Absolute monarchy assumes chairmanship of SADC

SADCSwaziland assumes the chairmanship of the Southern African Development Community for the first time ever on Wednesday, despite protests from Swaziland and abroad that the small absolute monarchy is not fit to chair the organisation.

The charter of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) clearly states that member states should observe basic human rights such as the right to strike and gender equality, and one of the main objectives of SADC is to support “regional integration, built on democratic principles,” something that SADC’s new chair Swaziland clearly does not. Read more of this post

Media workers protest against working conditions at king’s newspaper

MWUSMembers of the Media Workers Union of Swaziland (MWUS) have gathered near the offices of the Swazi Observer for several days to protest low wages, management intimidation and poor working conditions. The union was barred from holding an actual picket by Swaziland’s High Court.

Negotiations between the Swazi Observer, a newspaper in effect owned and controlled by absolute monarch King Mswati III, and MWUS had started in April, but no real progress has been made since they became deadlocked in June. Read more of this post

Powerless People’s Parliament

Mswati SibayaThe Sibaya ”People’s Parliament,” where Swaziland’s absolute monarch summons his subjects to the royal cattle byre to discuss pressing issues, was held over the last week.  Many issues were raised, but in previous years little has happened as a result of it.

“Raise grants for the elderly”. “Stop repossessing our land in Vuvulane”. “My kids go to bed hungry”.  “Ordinary people don’t have access to radio”. “Minimum wage should by 3000 emalangeni”. “We have no land, even though the constitution says every Swazi should have access to it”. “Cattle roam the streets and are causing accidents”. “The cabinet should be fired”. “Inequality causes division”. Read more of this post

Royal greed and oppression sold as culture in Swaziland

Sonkhe_Swaziland’s king Mswati III passes suppression, unaccountability and royal opulent spending in the face of drought, starvation and poverty, as traditionally “Swazi” values.  Sonkhe Dube, a young exiled activist, begs to differ.

“The Swazi system of governance, ‘Tinkhundla’, is indeed unique”, says, Sonkhe Dube, who is the International Secretary of the Swaziland Youth Congress. “They claim it is a democratic institution that encompasses traditional form of leadership. But in a democratic state, the cabinet is not handpicked by a king who literally controls everything without being accountable to his citizens”. Read more of this post

Demokrati skal udleves, både i Danmark og i Swaziland

elåm16 Abba Malainin,Pablo Bustinduy, Mlungisi MakhanyaMlungisi og Mphandlana fra demokratibevægelsen PUDEMO var til Enhedslistens årsmøde i Gladsaxe. I deres hjemland, det lille enevældige kongedømme Swaziland, betragtes de som terrorister, fordi de kæmper for et konstitutionelt monarki som i Danmark.

– Vi har lært meget af at være med til Enhedslistens årsmøde. Blandt andet at det er vigtigt for os som parti og bevægelse ikke bare at tale om demokrati som noget der skal foregå i fremtiden. Vi må arbejde ud fra de demokratiske principper, som vi vil indføre i samfundet, siger PUDEMOs Generalsekretær Mlungisi Makhanya. Read more of this post

Panama Papers goes to Swaziland

Panama Papers sw blogThe rich and powerful are also avoiding the tax man in Swaziland. Nineteen of the Panama Papers documents are related to Africa’s last absolute monarchy.

The leaking of the so-called Panama Papers, with details of offshore financial information that “strips away the secrecy that cloaks companies and trusts incorporated in tax havens and exposes the people behind them,” have made headlines around the world. Read more of this post

Monarchy a luxury that Swaziland cannot afford

Bheki blog

Photo: Karitte Lind Bejer

Swaziland’s big-spending absolute monarch King Mswati III is spending millions of dollars on a new personal jet and other luxuries, while many of his poor citizens rely on food aid to survive.

“The monarchy is a luxury that Swazi’s cannot afford. It is like a blood-sucking parasite that has sucked its host dry”, says Swazi activist Bheki Dlamini.

He is doing a Masters in Public Administration, is President of the banned Swaziland Youth Congress and spent nearly 4 years in a small filthy cell Read more of this post

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