Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) meeting a waste of time and money, why? Because Swaziland regime doesn't respect human rights. A new auditorium was built to host SADC meetings. King Mswati III does not deserve to be chairman of SADC, because he is a dictator in his own kingdom, he has no respect for the nation, he spends national resources as he pleases with his wives, he has wasted the tax payers money to fund the lavish SADC Summit whist the population starves, like the older generation. The money would be better off spent on providing desperately needed hospitals and equipment.

The Swaziland Government has continuously violated the fundamental rights of citizens by preventing freedom of speech and association. Political activists are being jailed, some have died in police custody. The king of Swaziland rules by the 1973 King's Proclamation decree, which banned all political parties. Police have sweeping powers under the 1963 Public Order Act. Prime minister Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini made it very clear that political activists, should be strangled and beaten with spikes.

The Swazi nation should be given an opportunity to elect their desired government, with no one influencing or controlling the supreme executive, legislative and judiciary systems. We want all political parties to participate freely without any arrest, torture, intimidation and death.

I will not stop shouting and tell the world about what is happening in my country called Swaziland until there is respect for human rights and democracy!

Viva Swazi Vigil viva!

By: Philile Dlamini

References

1. Armstrong, G. (2014). Swaziland: On trial for criticising the judicial system - Index on Censorship Index on Censorship. Retrieved 2 December 2016, from https://www.indexoncensorship.org/2014/04/swaziland/

2. Nxumalo, M. (2016). Op-Ed: Swazi king prepares lavish summit as population starves | Daily Maverick. Retrieved 2 December 2016, from http://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2016-07-27-op-ed-Swazi-king-prepares-lavish-summit-as-population-starves/#.WEFXiuRXXIU

Swaziland is ruled by King Mswati lll who is sub-Saharan Africa's last absolute monarch. The King appoints the government and no members of the Swazi Senate are elected by the people. Political parties are not allowed to contest elections. This is because political parties were banned in the Kingdom since 1973 by King Sobhuza ll, the father of King Mswati lll.

International pressure on Swaziland to democratise has forced the kingdom to review a number of laws. The Public Order Bill of 2016 is presently being discussed in Swaziland's Parliament.

The Swazi Observer - a newspaper in effect owned by the king - reported on Wednesday (7 September 2016) that the portfolio committee announced it had no intention of allowing political parties to exist. The newspaper also said that the portfolio committee's report said Swaziland constitution did not provide for political parties.

Pro-democracy groups fear the move will criminalize activities of all civil society and pro-democracy groups, including demonstrations and protests against policies of the government. King Mswati III's government has the constitutional mandate to protect citizens from chaos and instability. They also said the law is needed to ensure that security agencies have the necessary legal backing to do their jobs. However, the government is in violation of the bill of rights, which guarantees freedom of movement. The proposed law, The Public Order Bill of 2016 is pre-colonial and will cause dissent in the kingdom.

The act restricts so irrationally and unreasonably the freedom of movement to a point that it gives power to an appointee to determine our rights, which among others are fundamental rights of freedom of movement and expression. The amendment of the law will make things worse for the public, it gives power to the commissioner of police to stop any meetings that is a treat to the government and King Mswati lll.

The Prime minister of Swaziland Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini said arrests could be effected by the host country in line with their own laws if the gathered people violated certain laws, (Swazi Observer, 5 September 2016) speaking during the debate of the Public Order Bill 2016.

Since the voices of discontent are not allowed within the borders of Swaziland, people remain ignorant of Mswati’s tricks, they are being played and cannot see it even though its right in their face.

I believe the security forces will be fully deployed to crash any discontent within the kingdom especially during the pro-democracy gatherings etc, so it is up to us who are in the diaspora to sound the alarm and expose Mswati tricks to the world.

Viva Swazi Vigil Viva… we will not stop until Swaziland is free from the power clutches of Mswati's regime!!✊

 

By: Rainny Dlamini

It was in February 2015 when King Mswati was reported to have undertook to personally see to the eradication of HIV in Swaziland by 2022. The question is how feasible and valid is such an undertaking with the poor current conditions of the government hospitals. To eradicate an epidemic like HIV requires a change of attitude, commitment to the change, proper use of financial resources and an infrastructure properly designed to cater for such. Talking of a change in attitude, recently the king married two more girls, upholding a culture that permits and promotes promiscuity.

Faithfulness is said to be the key to the reduction of sexually transmitted infections. How does King Mswati hope to change the attitudes when he himself and his household still uphold a culture of multiple partners which puts women in a dire predicament, as they are considered minors and have no say in sexual matters of their spouses.

Over and above this he controls and spends the country’s financial resources in a wasteful manner, not on needy citizens but on his household. According to a report issued by IMF on Swaziland, spending on the royal family drains the economy of Swaziland. This is evidenced by the recent millions of Emalangeni allocated for the king’s wives spending spree. Not even considering the fact that the country has been hit by drought in the 2015 farming season. A report in the Swazi Observer stated that Member of Parliament Mr James Simelane of Esandleni constituency pointed out that families in his constituency have begun dying of hunger as a result of government’s failure to distribute food to the needy and poor families. Is this the king’s eradication tool. To let helpless citizens die of hunger whilst he wastes financial resources on luxury. How does it work?

By: Clerence Busi Simelane

 

References:

[1]. International Monetary Fund, Press Release: IMF Staff Completes 2015 Article IV Mission to Swaziland; Date accessed: 12 August 2016; http://www.imf.org/en/news/articles/2015/09/14/01/49/pr15453

[2]. The Swazi Observer, By Sibongile Sukati. 20 Feb 2015; NO HIV/AIDS in 2022 - King; http://www.observer.org.sz/news/70553-no-hiv-aids-in-2022-%E2%80%93-king.html

[3]. MP. By Sabatha Dlamini. 15 July 2016, People dying of hunger at Sandleni; http://www.observer.org.sz/news/pick-of-the-day/81833-people-dying-of-hunger-at-sandleni-mp.html