Musa Dube, deputy general secretary of the Communist Party of Swaziland, has been remanded in custody on sedition charges for allegedly distributing leaflets calling for a boycott of the kingdom’s election.
He is charged with two counts of possessing and distributing leaflets published by the CPS at Kakhoza in Manzini.
He appeared in Manzini Magistrates’ Court on Monday and was remanded to Zakhele Remand Centre and is due to reappear on 25 September 2013, pending committal to the High Court.
An application for bail is expected to be lodged.
National elections take place in Swaziland, which is ruled by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, on Friday 20 September. All political parties are banned from taking part.
Prodemocracy organisations have accused the Swazi state of intimidating Dube and others who are calling for democracy in Swaziland.
The People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), the best-known opposition group in Swaziland, in a statement said, ‘Together with the CPS and other political parties, joined by faith based, students and labour organisations we are calling for the rejections of these sham elections whose outcome is predetermined and will not change the rotten political system called Tinkhundla.’
Under Tinkhundla people are only allowed to stand for election as individuals. No government is elected by the people – this is chosen by King Mswati. At the election on Friday only 55 members of the 65-strong House of Assembly will be selected. The other ten will be appointed by the king.
The king appoints 20 members of the Swazi Senate, the other 10 are chosen by the House of Assembly and none are elected by the people.