Thursday, June 22, 2006

PUDEMO goes to annual conference

22nd June 2006

PUDEMO goes to annual conference
28th June to 2nd July to reflect on achievements and repositioning itself as it marches to democracy.


PUDEMO, like every organization need to reflect, reorganize and renew itself if it wants to remain relevant in the ever-changing political world of today. This week PUDEMO will be meeting in RSA’s Mpumalanga province it its annual conference to map a way forward.

The question one may ask why in RSA when the country is said to be opening up to democracy with all its freedoms. There is nothing further from the truth. Swaziland has never changed a bit. Swaziland is still a monarchical dictatorship where all power is centred on one man, and that man is the King or Ingwenyama, the mouth that never lies. Preparing for an annual conference is taxing in terms of time and resources. It would have been unwise of PUDEMO to risk all the effort by holding this meeting in Swaziland where the Royal hit squads marauding as police would disrupt the conference.

Another factor is that Swaziland is second only after Zimbabwe to generate exiles. We have quite a sizeable number of our members who fled Swaziland over the years because of political persecution. They are in Australia, UK, RSA and other countries. They need to attend the conference as well so that they can contribute to the liberation plan as it is unfolded.

Invited guests

We have extended our invitation to our external fraternal friends and allies in the ANC, SACP and COSATU. We have also invited various unions, which are affiliated to COSATU and are based in Mpumalanga. These are the people who have been there for the struggling masses of our people over the past 23 years of our struggle.

We have also invited local organizations like the SFTU, SFL, NNLC, SNAT and SNACS. Others included SNA for nurses and STAWU for transport and allied workers unions.


We expect the following papers to be presented;

*The state of the nation address by the president
*Building Alliances
*Building a new PUDEMO profile -
*The current constitutional framework
*The balance of forces analysis
*The state of the Swazi economy – we want our members to appreciate the grave economic situation that has been brought about by Royal mismanagement and looting over the past 38 years.

Expected outcome:

*A much stronger PUDEMO capable of making the last push to democracy
*A new way forward document
*A firm position on the new Royal constitution
*A firm position on the motive forces and how we can continue to unite the various sectors of our society against Tinkhundla
*Fresh mandate to our structures and the international offices so that we can continue the campaign to isolate the King of Swaziland and his Tinkhundla system of government.
*There is no time to delay our freedom as the economy of the country is being looted at an alarming rate.

2.0 We call upon the international community to isolate Tinkhundla and the Swazi Royal family

2.1 Swaziland is a time bomb waiting to explode. The people have been suffering for so long and yet there is not much that we hear from the international community. If there is no deafening silence on the repression in Swaziland, there is active support from such organizations as the UNDP and the Commonwealth. Shame on the people who are in the corridors of power who elect to look the other way when our people are suffering from a minority family masquerading as a Royal family. We congratulate the people of Nepal and we wish to take a leaf on how they managed to deal with a similar problem. Whilst PUDEMO has no problem with a constitutional monarchy, it has a lot against an unproductive family that loots the resources of our country at the expense of a poor people. HIV/AIDS is ravaging our people. Some of the cultural practices like forced marriages, reed dance ceremonies where young girls are paraded half naked for the lustful men from the corridors of power both inside and outside Swaziland to satisfy their lust. A lot of these girls are sexually abused in these ceremonies and hence the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS.
2.2 Unemployment is rising to uncontrollable limits, health facilities have nothing more than painkillers and orphaned and vulnerable children are littering the Swazi schools.
2.3 Recently the King took with him lots of people to entertain some of his friends in Taiwan and Indonesia at the expense of the country’s meager resources

The question is for how long will the Swazi suffer before the commonwealth do something.

We thank the ambassadors from USA, Italy, UK and the Netherlands for telling the king that the time for repression is over. We are calling upon all peace loving people of the world to come to the aid of the Swazi people.

PUDEMO welcomes the investigations into the death of freedom fighters in Swaziland

We believe that the process is long overdue. We are happy that a decision has been taken to have the investigations. We are ready to assist with any information that can help get to the bottom of this atrocious act in our country. The people of South Africa and family members of the cadres who were killed in Swaziland must be assured of PUDEMO’s absolute support to the investigations. We are calling our people to come up and make presentations to whatever structure that will be put in place to investigate the killings in Swaziland. But we wish to warn the investigators that they should not hope to get anything from the regime and the Royal family in Swaziland. The reason is simple; it was the same people together with the Royal police who engaged in human trade with the apartheid regime. Some of the police bought farms with the blood money. PUDEMO is ready to assist with the investigations. This is a small contribution we are prepared to help for the families who lost their beloved ones at the hands of a few unscrupulous people.

International solidarity.

Our thoughts are with the people of Darfur and wish that a speedy resolution should be found in order for them to live a normal life.

Our solidarity goes to the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. We are calling upon the world to help resolve the problem in these areas. Too many lives have been lost and any life lost is one too many. We support the creation of two states in the Middle East, the Palestinian and Israeli states living in peace side by side.

We remember the people of East Timor, the Cuban people and all people who are suffering, and we say our solidarity goes to them as we fight our own war of freedom.

IB Dlamini
Secretary General

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