KING MSWATI’S ROYAL POLICE VIOLENTLY DISPERSE A PEACEFUL 15TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE SWAZILAND YOUTH CONGRESS IN MBABANE SATURDAY 5TH August 2006 AND ARREST MEMBERS.
We salute our gallant young lions for facing up to the Royal hit squads at Msunduza location in the capital town Mbabane Saturday 5th August 2006.
The Peoples United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) a movement for the majority poor people of our country salutes the young lions who stood up to the armed Royal hit squads called police in its 15th anniversary.
We are saying to the people of our country, no amount of intimidation, violence and force can push back the hand of history. PUDEMO and its youth league have come a long way in the struggle for a free Swaziland. A Swaziland that belongs to all its citizens, a Swaziland that does not discriminate based on family background. PUDEMO and SWAYOCO is proud that it has managed to bring to the attention of the Swazi population and the international community the suffering of our people at the hands of one minority family, the Dlamini family.
We cannot sit back and allow the so-called Royal family to continue to loot the meager resources of our country just because they have a private army and police.
Our people are dying of HIV/AIDS, hunger, poverty, unemployment, lack of clean water and sanitation, curable diseases like TB and cholera just because the resources that should be helping them are misused by one family.
The following figures do not lie and they are disheartening to PUDEMO;
*69% of the population lives below the poverty line of E128 ($20 Canadian) per month.
*48% of the population live under abject poverty
*40% of households have never had enough to eat
*More than 300 000 people depend on food aid to survive
*Unemployment is more than 40%.
*HIV/AIDS prevalence rate is estimated at 42% making our country to be the highest in infection rate in the world.
*56.4% of the wealth is held by the richest 20% whilst the poorest 20% hold only 4.3%
*Total population of disadvantaged people is estimated at 756 000 and is ever escalating. This represents more than 70% of the population.
*The health facilities are worse than in colonial times. You cannot find a simple pain killer in any government hospital today.
*The education system has crumbled under Royal administration. Our children no longer have access to government scholarships when those of the Royal family attend pre-schools in England and America.
Against this background you have one family masquerading as a Royal family living like the sultans of Brunei or the rich Saudi families or the richest mafia families of the world.
Truly a mafia family runs this country. The difference is that the Italian or American mafia wakes up and sells drugs to make money, whilst this Dlamini mafia sleeps and wake up to suck the blood of our people. In short the Swazi mafia is worse of all the mafia families in the world.
The luxuries of the Swazi Royal family at the expense of the suffering masses of our people:
*Majority shareholdings in all major companies in Swaziland including the blood sucking MTN mobile network that enjoys minority status.
*Controls the sugar industry
*Top of the range BMW X% for each of the 12 or 14 wives of the king
*12 palaces for the wives
*Many state houses, both inside and overseas countries like Taiwan, and Indonesia
*The multimillion Maybach luxury car for the King
*The multimillion Pullman luxury car for he King
*The new private airport that cost our tax payers almost E1 Billion
*The Royal family children are educated in overseas schools and are paid hefty maintenance allowances and bought fancy luxury vehicles called toys.
*A well maintained army and police force that is trained to maintain the suffering of our people.
Peaceful political march to celebrate 15 years anniversary of the birth of the Swaziland Youth Congress (SWAYOCO) violently suppressed by the Royal police.
When our people exercise their inalienable right to freedom of association and assembly, the police use live ammunition, teargas and batons to suppress them. Two of our members were seriously hurt after being shot at. One was shot in the leg and the other one shot at the arm. Scores have been arrested and later released after the intervention of our lawyers. The secretary for the gender affairs in the youth league, comrade Dudu Sithole was arrested and tortured in a police cells in Mbabane.
She was arrested with another comrade. Upon release at night she was never assisted with transport and the leadership was never told of her release so that they can arrange for transport or accommodation.
Teargas canisters were randomly fired at children and women. So many of these canisters landed inside houses of the poor location.
And for this we are expected to say all is fine. To the Dlamini family we say this will never happen. This is our country as well. We own each and every inch of Swaziland. We never chose to be born in these lands, but these were given to us as a birthright by God and we shall defend this birthright with our own blood if need be.
Another pro Royal family political party is allowed to hold its 5th convention in a hotel just 10 kilometres away from where our members are brutalized.
