The Swaziland Democracy Campaign (SDC) has launched a scathing attack on the Swazi Royal Family, accusing it of murdering innocent lives in the HIV AIDS pandemic.
The SDC says a ‘greedy royal minority’, headed by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, ‘is involved in a race to finish (within Guinness book record time) all that the country has in terms of resources and wealth, while the people are dying of hunger and curable diseases’.
The comments come in a statement to mark World AIDS Day 1 December 2010, which is published below.
SDC message on World Aids day: Charge Swazi regime with murder of innocent lives!
Today, the whole world is reflecting on the pains and suffering caused by the HIV/AIDS pandemic to millions of ordinary women and children and humanity in general. It is the day to review our individual and collective efforts and activities in the war against the pandemic.
As we commemorate the significance of this day, our attention is being drawn to the unfolding disaster in our neighbouring country, Swaziland where a greedy royal minority is involved in a race to finish (within Guinness book record time) all that the country has in terms of resources and wealth, while the people are dying of hunger and curable diseases.
The majority of the people are dying of HIV and AIDS related illnesses. Hospitals are unable to cope with the heavy loads of work given; poor resourcing, poorly paid nurses and staff, and severe medical shortages. This explains the growing health genocide in the country, where health institutions have become places of final rest before the end of life, rather than places of hope and prolonged healthy life.
The health crises are a result of the political and economic crisis.
The tinkhundla system is the root-cause of the social devastation in the country, which has tore apart every fabric of Swazi society. The people are being made to pay with their lives for the failures of a system created by and serving the interests of a tiny royal minority.
The abuse of Swazi culture compounds the crisis and furthers the suffering of women and children, in the process worsening the effects of the pandemic. This requires that we also use the 16 days of no violence against women and children to pay special tribute to the suffering women and children by taking forward their call for support and solidarity.
The royal regime in Swaziland continues to create a two-tier health system, one for the rich royal elite and their friends, well resourced with the best infrastructure and services, as well as personnel. The other one is for the poor majority with no infrastructure capacity, limited resources, under-paid and over-worked nurses and staff, as well as over-crowded wards and long queues. This is the reality of modern day Swaziland, designed by and in the interest of a tiny royal minority to the detriment of the lives of ordinary people.
We support the efforts to organise a health justice movement in Swaziland fighting for social justice, access to quality health for all and democratic governance in Swaziland, as key pillars of its mission.