THE PEOPLES UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT
MPUMALANGA CONFERENCE AND STRATEGIC WORKSHOP
June 28 - July 1, 2006
We, the sons and daughters of the majority of the poor and marginalized Swazi citizens, the true patriots of our beloved country Swaziland, have met here in the Republic of South Africa's Mpumalanga province's Mlumati Technical College to reflect on our historical struggle for a democratic and free Swaziland. For a period spanning three decades (1973 to 2006), our people have been yearning for freedom from the Royal oppressors and this basic right has been continually denied to them. We meet in foreign lands for the same reason of oppression in our own country where a simple political meeting is enough to be charged for high treason. We meet in these foreign lands not out of choice, but because a minority regime have been denying us this right for the past 33 years.
We are aware of the noble role that history has bestowed on us, and that is to continue to lead our people in their struggle for freedom from the yoke of Royal oppression. We know we shall overcome because history is on our side. There is no regime that will survive forever if its very existence is derived
from sucking the blood of the people it purports to govern. Ours is just to guide the people's energy and collective effort and channel such towards a struggle that the Royal family will find it difficult to repel.
Our time is now, and the bells of freedom are ringing. We believe we shall overcome someday soon.
As we meet in these three days, we have resolved that we should put in motion the following programme as per the resolutions taken by a body of true soldiers
of democracy and liberty.
POLITICAL WORK - MASS MOBILISATION
Whilst PUDEMO has been accepted by our people as the sole organization that has demonstrated its selfless sacrifices over 33 years for the liberation of the majority marginalized people of Swaziland, it still has the challenge to:
- Provide leadership and confidence on the people in order for them to stand up and be part of the liberation agenda.
- Reach out to the rural areas of the country where the majority of our marginalized and oppressed people live and bring awareness of the daily problems they face as a result of the repressive Royal family and its Tinkhundla system of government.
- Unite the fragmented progressive motive forces so to build a strong and united front that will be able to bring about democracy and social liberties in our country.
- It is through our Movement's collective political objectives that our society can be transformed to a democratic one.
- Our cadres must be visible in the length and breadth of our country with a clear mandate to organize and give direction to all members of our communities.
- Through our movement's efforts, the people will be empowered to rise against the Royal regime and be their own liberators.
THEREFORE RESOLVED THAT THE PEOPLES' MOVEMENT MUST:
1. Create and define an aggressive political programme for mass insurrection.
2. Set a programme with clear demands based on objectives and / or goals: flood the country with activism
3. Identify and define clearly who the enemy is
4. Campaign and advocate for a democratically established constitutional forum.
5. Form and forge alliances with civic organization
6. Work towards an enabling environment for workers to participate meaningfully in politics.
7. Root PUDEMO ideals within the communities and integrate the movement's programmes in community-based struggles.
8. Empower and train all marshals on minimum defense skills.
- The movement is weak in terms of structures on the ground as most regional structures are yet to be built. Out of the 14 regions that form the structure of the movement, only 4 are active and functional.
- The movement requires resources in order to develop cadres.
- There is a need to implement the programme of action which is a vehicle for liberation, and hence there is a need to mobilize the society around these programmes.
- Only a strong PUDEMO can bring down the Royal family and replace it with a democratic political system
- PUDEMO has not developed and engaged the Royal family at its full potential because of its own weakness as a movement
- The Royal family is not in power because it is strong, but because the movement has not done enough to galvanise the people around a liberation programme that could create an irresistible wave that will ensure liberation sooner.
THEREFORE RESOLVED THAT THE PEOPLES' MOVEMENT MUST;
1. Establish units and enhance their operations and visibility.
2. Instill and ensure proper and feasible coordinating process.
3. Ensure effective communication within and among all structures of the movement.
4. Put in place a clear and workable program of action, articulating time frames for all programmes and a practical reporting mechanism.
5. Create the organs of people's power within all communities.
6. Engage in perpetual and constant empowerment of Movement's personnel to sustain cadre ship and Movements' programmes.
7. Establish and empower the Movement's international offices and representation to profile the Movement and solicit funds.
8. Put in place a Working Committee to facilitate and monitor all programmes of the movement.
9. Establish a high-powered Directorate of Policies to ensure the Movement haspolicy documents that are written in both SiSwati and English and are distributed to as wide a population as possible. This will bring to the fore that the movement is ready to govern.
