We want our land back, King Mswati

Swaziland’s government has been evicting farmers from their land to expand the monarchy-controlled sugar industry for decades. After years of empty promises that they could return, the children of farmers from Mbuluzi are fighting to get their land back.

John Sicelo Vilane was born in the Mafucula community in Eastern Swaziland in 1984, a year after his parents had been evicted from the village of Mbuluzi near the border to Mozambique, and relocated to Mafucula Read more of this post

COSATU to help evicted Swazi sugar cane farmers

The President of South African trade federation COSATU met with Swazi sugar cane farmers. She promised to help them regain control of their land from Swaziland’s absolute monarch king Mswati III.

COSATU President Zingiswa Losi met with sugar cane farmers from Vuvulane, Mafucula and Shewula in Manzini, Swaziland on Tuesday. Here she got first-hand information on the ongoing evictions and harassment of the farmers by the Royal Swaziland Sugar Company and the Swaziland Sugar Association, Read more of this post

Swazi King’s henchmen threaten to kill editor

Swazi editor Zweli Martin Dlamini has fled to neighbouring South Africa after he received death threats. He had written a story about absolute monarch King Mswati III’s shady dealings in the telecommunications industry.

Last June, editor of independent business newspaper Swaziland Shopping Zweli Martin Dlamini wrote and published a story about new telecommunications company Swazi Mobile, owned by King Mswati III and run by local businessman Victor Gamedze. Read more of this post

Swazi soccer guru harasses journalists with impunity

mwusSoccer guru Victor Gamedze has allegedly assaulted a journalist and ordered another fired because they wrote unfavourable stories about him and his football team. Such media control and self-censorship is commonplace in Swaziland.

Victor Gamedze, an influential, powerful and politically connected businessman, “controls the Swazi Observer Group of Newspapers,” according to last week’s edition of Swaziland Shopping. Gamedze is also the Acting President of the National Football Association of Swaziland, Premier League of Swaziland Chairman and Mbabane Swallows FC owner. 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