We the Swaziland Youth Congress (SWAYOCO) join the Swazi people and the world in the 4th Global Week of Action as led by the Swaziland United Democratic Front, through its Campaign wing the Swaziland Democracy Campaign (SDC) in calling for a democratic Swaziland. As we engage the Global Week of Action Swaziland in crisis.
The blatant abuse of human and political rights in Swaziland by Mswati’s regime has reached alarming levels. The arrests of our leaders, PUDEMO President Mario Masuku and the Secretary General of SWAYOCO is a testimony to this. The brutal regime has demonstrated sheer arrogance to the people’s peaceful call for freedom and democracy. The failure of the regime to meet the five conditions set by the United States of America (USA) for it to be able to access the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA), is a clear sign that Mswati’s regime is ready to cling to power at the expense of the people who are the biggest losers with the scrapping of AGOA. Thousands of our sisters, brothers, mothers and fathers who are currently employed at the textile industries are going to be out of jobs come January 2015 when the decision by the USA is implemented resulting in the increase in the already bloated army of the unemployed.
The lack of the independence of the judiciary is no surprise to us as it is a common trend for all dictators to have a highly politicised judiciary, so that it can punish its adversaries. This is a culture that was inculcated by the notorious 1973 decree promulgated by the then king Sobhuza 2. It is our firm belief as SWAYOCO that the doctrine of the separation of powers will only be achieved under a constitutional multi party dispensation.
As SWAYOCO we note with sadness the crumbling state of our health institutions, recently a substantial number of infants died due to diarrhoea, and these deaths could have been prevented if we had a caring government providing its people with medication.
The regime continues to disregard the right to education for all. The Free education campaign has dismally failed under the Tinkhundla system. Thousands of children are still out of school because of the top up system (this is whereby parents or guardians are made to add a certain amount of money on top of that paid by the government) adopted by most schools. With the high poverty levels in our country, currently at 63%, most Swazis are failing to pay this top up fees demanded by schools.
Recently, the government of Mswati announced that it shall be giving scholarships to only 3000 tertiary institutions. This is an insult to the youth of Swaziland that qualifies to further its studies. It is our firm believe that the money that is used in the military should be directed to human development because there is no external threat to Swaziland. The gap between the poor and rich keeps on widening by the day. The looting and plundering of our natural resources by the regime and its cronies at Maloma Coal mine and at Ngwenya iron ore mine at the expense of the local communities and the workers who get nothing from natural resources of our land continues unabated under Tinkhundla system. Through the looting of our resources the royal family continues to live a lavish lifestyle at the expense of the marginalised masses who live in abject poverty.
The time for decisive action against the Royal Tinkhundla dictatorship is now. We call upon peace loving people of the world to stand against Tinkhundla and join the Swazi people in demanding freedom and democracy in Swaziland. We the youth of Swaziland call for the isolation of Mswati’s regime, let Mswati and his cronies feel the pain of international solidarity. We call upon all young people in Swaziland to lead the struggles for democracy, freedom and a better future.
As SWAYOCO we demand:
- The release of the Release of the People’s President Mario Masuku, and our Secretary General Maxwell Dlamini and all other political prisoners from Mswati’s prisons.
- The decriminalisation of PUDEMO and SWAYOCO.
- The Removal of the Suppression of Terrorism Act of 2008, which criminalises political activity.
- The unbanning of all political parties and the unconditional return of all political prisoners.
- An independent judiciary and respect of basic human rights.
- The respect of worker’s rights and the registration of TUCOSWA.
- The proceeds from Tibiyo TakaNgwane and Tisuka TakaNgwane should benefit the ordinary people of Swaziland.
As the youth we are not going to take oppression lying down the time for us to rise against Mswati’s misrule is now. Victory is within reach. Yes we shall achieve freedom in our lifetime.
Issued by: Bheki Dlamini (SWAYOCO President.)
Date: 27 August 2014