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

International youth organization calls for democracy in Swaziland

IUSY bhekiThe International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY) passed a resolution at its 31st world congress that called for a process that would unban political parties, remove repressive legislation and introduce multi-party democracy in Swaziland.

The resolution, passed on Saturday, also called for an end to the systematic harassment, intimidation and incarceration of political activists and the unconditional release of political prisoners and return of exiles, as well as for the isolation of Swaziland until these demands are met. Read more of this post

Swazi unions demand pay rise

Thousands of workers demand better wages during march to Swazi PM's office in Mbabane today BLOG1.500 Swazi workers marched in Swaziland’s capital Mbabane on Thursday, as part of a two-day strike action, where they delivered a petition to Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini demanding increased salaries for public sector workers.

The march was part of a six-month-long demand by Swazi trade union federation TUCOSWA for the government to release a salary review report that highlights working conditions of public sector workers across the country. Read more of this post

God will bring down the rains

Swaziland PUDEMO (2) 176Climate change has brought on a severe drought in the small absolute monarchy of Swaziland. The solution to the crisis is literally to pray for rain, says the country’s absolute monarch. No, we need a democratic government that does not treat its people as enemies, says a young activist.

In Swaziland, where two thirds of Swaziland’s population survives on less than a dollar a day, a lengthy drought has caused an extreme lack of water, subsequent falling crop yields and the death of thousands of cattle in Swaziland’s rural areas. People in the rural areas could starve to death if urgent action is not taken, two local researchers recently stated in the American Journal of Agriculture and Forestry. Read more of this post

Klimakrisen er allerede i gang i det sydlige Afrika

Swaziland3 080910 320Mens klimaforskerne har dumpet COP21-aftalen, for ikke at indeholde konkrete CO2-forpligtelser, og er enige om, at de globale udledninger af CO2 skal falde til stort set nul fra 2050, er klimakrisens effekter allerede nu en realitet i det sydlige Afrika.

Ifølge FN vil temperaturene stige mellem 3,5 og 4 grader ved århundredeskiftet, hvis vi ikke handler hurtigt. Effekterne af denne stigning vil blive ekstrem på det afrikanske kontinent, og vil ifølge Verdensbanken medføre et kraftigt fald i verdens høstudbytte. Read more of this post

The dialogue that disappeared

Swaziland's parliament protected by barbed wire 300pxIn September, there were high hopes in some parts of Swaziland’s civil society and democratic movement that a dialogue with the county’s absolute monarch King Mswati III was on the table. Not least because of pressure from the Commonwealth, the USA and the EU. Three months later no such meeting has taken place and that hope seems all but shattered.

The meeting was to have taken place between king Mswati III, who has ruled Swaziland almost single-handedly for 30 years, and the so-called G15 group, Read more of this post

Swaziland documentary nominated for international award

Bheki Dlamini SKB“Swaziland – Africa’s last monarchy”, a documentary film about activist Bheki Dlamini by award-winning Danish investigative journalist Tom Heinemann, has been nominated in the short film category at the Al-Jazeera International Film Festival.

The main character in the documentary, young activist Bheki Dlamini, says that he is pleased with the nomination as well as with the publicity that the film has given the struggle for democracy and social justice in his homeland of Swaziland. Read more of this post

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