China in your hand

Swaziland is the only African country to retain ties with Taiwan. China is now compelling the Swazi regime to sever these ties.

Western countries have not exerted much pressure on Swaziland’s absolute monarchy to rectify its lack of democracy and human rights. Neither has another democracy, the People’s Republic of China, more commonly known as Taiwan. A country with whom Swaziland (renamed Eswatini by King Mswati III in 2018) – as the only country In Africa – has diplomatic ties with. Read more of this post

I met the real Super Mario

I cannot claim to have met Nelson Mandela. Or Steve Biko. Or Patrice Lumumba. Or Thomas Sankara. But I have met Mario Masuku – the former leader of Swaziland’s biggest democratic movement, PUDEMO.

Super Mario Bros. is one of the world’s most popular arcade and computer games – a game that my sons still love to play in newer versions. A game where the hero – Super Mario – has to endure all manner of dangers in trying to defeat the main villain or antagonist King Koopa Read more of this post

Norwegians protest against police shooting

Norwegian union confederation protests police brutality against striking workers in Swaziland.

In a letter sent to Swazi Prime Minister, Ambrose Mandvulo, on Tuesday, the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions, LO Norway, protests against police firing rubber bullets and teargas at public sector workers on strike last week. Several of the strikers, who were demanding cost of living adjustments and a 7,85 per cent salary increase, were injured. Read more of this post

Finally able to vote

Bheki Dlamini had to flee his native Swaziland because he fought for democracy. Monday he voted for the first time – in Norway, where he lives in exile.

– Casting my vote got me thinking. This is my first ever vote and it is happening in a foreign land. In my homeland, Swaziland, I’ve never voted – simply because we don’t have multiparty elections. The elections in Norway serve as a source of strength in pursuit of freedom and democracy at home, says Swazi political activist, Bheki Dlaimini. Read more of this post

Musa convicted and sent to prison

Former student leader and human rights activist Musa Ngubeni was convicted of contravening Swaziland’s Explosives ACT of 1961 by magistrate Joe Gumedze on Tuesday.

He was whisked away to prison after the conviction and is expected to appear in court on May 21 for sentencing.

Musa Ngubeni was arrested together with student leader Maxwell Dlamini in 2011 and charged with contravening the Explosives Act. They were both arrested during protests against absolute monarch King Mswati III’s government. Read more of this post

Norwegian Labour Party criticises Mswati

The largest political party in the Norwegian parliament, the Norwegian Labour Party Arbeiderpartiet, criticised the absolute monarchy of Swaziland in a resolution presented at its national congress.

– Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) is one of the world’s last absolute monarchies. King Mswati has almost absolute power. While the population of Eswatini suffers from partial extreme poverty, the king lives an extravagant life of luxury.  Swaziland has the highest rate of HIV-Aids-infection per capita. Read more of this post

Swaziland Youth Congress calls for democracy at National Congress

The biggest youth movement in Swaziland, the Swaziland Youth Congress, called for democracy at its 12th National Congress last weekend. The congress was held in South Africa because of repression in Swaziland against organisations who call for democracy.

The main theme of the first National Congress of the Swaziland Youth Congress (SWAYOCO) since 2013 was democracy and “reawakening youth zeal for liberation.” Read more of this post

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

Exiled news editor will return to Swaziland

Editor Zweli Martin Dlamini is set to return to the tiny absolute monarchy of Swaziland. He had fled to neighbouring South Africa in January after he had received death threats from a local businessman and his newspaper was shut down by the government.

“My decision to return to Swaziland has been influenced by minor changes in the political landscape and the fact that two of the powerful people who wanted to kill me are now dead – businessman Victor Gamedze [who was murdered at a petrol station in Mbabane in January] and late Prime Minister Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini” Read more of this post