Swaziland police have said they will decide who can and who cannot take part in May Day celebrations on Friday.
According to them only ‘recognised’ workers unions will be allowed to take part.
This is seen as a deliberate snub to the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA), the labour federation that has organized a rally in Manzini, the major commercial city in the kingdom, for Friday (1 May 2015).
After a long and continuing dispute with the Swaziland state, TUCOSWA is not registered as a recognised federation in the kingdom ruled by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch.
In Swaziland all political parties are banned from taking part in elections and organisations that advocate for democracy have been outlawed as ‘terrorist’ organisations under the Suppression of Terrorism Act.
In a statement to media, Police Information and Communications Officer Assistant Superintendent Khulani Mamba said only recognised unions would be allowed to celebrate the Workers Day.
He added, ‘Having said this, as a police service, we wish to point out as previously stated, that we will be present at the celebrations for the purpose of making sure that law and order is maintained. However, this is on the premise and understanding that the Labour Day is to be commemorated by recognised workers’ unions in the country,’ Mamba said.
Previously, Mamba had told media since May Day was an internationally recognised day police would not hinder the celebrations by workers but they would arrest people who uttered ‘defamatory statements about authorities’.
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