It is not surprising that whilst the police was suppressing our youth league’s 15th anniversary, the police were giving support to another political party that is aligned to the Royal family just less than 10 kilometres away. This is the party called Sive Siyincaba Sibahle sinje national movement which was holding its 5th convention it the Royal Swazi sun hotels at the Ezulwini valley. Most members of this party are members of the Royal family and the hangers on. Adefuye and the commonwealth accept these double standards. We are tempted to say to hell with such double standards by these unscrupulous people.
The International community
When all these things happen we are told that we should accept and be tolerant. The people we trusted to be custodian of democracy and good governance are the bearers of this order. These are the powers that be in such bodies like the Commonwealth. The commonwealth sends the so-called Nigerian chief Adefuye to coerce us into accepting Royal oppression because it is an African way of authority. We are saying our people reject the notion that Africans must have different types of democracy and liberties. If the people of Nigeria are no longer ruled by Kings and chiefs like Adefuye why is he expecting us to accept such a political order? This is an insult to our people, and we shall never accept to be treated like aliens in our country of birth.
We wish to appeal to the international community to:
*Support our cause in terms of financial and material and moral support to the peoples’ movement
Isolate the Royal regime in Swaziland by pushing for smart sanctions against the family and its surrogate government leaders
*Send credible monitors to establish the facts for themselves
*Assist our exiled members with schooling, food and shelter.
*Put pressure on the King to accept our gesture for peaceful negotiations.
Our freedom is in our hands.
We have always maintained that freedom is in our hands. We have first hand experience of the Royal repression. We see the king parading his luxury convoy of cars everyday with sirens blazing. We see our people pushed aside from the roads like rabid dogs whenever these convoys pass by.
We watch in dismay the Royal family spend millions of our taxes in birthday celebrations. We witness wastages in ceremonies that never help our people like Umhlanga reed dance, Lusekwane and Incwala. Every now and again we watch the King and his family leave Swaziland to overseas countries to spend our taxes.
Against all these we bury our people on a daily basis. And these are victims of a system that has long past its sell time. These are victims of HIV/AIDS, hunger and of curable diseases like diabetes and diarrhea.
We shall struggle to rid our country of this suffering of our poor people.
The peoples’ Struggle as lead by PUDEMO is about delivering to our people the following;
- Health facilities that can respond to the needs of our people. PUDEMO shall build hospitals and clinics and provide primary health care to all our people particularly those in the rural areas.
- Provide ARVs and nutritious food supplement to assist the HIV/AIDS dying population
- Provide better schools particularly in the rural areas
- Provide scholarships to the needy. We shall use the money that is provided to send Royal children to crèches and schools overseas. Each Royal family child’s yearly school fees can help educate 10 000 of our poor children
- We shall turn the many palaces to areas of learning and health facilities
- We shall appropriate the so-called Royal farms under tibiyo and give them to our landless people and provide farming logistics so that they can produce enough food for themselves and their families.
- We are fighting for a sound social grant system that shall provide support to our aged and infirm. The current E80-00 per month is an insult to our people as this is too meager to support a family as the old support most families as HIV/AIDS have killed most of the young and productive members of our societies.
- We are struggling for universal free primary education for our poor people in order to raise the literacy rate. We know from the Royal experience that an uneducated population is doomed
- We are struggling for the provision of clean water to our people, particularly the rural Lubombo region folk. We shall use the money for palaces and luxury cars to build dams and reservoirs so that our people can produce enough food for their families.
- We are fighting to restore dignity and freedom to our people.
- We shall turn the Royal police force and armed forces to people’s forces that shall be re-trained in agricultural skills so that they can work with the people in the quest for rural development
Finally, there is no amount of oppression and violence that will stop us from our march to freedom. We can hear the bells of freedom ringing and PUDEMO shall fulfill its 23 yearlong mandate to help the Swazi people attain their freedom. For our freedom we do not beg the Royal family and their hit squads called the police. We are committed to a free Swazi nation that shall share the resources of this country.
We shall continue the fight until we free ourselves from the shackles of oppression.
Yours in the struggle for freedom and social justice,
Ignatius Bonginkosi Dlamini
P.O. Box 187
Office 301 SNAT Co-op. Building, Manzini
Tel: (09268) 6075479/(09268) 3838718
06 August 2006