Danish party supports Mario and Maxwell

MaxwellDanish democratic socialist party, the Red-Green Alliance, yesterday sent a statement of support for two imprisoned democracy advocates to Swaziland’s government.

President of the pro-democracy party, the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), Mario Masuku, and youth leader Maxwell were arrested on May Day, and subsequently charged with sedition – Masuku for expressing support for his own organization in a speech, Dlamini for allegedly shouting “viva PUDEMO”. They have been in prison since then, as they were denied bail. Read more of this post

Politiske ledere arresteret til 1. maj i Swaziland

Mario MaydaySom det efterhånden er blevet kutyme, er præsidenten for det forbudte parti PUDEMO blevet arresteret sammen med flere andre politiske ledere 1. maj i Swaziland.

Mario Masuku havde netop holdt en tale til medlemmer af den faglige hovedorganisation TUCOSWA, skriver vicegeneralsekretæren for PUDEMO Alex Langwenya i en mail til Afrika Kontakt. Tusinder af Swazier havde hørt ham tale ved et massemøde i landets største by Manzini.

Ifølge generalsekretæren for Swaziland’s studenterbevægelse, SNUS, blev studenterleder og generalsekretæren for PUDEMO’s ungdomsliga, SWAYOCO, ligeledes arresteret, angiveligt for at have sunget en sang med ordene ”Mswati må ud” om landets enevældige konge. Han skulle have været oppe til eksamen på universitetet i dag. Read more of this post

Anklaget for terrorisme for at bære en T-shirt

PUDEMO t-shirtsSyv medlemmer af People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), et parti i det lille enevældige kongedømme Swaziland hvor partivirksomhed er forbudt, skal tilbringe yderligere syv dage I fængsel. De er anklaget for at bære en T-shirt med partiets logo på til en retssag imod en redaktør og en menneskerettighedsadvokat, der er anklaget for at have kritiseret landets højesteretsdommer.

De syv PUDEMO-medlemmer, heriblandt PUDEMO’s generalsekretær Mlungisi Makhanya, blev arresteret i sidste uge. De er anklaget under Swaziland’s Suppression of Terrorism Act, der definerer terrorisme som enhver handling der ”er til fare for den nationale sikkerhed”. PUDEMO, der kæmper med fredelige midler for et demokratisk Swaziland, betragtes ifølge denne lov for en terroristorganisation. Read more of this post

Swaziland: PUDEMOs kongres viser vejen frem

Enhedslistens partner i Swaziland, det forbudte politiske parti People’s United Democratic Front (PUDEMO), afholdt deres årlige kongres i weekenden den 21.-23. februar. Under kongressen skulle man blandt andet vælge en ny ledelse, diskutere organisationens strategi for at sikre flerpartidemokrati og social retfærdighed i Afrikas sidste enevældige monarki, samt debattere og opdatere organisationens politikker til efter at dette er opnået.

Kongressen genvalgte præsidenten Mario Masuku, men valgte flere nye ind i ledelsen, herunder en ny vicepræsident, Read more of this post

Swazier revser landets udemokratiske regering

Swaziland’s enevældige konge, og hans håndplukkede regering, har længe hævdet at indbyggerne i det lille afrikanske kongedømme er glade for landets udemokratiske system og styreform, og at regeringen forsøger at forbedre forholdene for landets mange fattige. Demokratibevægelsen og civilsamfundet, derimod, har altid hævdet det modsatte.

Men nu har meningsmålinger, foretaget af det uafhængige researchinstitut Afrobarometer, vist at borgerne i Swaziland er endog meget utilfredse med landets styreform, samt kongens og regeringens korrupte varetagelse af denne. Read more of this post

Swazier på besøg under kommunalvalg

”I mit land, Swaziland, kan de lokale myndigheder ikke implementere deres egne politikker, fordi kongen kontrollerer alt. Under kommunalvalget i Danmark, derimod, så vi hvordan valgprocessen er velorganiseret og gennemsigtig, og hvordan politikerne er ansvarlige overfor befolkningen”, fortæller Mario Masuku.

Han er præsident for det forbudte People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), som er det største parti i det lille enevældige monarki Swaziland, og han besøgte sammen med organisationssekretæren Wonder Mkhonta Danmark i denne uge, for bl.a. at følge kommunalvalget. Read more of this post

PUDEMO follows Danish municipal elections

“I am surprised that Danish political parties are always looking for consensus. The ownership and respect for the process by the Danish people shows – why can’t we learn from that. We come from the old British political system where we are always contesting.” The President of Swaziland’s largest political party, the People’s United Democratic Movement, Mario Masuku, is speaking from a polling station in Gladsaxe, a suburb of Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen.

Together with PUDEMO’s Organising Secretary, Wonder Mkhonta, he visited Denmark this week to follow the municipal elections. The two Swazis were invited by the Danish Institute for Parties and Democracy and the Danish political party the Red-Green Alliance. Read more of this post

New film shows dark side of Swaziland, but also light at the end of the tunnel

The newly released film “The King and the People”, directed by Zimmedia owner Simon Bright, gives an historic insight into the tiny absolute kingdom of Swaziland, and it shows the brutal nature of the regime that runs the country, as well as the pervasive corruption, lack of media and other freedoms, poverty and inequality.

But the film also shows the growing hope of a more democratic and equal society that is epitomized by the country’s democratic movement, unions and civil society. Read more of this post

Will a post-democratic Swaziland be a ”nation united”?

Understandably, people in Swaziland are focused on and eager to bring about democratic change. After all, it is the corrupt and brutal absolute monarchy of King Mswati III that is to a large degree responsible for the mass-poverty, inequality, financial disorder, and lack of freedom of speech and assembly in Swaziland.

But it is equally important to focus on what Swaziland will look like upon achieving the multi-party democracy that the majority of Swazis seemingly want. Neighbouring South Africa, for example, might have had a non-racial multi-party democracy for nearly twenty years, but the ruling ANC hasn’t been able or willing to extend its political victories to widespread socio-economic progress for South Africa’s many poor.

This is why Mario Masuku, President of Swaziland’s largest political party, the proscribed People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), has recently reiterated that Pudemo must be ready to anticipate and campaign in a multi-party election, to be able to build politically on the fact that they “enjoy massive support across Swaziland while some of the other parties are merely opportunistic,” as PUDEMO President Mario Masuku puts it. Read more of this post

Swazi elections ”not credible”, says Commonwealth

“Parliamentarians continue to have severely limited powers, and political parties continue to remain proscribed … there is considerable room for improving the democratic system, in light of Swaziland’s international obligations. We therefore cannot conclude that the entire process was credible,” the Commonwealth Observer Mission, chaired by former Malawian President Bakili Muluzi, stated in a report on Swaziland’s recently held elections on Sunday.

The political system in Swaziland, although including periodic elections, cannot be said to be democratic in any meaningful sense of the word. Swaziland’s absolute monarch, King Mswati III, himself appoints the government, most of the senate, and several members of the parliament, the rest of which he has to approve, and he can veto any law he doesn’t like. Read more of this post

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 211 other followers