Trade union leaders and activists were detained by Swazi police yesterday (11 April 2012), the Times of Swaziland reported.
It says, the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) issued a statement saying Wonder Mkhonza, Deputy Secretary General of the Swaziland Processing, Refining and Allied Workers Union, was arrested and detained by Nhlangano police. Mkhonza was reportedly on his way to represent workers at the Nhlangano offices of the Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration Commission.
‘Wonder has since been ordered by the police to remain in Nhlangano and not set foot in Manzini or Mbabane, despite that his union’s headquarters is situated in Manzini. He has further been advised not to go to Mbabane until further notice,’ the newspaper reported TUCOSWA’s Mduduzi Gina saying.
The same orders have been issued to Emmanuel Dlamini, the Recording Secretary of the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) and Sidumo Dlamini, the Chairperson of the SNAT elections committee.
‘The government has declared an open war on trade unionists in all cities and towns as armed forces are holding roadblocks and harassing anyone wearing a union T-shirt in all roads leading to Mbabane and Manzini,’ TUCOSWA said.
Demonstrations are taking place across Swaziland today calling for democratic reforms in the kingdom, ruled by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch.
SECURITY FORCES ‘WILL CLAMPDOWN’