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

Do Swazis want democracy?

bheki_New Afrobarometer-report shows that Africans still cautiously embrace democracy. In the small absolute monarchy of Swaziland, support for democracy is low but rising. In many other countries it is falling.

‘Do Africans still want democracy,’ independent research network Afrobarometer asks Africans in a new report? The answer seems to be a cautious and qualified ‘yes’. In Swaziland, a small absolute monarchy where parties are banned and the king appoints the government and controls everything from the economy to the judiciary, numbers are very low but rising. Read more of this post

Swaziland: Antiterrorlov kendt forfatningsstridig

high-courtFredag blev dele af Swazilands antiterrorlov, som Amnesty International kalder ”undertrykkende,” kendt forfatningsstridig i landsretten i Mbabane. En ung demokratiforkæmper, der selv har mærket effekterne af loven, tror dog ikke, at dommen vil ændre meget.

I 2014 blev syv medlemmer af People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) arresteret, og anklaget for terrorisme i henhold til Swazilands antiterrorlov. De havde båret en t-shirt, med PUDEMOs logo i det lille enevældige monarki. 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

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