The following is a statement from the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), a banned organisation in Swaziland.
PUDEMO REMEMBERS 12 APRIL
The day 12 April has become a symbol of national death and destruction. A day that reminds us about the selfish, insensitive and unilateral decision by King Sobhuza II to ruthlessly take away the rights and freedoms of our people. This he did through his 1973 King’s Proclamation when he declared that he was repealing the Independence Constitution, banning political freedom and imposing a state of emergency. This is a scenario that the people of Swaziland still find themselves living under for the past 37 years!
This proclamation effectively condemned our people into political, social and economic slaves of the royal regime. Our people have since remained forbidden, strangers, second class citizens and outcasts in their own country with no fundamental role to play in the political, social and economic decision-making processes in the country.
However, when we retrace our steps, it is worth noting that our people have refused to give up the fight to liberate themselves from the imposed royal hegemony. It is in this spirit that PUDEMO while remembering this day, wishes to pay tribute to all our people who have individually and collectively fought with undying resilience the corrupt and oppressive royal regime in Swaziland. We will always remember the role played by the:
· The workers
· The rural poor
· The students
· The church, etc
We further pay tribute to the international community that has understood the case of Swaziland and further committed itself to fight side by side with the oppressed people of Swaziland. The international community has made immeasurable sacrifices and contribution to our course. We remain very much positive to this day that more people in the international community will provide more solidarity until the oppressed masses of our country reclaim their freedoms from the corrupt and discredited Tinkhundla royal regime.
This day must be a reminder that we have to intensify our efforts and quicken the liberation of our people. We note the efforts put forward by the Swaziland United Democratic Front, the Swaziland Solidarity Network, the Swaziland Democracy Campaign and all our friends in all corners of the world and soon the royal regime in Swaziland will have no choice, but to return power and freedom to the oppressed masses.
PUDEMO and the oppressed masses in Swaziland remain committed to realizing their demands for:
· The return to constitutional multiparty democracy
· The unbanning of all political parties
· The return of all exiles
· A peoples’ Constitution
We cannot wait any longer for the fundamental transformation of our country. Our vision for the future of our country is clearly stated in our document The Road Map to a Democratic Swaziland in that:
“…the peoples movement is committed to the creation of a free and democratic society in this our beloved country Swaziland….PUDEMO is fully committed to the restoration of the culture of human dignity and the creation of a caring and prosperous society in order to rid society of poverty, crime, violence and other such evils for the establishment of respect for and acceptance of the legitimacy of all state institutions and structures through the attainment and sustenance of an improving quality of life for the people.”
LET ALL WHO LOVE THE COUNTRY AND PEOPLE JOIN IN THE MARCH TO A DEMOCRATIC SWAZILAND!!
Head of Publicity