Swaziland’s failed democratisation

The reason for the lack of democracy in the tiny absolute monarchy of Swaziland is an authoritarian reinvention of tradition, and a lack of both internal and external pressure on the regime, writes Swazi activist Bheki Dlamini.

If you are looking for books on political solutions in Swaziland in your local or university library, or in bookstores or on Amazon, you won’t find much to enlighten you. Read more of this post

Swazis demand democracy at Global Week of Action

Thousands of people marched through the streets of Swaziland’s capital Mbabane on Friday to deliver a petition which calls for democracy and socioeconomic justice to the country’s Cabinet.

The march was part of the annual Global Week of Action (GWoA) which, according to the organisers, is the biggest campaign for democracy in Swaziland. It is held during the week of Swaziland’s Independence Day, the 6th of September, and includes marches, seminars and workshops. Read more of this post

Socialist Youth call for democracy in Swaziland now

The International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY) is calling for governments, regional bodies and multilaterals to pressurize the Swazi regime to introduce multiparty elections in the absolute monarchy of Swaziland.

“We are appealing to democratic governments, regional bodies, and multilateral institutions to raise the issue of Swaziland and hold the authoritarian regime accountable. We call for political and economic pressure on the regime … [and] a peaceful transition to democracy,” the IUSY wrote in a resolution passed at the IUSY World Council held in Rosario, Argentina last week. Read more of this post

Zonke needs help to appeal unfair 15-year sentence

zonkeWhere is the campaign and help for the appeal of Swazi activist Zonke Dlamini, who was tortured and sentenced to 15 years under repressive terror laws three years ago, asks his co-accused, Bheki Dlamini, who was released without charge?

Activist Zonke Dlamini was sentenced to 15 years in prison three years ago, on February 28. 2014, for allegedly petrol bombing the houses of two Swazi officials, an MP and a high-ranking police officer. Read more of this post

Acting is best way to show solidarity with suffering people

bheki-dlamini2Introduce sanctions and boycotts against the repressive Swazi regime and help the democratic movement with everything from  legal assistance to torture counselling, organizational skills and information dissemination, says young Swazi activist.

Stories of incredible hardship, suffering and lack of democratic rights often overflow our social media feeds and are ever-present in our newspapers and on radio and TV. Read more of this post

The democratisation of Swaziland: inside or outside job?

swaziland-pudemo-2013-194The small absolute monarchy of Swaziland is best known for its tourism, “unique” culture tied to its monarchy, and the cultural and spending exploits of playboy-king Mswati III, not for its repressive regime and ongoing struggle for democracy.

Swaziland is nominally a middle income country that is seldom condemned by world leaders and rarely mentioned in the international media, even though it is one of the most unequal, poverty-stricken and unfree countries in the world, and even though King Mswati spends millions of dollars on prestige projects and personal jets while his subjects starve. Read more of this post

Swaziland can learn from The Gambia

bheki_blogAfter a coup and 22 years of authoritarian rule, The Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh conceded power in elections on December 1. Swaziland, another of Africa’s small authoritarian nations, can learn from The Gambia that there is strength in unity, says Swazi activist Bheki Dlamini.

Swaziland and The Gambia are two of Africa’s smallest nations, both less than 20.000 km2 and with populations below 2 million. Both got their independence from Great Britain in the sixties, and both are more or less engulfed by, and to a large degree dependent on, a much larger and more powerful neighbour. Read more of this post