank all our suppoters to mention a few Actsa,Kelvin and Godfrey for helping with petition signing and playing the drum.

We were in joyous mood and our suppoters jumped up and down for our victory, Swaziland vigil UK has hit the headlines back home, in thier bid to try and attack us, the Mswati Dictatorship regime have used their ''Mswati owned newspaper'' to try and discredit us. It was reported that Non swazis are paid to toyi toyi outside the Swazi Embassy in the UK. Unfortunately we could not see the article in the swazi times but one of our supportes back home send us this email
NON SWAZIS PAID TO TOYI TOYI IN LONDON
..... they are from other African states
BY WELCOME DLAMINI
LOBAMBA- A group of none Swazis is allegedly being paid to stage political demostrations outside the kingdom's London embassy.
The group is reportedly from other African states but pose as Swazi nationals and hold rallies outside the embassy every Saturday.
Lutfo Dlamini, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, told Parliamentarians that the demostrators had never even been to Swaziland but were speaking about issues that are said to affect Swazis.
According to the ministry's perfomance report for the 2009/2010 financial year, the demostrators are under the banner of a faction calling themselves the Action Southern Africa (ACTSA).
"These people have never been to the country which is why they speak about Mbabane having no water," the minister told the Ministry of Foreign Affiars and International Cooperation Parliament Portfolio Committe.
The Minister was responding to questions posed by Matsanjeni South MP Qedusizi Ndlovu who said he personally witnessed the demostrations when he visited London.
"I was even afraid to go close because I feared being manhandled by the nagry demostrators who were saying a lot of bad things about the country, like Mbabane has no water. The people there have never been to Swaziland, so what is government doing to counter this?" MP Ndlovu wondered.
Minister Lutfo replied: "These people demostrating in London are not even British or Swazi but are hired group from an African country who are paid to speak bad things about this country. We are working on the issue and have a plan in place."
He said ambassadors were expected to defend the country's image at all costs and that government had mounted a programme to promote the political, economic and tourism system of the kingdom.
"We already have funds to carry this programme. We want to promote our system of governance and Parliament has to be involved," he said.
Akusilo liciniso leli singemaswati mbamba  sitoyitoya ngoba asivumelani nahulumende longalaleli emalungelo ebatfu.
We would like to take this opportunity once again to remind this obnoxious regime that human rights are universal and here in the UK there is what people in Swaziland have never experienced called DEMOCRACY.
Everyone is allowed to join which ever group or society which is fighting for a good cause hence we have supporters from all nationalities.
We would also like to remind them that the question of nationalities has nothing to do with fighting for human rigths as the world has joined hands in the fight for human rights abuse. We will be outside the swazi embassy every saturday until there is democracy in Swaziland and respect for human rights.
We will not be stopped by anyone from Swaziland or Swazi emabssy as we have been granted permission by the British government.
We are saying things as they are in Swaziland and we are speaking for the Swazis who are oppressed by Mswati ! Thank you for the Publicity.
EMBILI MASWATI !!!

The Swazi Vigil UK congradulates and salutes PUDEMO president Mario Masuku for being awarded the presitigious Danish Democracy Prize, our words were also echoed by the Swaziland Democracy Campaign (SDC) and other champions of democracy througho out the world. The vigil supporters and the passing public gave Mario Masuku a standing ovation for his well deserved award. Our coordinator Thobile Gwebu gave a brief history of Mario Masuku which shows bravery and commitment to struggle for democracy in Swaziland. In her brief account of Mario Masuku Thobile Gwebu said " he was born in  Makhosini, a tiny village south of Swaziland, where grinding poverty and ruthless conditions of existence enforced by surrogates of the ruling royal family gave him no choice but to throw his lot behind the cause of the suffering people throughout the country." The vigil will like to encourage a lot of Swazis to follow the bravery of Mario Masuku in his fight for democracy and feedom of the Swazi people.

We were not suprised at all to hear that the deluded regime of King Mswati III is going to milk the poor to pay the Swazi King. Reports say that "The poorest workers in Swaziland are to be forced to pay income tax for the first time, while the Swazi Royal Family continue to take a third of a million emalengeni a day of taxpayer’s money for themselves." Furthermore, the Swazi government refuses to register Media Complaints Commission. This is their machinery to silence any disent.

We had a lot of Chineese student tourists signing our petitions and locals as usually who are surprised to hear what is going on in Swaziland, one had this to say "Surely South Africa should say something on this, the whole world will be going to the world cup, it is time to speak out" A couple who had lived in Swaziland five yaers ago also stopped by to sign our pettions and they said they were shocked to see how people were suffering in Swaziland while the Royal family were living a luxuarious life style.

Our website seems to be attracting a lot of supporters who are contacting us to enquire when we will be updating our diary. Thanks to our suppoters who turned out in numbers to come and join our singing, drumming and the playing of a sax which is now a regular feature at the vigil.