Musas mystiske skotøjsæske eksploderede

Musa Ngubeni_Studenterlederen Musa Ngubeni fra Swaziland insisterer på, at anklagerne mod ham for besiddelse af sprængstoffer er fabrikerede og politisk motiverede. Anklagemyndigheden har mere eller mindre bevidst forhalet retssagen i over tre år, fordi de reelt ingen beviser har mod ham, siger han.

”Den brune skotøjsæske har aldrig været fremvist i retten, så jeg forstår ikke hvorfor sagen imod mig fortsætter”, fortæller Musa Ngubeni mig. Æsken var angiveligt fuld af ledninger, sprængstoffer, og detonatorer, og anklageren hævder at den blev fundet nær Ngubenis hjem i Mbikwakhe i Swaziland i 2011, selvom æsken aldrig er blevet fremvist i retten. Read more of this post

Mystery brown shoe box keeps Musa in court

Musa NgubeniSwazi student leader Musa Ngubeni insists that the charges of possession of explosives against him are fabricated and political, and that the state has more or less deliberately stalled his case for over three years due to lack of evidence.

“The brown shoe box was never produced in court, so I am not really sure what I have to answer for in this case,” Musa Ngubeni tells me. He is speaking of a box full of wires, explosives and detonators that the Swazi state claims was found near his home in Mbikwakhe in 2011, but which the prosecution has failed to produce. 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

Police break up Mandela memorial in absolute monarchy

Leaders and dignitaries from all over the world took part in a memorial for Nelson Mandela on Tuesday in Johannesburg. And all over the world, local memorial services are being held to enable ordinary people to mourn the passing of, and celebrate the life of, Mandela.

All over the world, but not in South Africa’s neighbouring country, the small absolute monarchy of Swaziland, where police today broke up a memorial prayer service at the Lutheran Church in Manzini organised by the Swaziland United Democratic Front (SUDF), “by brute force.” 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

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

Voters in Swaziland boycott elections for powerless parliament

Very few Swazis appear to have voted in Friday’s elections in Swaziland; elections that were criticised by observers from the African Union and the Commonwealth for e.g. the power of chiefs in candidate nomination and for not allowing political parties to participate. Swazis have thus apparently heeded a campaign to boycott elections.

“Swaziland’s Elections and Boundaries Commission has not yet come out with the secondary election turnout, but through our powerful team of organisers on the ground we have given the office all regional figures, that indicate that 80,000 [out of a potential of approximately 600,000 eligible voters] actually voted,” the Swaziland United Democratic Front (SUDF) said in a statement. Read more of this post

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