Absolute monarchy assumes chairmanship of SADC

SADCSwaziland assumes the chairmanship of the Southern African Development Community for the first time ever on Wednesday, despite protests from Swaziland and abroad that the small absolute monarchy is not fit to chair the organisation.

The charter of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) clearly states that member states should observe basic human rights such as the right to strike and gender equality, and one of the main objectives of SADC is to support “regional integration, built on democratic principles,” something that SADC’s new chair Swaziland clearly does not. 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

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

Klimakrisen er i fuld gang

Klima SwazilandIgen i 2015 er der sat nye varmerekorder i verden og i mange lande, og jorden er nu en grad varmere end før industrialiseringen. Dette går ikke mindst ud over det sydlige Afrika, kan man læse i ny amerikansk klima-rapport.

I Arktis er temperaturen steget med 2,8 grader siden 1900. Maj 2015 var den vådeste måned nogensinde målt i USA, og 2015 den næst-vådeste målt i Danmark. Og den 27. oktober 2015 blev der målt 48,4 grader i Vredendal i Sydafrika, en ny rekord for oktober på verdensplan, skriver American Meterological Society i deres ”State of the Climate 2015”-rapport. Read more of this post

Royal greed and oppression sold as culture in Swaziland

Sonkhe_Swaziland’s king Mswati III passes suppression, unaccountability and royal opulent spending in the face of drought, starvation and poverty, as traditionally “Swazi” values.  Sonkhe Dube, a young exiled activist, begs to differ.

“The Swazi system of governance, ‘Tinkhundla’, is indeed unique”, says, Sonkhe Dube, who is the International Secretary of the Swaziland Youth Congress. “They claim it is a democratic institution that encompasses traditional form of leadership. But in a democratic state, the cabinet is not handpicked by a king who literally controls everything without being accountable to his citizens”. Read more of this post

Panama Papers goes to Swaziland

Panama Papers sw blogThe rich and powerful are also avoiding the tax man in Swaziland. Nineteen of the Panama Papers documents are related to Africa’s last absolute monarchy.

The leaking of the so-called Panama Papers, with details of offshore financial information that “strips away the secrecy that cloaks companies and trusts incorporated in tax havens and exposes the people behind them,” have made headlines around the world. 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

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