Where are the terrorists in Swaziland?
Over the past week the Swazi police, acting on search warrants from the courts, have raided the homes of members of the Peoples’ United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), its youth wing, SWAYOCO, the Swaziland Coalition of Concerned Civic Organisations (SCCCO), the Swaziland Democracy Campaign (SDC), the Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions (SFTU), Swaziland Ex-Mineworkers Association (SEMA), the Foundation for Socio-Economic Justice (FSEJ), and the Swaziland National Union of Students (SNUS).
They were looking for bombs or bomb-making equipment. So far police have found none.
So it seems to follow that PUDEMO, SWAYOCO and all the others are not the bombers. If that’s the case shouldn’t Dlamini also accept that they aren’t terrorists either?
Of course he won’t accept this. It suits Dlamini, an internationally-recognised enemy of freedom and democracy, to lie to the Swazi people and the international community about the terrorist threat.
This allows him to raid the homes and offices of pro-democracy campaigners in Swaziland on the pretext that they are enemies of the people. They are not. They are, however, enemies of the undemocratic political regime in Swaziland headed by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, and Dlamini, the man the king appointed to do his dirty work.
There is no threat of terrorism in Swaziland, but there is a threat from Dlamini and his henchmen who will stop at nothing to retain power for themselves, even if this means taking away every last human right from the people of Swaziland.
This week Freedom House reported on the lack of political and human rights in Swaziland. It said the Swazi Government has restricted freedoms of assembly and association, and permission to hold political gatherings has often been denied. Prodemocracy protesters are routinely dispersed and arrested by police.
‘The Suppression of Terrorism Act (STA) grants the government sweeping powers to declare an organization a “terrorist group,” and it has already been widely abused by authorities, according to Amnesty International. Police harassment and surveillance of civil society organizations has increased,’ it said.
Barnabas Dlamini can huff and puff all he likes about the terrorist threat, but anyone who takes just a moment to reflect on what is really going on in Swaziland can see who the real threat to democracy is.