Swaziland fights for democracy

This music video is called GLOBAL WEEK OF ACTION SWAZILAND 2010 – tribute song.

By Tom Mellen:

Anti-royalist protests begin in Swaziland

Monday 05 September 2011

Thousands of Swazi people marched through Mbabane today burning images of absolute monarch King Mswati III, singing freedom songs and chanting slogans against his agenda of pay freezes and cuts to student allowances.

Striking public-sector staff who participated in the rally called for increased taxes on the monarch and his wealthy cronies instead of welfare cuts.

The rally kicked off the Swaziland United Democratic Front‘s Global Week of Action, which will see workers stage a series of strikes over the next six days.

During that time they will press their demands for the abolition of the traditional Tinkhundla system and its replacement with multi-party democracy, the release of political prisoners and the return of all exiles, and an end to austerity policies and high-level corruption.

More protests are expected to take place in Manzini tomorrow.

Political parties in Swaziland were banned in 1973, with King Mswati III maintaining a tight grip on all the levers of power – executive, legislative and judicial.

The underdeveloped country is currently mired in a financial crisis, exacerbated by corruption and declining customs revenue that has seen the cost of living soar.

National Public Service and Allied Workers Union of Swaziland president Vincent Dlamini explained why his members have resolved to get behind the week of action.

“Workers are very displeased – we’ve got an economy that has collapsed as a result of political mismanagement and high levels of corruption,” Mr Dlamini said.

“Workers have resolved to embark on a protest action, which means they will basically be on strike nationwide and from various sectors of the economy.”

Last month South Africa’s African National Congress administration agreed to grant King Mswati III a 2.4 billion rand (£219 million) loan, provoking criticism from the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu).

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), a Cosatu affiliate, pledged its support yesterday for the week of action in neighbouring Swaziland “with eggs over our faces given un-strategic and ill-informed decision by our government to accede to King Mswati’s request for a bail-out.”

“We all know that this bail-out or loan will be bloated by the royal family through their opulent shopping trips overseas and good taste for niceties by King Mswati’s wives, as opposed to meeting the pressing needs of the people of Swaziland, particularly addressing medication shortages or workers wages,” a spokesperson said.

Trade unionists led a rally in Swaziland’s second city on Tuesday to maintain pressure on absolute monarch King Mswati III to give up his powers and make way for multiparty democracy: here.

Swazi police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at trade unionists and students rallying in Mbabane and Siteke on Wednesday: here.

John Haylett investigates the latest crackdown by the forces of decadent King Mswati III – and South Africa’s decision to give his regime a cash lifeline: here.

Swaziland governement bans all opposition leaders from speaking in public after week of protests: here.

Hundreds of headteachers rallied in the streets of Swaziland’s capital Mbabane instead of opening their schools on the first day of term yesterday in protest at the ruling monarchy’s failure to provide enough cash to ensure all children get an education: here.

Swazliand’s communists have started a campaign to promote land reform as the best way to eradicate hunger in the impoverished country: here.

3 thoughts on “Swaziland fights for democracy

  1. Monarch points finger at IMF

    SWAZILAND: Embattled King Mswati III attacked the International Monetary Fund on Wednesday, saying it should be helping his country instead of calling for budget cuts.

    The absolute monarch has faced mass protests and strikes over the cost of education and his cancelling treatment for cancer patients due to a funding crisis and Wednesday’s comments may have been an attempt to shift the blame.

    Protesters have said the king should rein in spending on himself and his family instead and are calling for democratic reforms.



  2. Pingback: Swaziland freedom struggle, new book | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Swazi students fight for democracy | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.