Swazi students fight for democracy

This video is called Swaziland Democracy Campaign.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Swazi students on the march for democracy

Monday 26 March 2012

by Our Foreign Desk

More than 500 students marched peacefully through Swaziland‘s capital Mbabane on Monday to demand basic democratic rights and scholarships.

Protesters carried placards reading “Our time for democracy is now.”

Other signs criticised the minister of labour and social security, who is responsible for granting scholarships to university students.

Sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarchy has cut spending on tuition subsidies and school supplies in recent years and has taken other steps to rein in its budget, blaming declining customs revenue.

The opposition People’s United Democratic Movement (Pudemo) say the problem is endemic corruption and King Mswati III’s opulent lifestyle.

King Mswati’s government is accused of repressing human rights and harassing and jailing Pudemo activists.

Political parties and meetings are banned, and the National Assembly is subservient to the king.

The United States has said the kingdom’s terror laws have been used “to silence dissent and ban certain political organisations.”

Acknowledging the relatively small turnout on Monday, Pudemo spokesman Zakhele Mabuza said organising protests is especially difficult in the rural areas where most Swazis live.

There, he said, civil rights activists are accused of being “un-Swazi” and failing to respect the kingdom’s cultural traditions.

Mr Mabuza added that the violence the monarchy used to put down similar protests last year has made it difficult to organise other protests.

He also pointed to laws banning political parties, the influence of the state-owned media and the difficulty of using social media in a country where many people aren’t connected.

Swazi king demands cows from poor subjects: here.

3 thoughts on “Swazi students fight for democracy

  1. Pingback: Swaziland dictatorship’s crackdown | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Swaziland, mock elections under absolute monarchy | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: King of Swaziland awards himself a pay rise | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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