Swaziland’s illegally-appointed Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini says the kingdom’s security forces should attend workshops and other gatherings uninvited to make sure participants are not talking about democracy.
He says it is the security force’s duty to ensure that ‘under the pretence of free dialogue, there was [no] preaching of violent insurrection’.
Dlamini was speaking at the opening of a ‘mini dialogue’ in the so-called Smart Partnership that he himself set up to discuss Swaziland’s ‘national vision’.
Dlamini, who has an international reputation as an enemy of freedom and democracy, has been pursuing pro-democracy activists in Swaziland and intimidating them to stop them from spreading the word. He has been using the Suppression of Terrorism Act to brand any opposition as ‘terrorist’.
Dlamini so hates the freedom activists that he has branded them all ‘terrorists’ and claims that they are seeking to violently overthrow King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch.
He told the Smart Partnership that the government ‘as the custodian of law and order, had a responsibility to provide protection where, under the pretence of free dialogue, there was the preaching of violent insurrection’.
The Swazi Observer, the newspaper in effect owned by King Mswati, quoted him saying, ‘And let us be clear that, where the law and order is at risk, it is important for our security forces to be in evidence, properly monitoring public behaviour and pre-empting the possibility of violence.’
There was ample of evidence of the police ‘pre-empting’ the possibility of violence two weeks ago when dozens of police invaded the funeral of democracy activist Sipho Jele and tore up photographs of the deceased man and confiscated banners from the banned People’s United Democratic Movement.
Police have also attended uninvited workshops and banned meetings from taking place that they didn’t like the look of.