Swazi police shoot at demonstrators

Several workers were badly injured from beatings, rubber bullets and teargas fired by police in riot gear during demonstrations for better wages and working conditions in Swaziland on Tuesday.

Tens of thousands of people had stayed home from work and taken to the streets of Swaziland’s capital Mbabane, commercial centre Manzini, and smaller towns Nhlangano and Sitiki in demonstrations led by trade union congress TUCOSWA. Read more of this post

Demokratibevægelse i Swaziland vælger ny leder

People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), Swazilands største demokratibevægelse, valgte Mlungisi Makhanya som ny præsident på en kongres i sidste weekend. Danske partier og organisationer har i mange år støttet demokratibevægelsen i landet.

I sin åbningstale til PUDEMOs kongres talte afgående præsident Mario Masuku om monarkiets korruption og manglende demokrati i Swaziland, samt om behovet for at genopbygge PUDEMO.   Read more of this post

PUDEMO elects new leadership

The People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), the largest democratic movement in Swaziland, elected a new leadership at its General Congress last weekend. Mlungisi Makhanya was elected new President.

In his opening address, outgoing President Mario Masuku highlighted the need for the rebuilding of PUDEMO and condemned the corruption of Swazi King Mswati’s absolute rule at PUDEMO’s 9th General Congress, held in Witbank. 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

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

A victim of circumstances

Mph blog“I am a victim of circumstances”, says activist Mphandlana ‘Victim’ Shongwe of the nickname he is known by because of the decades of state harassment he has endured in his homeland, Swaziland. “But what has kept me going is the desire to be free”.

“Victim” is the name that Mphandlana Shongwe – a founding member of Swaziland’s democratic movement, PUDEMO – is commonly known by in the small absolute monarchy of Swaziland. He was given his nickname, after reflecting on his life in Matsapha Central Prison, while awaiting trial for treason in 1990. 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

SUDF finally holds congress

After some initial hiccups, the Swaziland United Democratic Front (SUDF) finally assembled last weekend to hold an eagerly awaited congress. The congress was held, amongst other things, to ensure that a new leadership was in place to initiate a capacity-building project with Danish organisation Africa Contact.

The delay in holding the congress was due mainly to internal disagreements and the recent formation of a united labour movement, and members of the executive now expressed hope that the newly founded labour movement would be the “main vehicle of the SUDF”. Other members of the democratic movement welcomed the merger as a step forward in the struggle for democracy in Swaziland. A representative of the Foundation for Socio-Economic Justice called it “a giant leap forward in as far as unifying the trade union fraternity in the country is concerned”, and further stated that “no earthly force can stand in the way of unity”. Read more of this post