Ordinary people in Swaziland are being terrorised by state forces to stop them showing opposition to King Mswati III and the Swazi state, the kingdom’s communist party says.
In a statement to mark April 12, the 40th anniversary of a Royal proclamation that turned Swaziland from a democracy into a kingdom ruled by an autocratic monarchy, the Communist Party of Swaziland (CPS) said, ‘We are now witnessing the increasing use of displays of military force to intimidate and terrorize our people to prevent them from voicing their hatred of the dictatorship.’
The CPS said April 12 was a day, ‘to assert the importance and role of the pro-democracy movement’. But, it added, ‘Protests on this day have been routinely suppressed.’
The CPS added, ‘40 years ago King Sobhuza II nullified the constitution, dissolved parliament, prohibited party political activity and severely restricted all other forms of political activism, including trade union activity.
‘Under the current regime of Mswati III any offer of political reform has been aimed at creating a buffer of constitutional window dressing to persuade the international community and individual states that Swaziland is on the road to freedom and full civil and civic rights.’
But, the CPS said, this was ‘posturing’ from the king.
It added there was, ‘an increasing groundswell of dissatisfaction and anger with the Mswati regime for imposing on the Swazi people the world’s worst levels of impoverishment, disease and life expectancy.
‘There is increasing anger at the lavish spending and luxuriant living of the royal family and the rest of the ruling class at the expense of the working class and the poor.’
It said, ‘The small, confined urban spaces of our country and tiny population make the suppression of the more obvious signs of pro-democracy protest relatively easy for the heavily militarised regime to carry out.
‘But there is a mass of activities aimed at securing a democratic and liberated future for our people, including by the People’s United Democratic Movement, the Swaziland Youth Congress, the trade union movement and TUCOSWA – the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland– (which Mswati is working overtime to crush), the CPS and others.’
The CPS said there was opposition to the king’s autocracy rooted in Swazi society.
‘Internationally, the pro-democracy movement has growing support and recognition among solidarity movements and organizations.’
Also, there was, ‘a growing interest at grassroots level, especially among young people, to achieve greater unity in action’.
SWAZILAND BECOMING MILITARY STATE