We had an exuberant vigil on Saturday 24th March outside the Swazi High Commission here in London, with a lot of tourists visiting Buckingham Palace stopping by and signing our petitions. One passerby had this say "Make sure when he attends the Queen's Golden Jubilee, he (Mswati) gets a hard time . . . he went on to say that we must show him that this is a democratic country people are allowed to demonstrate!!! At the vigil we totally agree with this supporter, this time we will make sure we will give him a hard time, we are going to dress him down, we will make sure the whole world knows about his evil deeds, DICTATORSHIP, the abuse of human rights, abuse of women, rape, torture, murder, imprisonment of political activities and lavish life stlye while 90% of the swazi people are starving.
What the Swazi people are clamouring for was summed up by a group of Swazis who attended our vigil, the group included Jabulile Simelane, whose father (Paulos Majaji Simelane) was Commissioner of Police in Swaziland and was accused of plotting to kill the king and thrown into jail. She said all his relatives were being penalized, as indeed was everyone in Swaziland where there was ‘grinding poverty, hunger, no jobs, no medicine in hospitals, let alone sheets for hospital beds’.
Jabulile said that the Swazi High Commission is London should be closed as it did nothing for Swazis except look after King Mswati’s children studying in the UK who were given £30,000 a month to spend while children at home had no books. She added that Swazis in the UK were to write to the Queen to protest at the invitation to King Mswati to her Jubilee celebrations in June. She said ‘I am sure that Her Majesty cannot know how monstrous Mswati is. Our people are starving but he has £16 billion in Qatar. He should go and stay there. Why is Mr Cameron not doing something about Mswati when he is acting against people like President Assad of Syria.'
Thanks to our founder member and coordinator Kelvin Kamupira, who brought the drum and his singing, Kelvin Kamupira is a human rights activist, who has campaigned for a long time against the obnoxious regime of Zimbabwe's Mugabe. It is Kelvin's ideal to see a free and democratic Southern Africa, in which all the peoples live in peace and in harmony, that is why he helped found the Swazi Vigil. His commitement to the cause in no doubt unquestionable, a true revolutionary indeed.
Special mention also goes to Flora Dlamini who was at the vigil early to help with the banners, Senele Msweli who helped in writting articles and publishing our website, Jabulile Simelani and Margret Dlamini who brought the banners and a new table. Last, but not least Francesca Toft, Fungayi Mabhunu and the Zimbabwe Vigil who helped with our publicty while our website was down.
NOTICES Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 7th April from 10 am – 1 pm. Venue: Swazi High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB. Nearest stations: St James’s Park and Victoria.
Come rain, snow, sleet or thunder we will be outside the Swazi embassy protesting about democracy and respect for human rights in Swaziland. It rained just as we were setting up but lucky we have a cloth banner and a few placards that are covered in plastic. As usual news from back home is horrific and depressing, to the locals who stopped by to ask about the situation back home and sign our petitions its shocking. Barnabas Dlamini, the illegally-appointed Prime Minister of Swaziland, is victimizing the senate leader who said he and the Swazi government are answerable to parliament. We told the passing public that these are the few stories that they hear, the more horrific ones are swept under the carpet by the propaganda swazi press who are a mouth pieces of Dictator regime by the King because he closes the paper if they report against him. We were happy to hear that the launch of the Swaziland democracy was a success and we were glad that the Swazi vigil UK received words of encouragement from their report. On Friday the 5th of march we will join our friends the zimvigil to protest our side the South African embassy. We will be there between 1130 am to 1230pm to meet Jacob Zuma on his visit here in the UK. Please check www.zimvigil.co.uk. We will present to Mr Zuma our demands for democracy and respect for human rights in Swaziland we will also encourage Mr Zuma to speak out on Swaziland as he seems to know what is happening in the Kingdom. We are also pleased to let our supports know that so far we have more than 2000 signatures on our petitions, which is very encouraging. Thanks once again to our stewards Godfrey Madzunga, Kelvin Kamupila, Thobile Gwebu, Francesca Toft and many more who stood by us in the rain. The Swazi embassy staff were also surprised to see us protesting in the rain. Once again one of our supporters reminded them that will be here until Swaziland is free. Our singing and drumming once again attracted a group of brownies who stopped by and their teachers signed our petitions, but most of these children were so sad to hear that children in Swaziland are suffering with hunger and starvation and most of them can not afford to go to school at all, while Dictator Mswatii III is squandering money on his so many wives. What a sham said one teacher who signed our petition. Hopefully the weather will be on our side next weekend. Just as we were writing this diary we received yet some more depressing news
PRESS NOTICE – 31st January 2010 Launch of the Swazi Vigil Exiled Swazis and supporters held a Vigil outside the Swaziland High Commission in London on Saturday 30th January in protest at human rights abuses in the small southern African country. Further Vigils are planned between 10 am and 1 pm every Saturday until there is democracy and respect for human rights in Swaziland. The organizer Thobile Gwebu expressed gratitude for the attendance of representatives from the Zimbabwe Vigil and Action for Southern Africa, the successor to the Anti-Apartheid Movement. She said the Swazi flag was lowered when the group started drumming and they were filmed by people inside the building. Swaziland has a population of 1.1 million and is Africa’s only absolute monarchy. A state of emergency has been in force for 35 years. Political parties are banned, activists are imprisoned, and the judiciary, media and other bodies are controlled by the monarch. Women, in particular, suffer gross violation of their human rights. Seventy per cent of the population live on less than $1 a day and more than 1 in 4 Swazis are living with HIV / AIDS. Next Vigil: Saturday 6th February Venue: Kingdom of Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB Nearest Tube: St. James Park Interview opportunities: Political activists, torture and rape survivors Further information: Thobile Gwebu +44 7873 164 482.