The Swaziland Government faces more international criticism over its decision to sack public servants who show an interest in politics.
The government has introduced the Public Service Bill that says it will be an offence for a public servant to be ‘visibly associated’ with a political formation or organisation. It will also be an offence to be a member of a political party. Officers found guilty will be dismissed from their jobs.
The trade union organisation FOA – Fag og Arbejde – which has 200,000 members in Denmark has written to Barnabas Dlamini, Swaziland’s illegally-appointed prime minister, to say that the Public Service Bill will ‘make it practically impossible for public servants to exercise their right to organize themselves in political formations.
‘The law is formulated in such a way, so it can be used to suppress the trade union movements and hinder their effort to represent the members’ social and economic interests.’
‘We see that the real purpose of the bill is top intimidate anyone who speaks out against the government of Swaziland.’
FOA points out that the Public Services Bill violates several international conventions that Swaziland has in fact signed up to.
FOA has vowed to continue to put pressure on the Swaziland Government through the International Labour Organisation, the Danish Government, Public Service International and the European Parliament.
Meanwhile, in Swaziland today (4 September 2009) labour unions will petition the Prime Minister’s office and Parliament calling for the revocation of the Public Service Bill.
A joint public statement issued this week by the Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions (SFTU) and Swaziland Federation of Labour (SFL) said, ‘This follows the disregard by the government of Swaziland to the various calls by the labour federations, the public sector employees and the public at large on the provisions of the Public Service Bill.’