BALANCE OF FORCES
- Currently the balance of forces favour the regime as it has a police force of 3211, an army of 4300 soldiers, and correctional services members of 1222.
- The King has increased salaries and bettered living conditions for these forces to ensure continued support.
- More resources are spent on initiatives like the Tinkhundla soccer tournements which are made to buy some lost favours from the population.
- The progressive forces is weak and divided as can be seen by the dysfunctional of the Swaziland Democratic Alliance.
- The fragmentation of the labour force particularly developments within SFTUare not helping the cause for pro democracy forces.
- The continued retrenching of workers has both negative and positive effects. Retrenchments bring about diminishing worker complement and weak trade union
movement as a force for change. On the other hand, retrenchments bring about high unemployment, which in turn bring about civil strife that can bring about the fall of the Royal regime.
- There is increased pressure on the monarchy to embrace democracy from the international community.
- The economy is doing badly partly because of the Royal extravagant spending and mismanagement of resources
- There is an urgent need to tilt the balance of forces in the favour of the Movement as a vanguard for the liberation of the Swazi people.
- Unity within the progressive forces is of paramount importance
- Strengthening the trade union movement is key in ensuring the balance of forces become favourable to the liberation programme.
- Political education on the motive forces is key to ensuring all the motive forces know and understand the role they have to play in their liberation.
- Taking charge of all spheres of our society by the movement is critical in order to ensure political hegemony in the Swazi struggle.
THEREFORE RESOLVED THAT THE PEOPLES' MOVEMENT MUST:
1. Revive and develop a competent deploying committee to strategize and ensure all those deployed remain accountable to the movement regardless of positions they hold in whatever sector of society they might be deployed to.
2. Build units within sectors of interest to the Movement's revolution and capacitate them to ensure a sustained PUDEMO conscious society.
3. Harmonise the multi-class character of the movement with the ultimate goal of liberation and democracy.
4. Develop a clear PUDEMO programme on the motive forces.
5. Establish a fully operational intelligence and underground operations.
6. Ensure there is a relationship and interface of the four pillars of the struggle in the Movement's Strategies and Tactics.
7. Establish a Communication and Propaganda Desk.
- History has it that it was the people through PUDEMO who demanded a democratic constitution for the country.
- The Royal family had consistently rejected the need for a constitution, let alone a democratic constitution for Swaziland. The Royal family always maintained that there was no need for a constitution, as everyone knew his or her position in the semi-feudal Swazi society; a society it acknowledged to be based on master and servant or King and commoner relationship.
- The Royal family yielded under PUDEMO orchestrated pressure; internal and external, and decided to hijack the constitutional making process. A result of
this process is a constitution that is fraudulent and is only aimed at reinforcing the unlimited and abusive powers of the king and his stranglehold on our people
- As expected, the majority of the freedom loving people of our country and the world rejects the Royal constitution.
- It is the people who can force for an all inclusive and democratic constitutional making process through their concerted efforts.
- The Royal family will always resist any effort that will give birth to a society that accepts all its people as equal, and hence we must brace ourselves for a stiff and brutal resistance to such noble endeavours
- We shall have a democratic constitution after we have managed to win a lot of battles on the ground. What we could not win on the battlefront, we shall
not win on the constitutional making table.
- PUDEMO is right in calling for a democratic constitution and rejecting a constitution that serves the minority Royal family
THEREFORE RESOLVED THAT THE PEOPLES' MOVEMENT MUST:
1. Establish a competent Constitutional Task team.
2. Advocate for establishment of a Constituent Assembly to realize civic education, interim government and subsequently democratic elections.
3. Publicize PUDEMO Way Forward outlining and highlighting the masses demands and subsequently a People's Charter.
4. Continue to use PUDEMO way forward, subject to review by Congress.
5. Tirelessly work with all stakeholders for a democratic constitution that is written by a free Swazi nation for themselves, their children and the many generations to come. The prerequisite shall be the unconditional return of all political exiles, unbanning of political parties and removal of all impediments
like the monopoly of the media, the allowing of free access to the people and the removal of political threats on all those who have differing views.
People's United Democratic Movement