It comes as no surprise again to read in the Times Of Swaziland about Police in Swaziland beating students at the University Of Swaziland (UNISWA) for protesting on issues of concern within the University.
 
Every year at the University we see students protest against authorities, one asks himself "Why do we always have such boycott protests by students?" it is clear that the authorities are not doing what they were employed to do. The worse part of this I find disturbing is why is the Police force called in, as they know very well that police beat the students some get arrested for voicing their concerns .The institution has failed itself by relying on the Police force . The institution has failed itself as it no longer trusts or believes in constructive dialogue.
 
When I was growing up I believed that the police were there to serve and to protect the people but now they are used by the government to torture and kill people .
There is no freedom of speech in Swaziland as there is still the 1973 king's decree which banned all political parties in Swaziland, parties which stand for democracy, freedom of speech, human rights and gender equality.
 
Last year on the 13th of June 2015, the Times Of Swaziland published an article about a Mozambican man who used to work in a hairdressing salon in Manzini, Police came in, arrested him as they suspected him of doing wrong. The people around the salon heard the police threatening him saying they were going to kill him, later that day there was an announcement that the man police arrested earlier had passed away while being interrogated by the police. The report came out stating the man died from a headache yet he died from being tortured . The man named Luciano Zavale died in the hands of the CiD Criminal Investigation Officers in Manzini Police Station on that day.
 
This has changed a lot from what I believed, a man died in the hands of what we had believed is there to serve and to protect us. The Government of Swaziland uses the police force to beat and torture people who protest and voice their opinions against the state or the king or for being political activists, as they say such behaviour is action against the king.
 
As a member of Swazi Virgil UK, I will continue to voice out and campaign against the Government of Swaziland for freedom of speech, democracy and human rights until the whole world hears us.
 
VIVA SWAZI VIRGIL VIVA !!!! Amandla !!!
 
By: Mkhosi Shiba

 

There is no oversight on how Swaziland’s King Mswati III, his fourteen wives and vast royal family spend public money. In Swaziland the King’s word is a proclamation. Once he speaks nobody is allowed to question him.

 

The truth about of the King’s spending has been consistently hidden from the Swazi people, his budget is never debated in parliament, and audits of the budget are only presented to the King himself and the Royal Board of Trustees chaired by the minister of finance.

 

Media in Swaziland have access to the full budget estimates which contain information about the King’s budget but do not publish it. State media in the kingdom are heavily censored and the private media censors itself when reporting about the King. The source of much of King Mswati’s income remains a secret.

In 2009, Forbes magazine estimated that the King himself had a personal net fortune worth US$200 million. Forbes also said King Mswati was the beneficiary of two funds created by his father King Sobhuza II in trust for the Swazi nation. During his reign, he has absolute discretion over the use of the income. The trust has been estimated to be worth US$10 billion.

In August 2014 the Sunday Times newspaper in South Africa reported King Mswati personally received millions of dollars from international companies such as phone giant MTN; sugar conglomerates IIIovo and Remgro; Sun International hotels and beverages firm SAB Miller.

It reported that MTN, which has a monopoly of the cell phone business in Swaziland, paid dividends directly to the King. He holds 10 percent of the shares in MTN in Swaziland and is referred to by the company as an ‘esteemed shareholder’. It said MTN had paid R114 million (US$11.4 million) to the King over the past five years.

 

The newspaper also reported that the King was receiving income from Tibiyo TakaNgwane, which paid dividends in 2013 of R218.1 million. The newspaper reported ‘several sources’ who said it was ‘an open secret’ that although money generated by Tibiyo was meant to be used for the benefit of the nation, Tibiyo in fact channelled money directly to the Royal Family.

 

Meanwhile, seven in ten of Swaziland’s tiny 1.4 million population live in abject poverty with incomes less than US$2 a day; three in ten are so hungry they are medically diagnosed as malnourished and the kingdom has the highest rate of HIV infection in the world.

Despite the poverty of the kingdom, King Mswati continues to live a lavish lifestyle. He has 13 palaces, fleets of top-of-the-range Mercedes and BMW cars, at least one Rolls Royce and a private jet.

 

By: Sihle Siphesihle Tsabedze‏

FROM THE SWAZILAND VIGIL
 
MEDIA NOTICE – 5th DECEMBER 2015
 
SWAZIS present petition to 10 Downing Street
 
Exiled SWAZIS are presenting a petition to 10 Downing Street in an attempt to ensure that the Commonwealth take action against KING MSWATI III to allow for democracy and respect of human rights in Swaziland.
A letter accompanying the petition thanks David Cameron for his recent promise to push for democracy in Swaziland.
 
The petition reads: ‘Exiled Swazis and supporters urge you to suspend Swaziland from the commonwealth until there is democracy and an end to human rights abuses in Swaziland'
 
The petition has been signed in the past 3 years by more than 10,000 people from all over the world who have passed by the Swazi Vigil, which has been held outside the Swaziland High Commission in London every Saturday for the past 5 years in protest at human rights abuses.
 
The Vigil fears that King Mswati III will continue to imprison, torture and kill activists in Swaziland if there is no democracy.
 
Before the petition is handed over, the Vigil and supporters of the Swazi vigil will demonstrate outside 10 Downing street, with the singing and drumming.
 
Date: Saturday 12th December from 10:00am - 1:00pm
Venues: 20 Buckingham Gate, London, SW1 E6LB
 
Timetable: 10:00am - 1:00pm – meet outside the Swaziland High Commission
 
2:30 – move to 10 Downing Street
3:00pm – Vigil Petition handed in to 10 Downing Street
3:30pm end
 
Contacts: Thobile Gwebu +44 78 7316 4482
Veli Mamba +44 79 6062 2878
Lodiwe Ndwandwe +44 75 1727 4324
 
From: The Swaziland Vigil UK Office