Nothing to celebrate for most Swazis

Swaziland is one of the world’s most unequal countries, where over ten percent survive on food aid. Absolute monarch King Mswati is celebrating his and his independent country’s 50th birthday by giving himself a new plane and throwing a huge party.

Today, Swaziland’s absolute monarch King Mswati III begun what Swaziland’s official tourist website refers to as “lavish celebrations” and “a party fit for a king”. Read more of this post

‘Most visits are trouble-free’

Trying to complain and demand an investigation into having been beaten up and threatened by security police in Swaziland via the UK Foreign Office takes its time. In my case seven and a half years and counting.

Me and my colleagues were detained by police without charge, beaten, threatened, denied any legal representation, food, drink, or visits to the toilet during a five hour ordeal at Manzini Regional Police Headquarters, in Africa’s last absolute monarchy Swaziland. Read more of this post

Kongens håndlangere ville dræbe redaktør

Redaktøren for erhvervsavisen Swaziland Shopping skrev en historie om Swazilands enevældige konges lyssky forretninger. Kort tid efter modtog han dødstrusler og måtte flygte til nabolandet Sydafrika.

I juni sidste år skrev og udgav Zweli Martin Dlamini en artikel om Swazi Mobile, et teleselskab der ejes af kong Mswati og administreres af den lokale forretningsmand Victor Gamedze. 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

EU sugar-coats absolute monarchy’s bitter pill

EU-support for Swaziland’s monarchy-controlled sugar industry undermines the fight for democracy, even though it nominally benefits smallholders, says new report from Danish solidarity organization.

A new report from Afrika Kontakt commends the EU for supporting Swaziland’s sugar industry, which benefits thousands of smallholder growers of sugar cane. The problem is, however, that the smallholder growers are also left vulnerable by sugar price fluctuations and transport costs, as well as by the corruption and undermining of the fight for democracy, Read more of this post

EU-støtte underminerer kampen for demokrati

EU-støtte til Swazilands monarki-kontrollerede sukkerindustri underminerer kampen for demokrati i landet, selvom det på overfladen er til gavn for landets små sukkerbønder, siger ny rapport fra Afrika Kontakt.

En ny rapport fra solidaritetsorganisationen Afrika Kontakt roser EU for, at unionens støtte til Swazilands sukkerindustri umiddelbart er til fordel for de små sukkerrørsbønder. Problemet er dog, at bønderne samtidigt er sårbare overfor vekslende sukkerpriser og transportomkostninger, såvel som den korruption og underminering af kampen for demokrati, Read more of this post

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