The following is a media statement issued by the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), an organisation that is campaigning for democracy in Swaziland. It is banned in the kingdom ruled by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch.
PUDEMO NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
STATEMENT – 21 APRIL 2010
The People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) concluded its second scheduled National Executive Committee (NEC) Meeting in 2010. The following were noted.
State of the country
In its discussions, the NEC has noted that the country continues to be in a crisis. A crisis consciously and stubbornly created by the undemocratic, corrupt and insensitive Tinkhundla royal regime. The regime continues to mismanage and abuse public resources when our people continue to struggle against HIV/AIDS; unemployment; poor medical services; unaffordable electricity; poverty; poor infrastructure; heavy taxes; etc. Swazi progressive forces and democracy activists continue to suffer repression constantly and mercilessly unleashed by the regime. The NEC strongly condemns the uncalled for royal police decision to interfere with the launch of the Swaziland Democracy Campaign (SDC) last Saturday, subsequently detaining the coordinators Sikelela Dlamini and Mary da Silva; and further harassing our President Mario Masuku. All this done in arrogant defiance of the High Court ruling permitting the event.
Such behaviour by the royal regime reinforces the recently released report by the USA Secretary of State on the acute human rights abuse in Swaziland. We therefore, continue to uphold our resolve to intensify our efforts and calls to mobilize the masses at home and the international community to force the regime in Swaziland to democratize.
We still re-affirm our commitment to ensure our strategic objective is achieved for the betterment of the lives of our people. It is therefore, critical that we ensure PUDEMO remains strong and advanced to be in a better position to carry out our programmes as outlined in our programme of action. In this regard, we demand total commitment and discipline from all our cadres and structures on a daily basis. We pay tribute to our cadres who have stood their ground against the hostile environment created by the regime. Since the last NEC meeting, our cadres have continued to execute their duties tirelessly and with loyalty to the organization and the struggling masses of our country. We shall continue to build and strengthen PUDEMO by further pursuing programmes for leadership development. All processes building towards the National Congress have been set in motion to ensure we have a very successful event. However, the success of the organizational programmes partly depend on the mobilization of sufficient resources. To this end, we have noted that this is the responsibility not only of the organization, but of every cadre of the collective.
A lot of work has been done in mobilizing the international community on the crisis in our country. To this end, we have seen historical developments and initiatives by the international community which are:
· The launch of the Swaziland Democracy Campaign in Johannesburg in February.
· The recognition of our President with a democracy award by the Danish Parliament in March.
· The invitation of a PUDEMO delegation in Europe towards the end of March.
All this bares testimony that we are correct in what we are doing for the liberation our people. Soon the royal regime will have nowhere to hide and no ammunition to fool the international community.
The Youth League National Congress
Our Youth League shall soon go for its National General Congress. This is their highest constitutional body where major decisions are taken; the work subjected to thorough assessment; issues vigorously debated and interrogated; and a new leadership put in place. We need a Youth League that is very strong and is able to produce a committed, disciplined and revolutionary cadre ready for the task ahead. We fully support the Youth League as it prepares for this historic task. We wish them a very successful congress.
Like all workers in the world, on the 1May, the struggling working masses of our country shall again gather together and remember the gains they have made and also review the challenges they are facing. We cannot over emphasize the importance of a united and strong working class movement in our country. Our working class movement must refuse to be divided and easily undo all the revolutionary work they have done in the process of uniting. Victory over worker exploitation and oppression by the state begins with the presence of a strong and united working class movement. We therefore, wish the workers of Swaziland and those of the world a successful Workers’ Day.
Until all our people are free from tinkhundla royal oppression, we shall continue fighting on the side of the oppressed masses.
Let all who love the country and its people join in the struggle to democratize Swaziland!
PUDEMO National Spokesperson, Manzini