NAKED STATE PROPAGANDA TO PROMOTE OFFENSIVE AGAINST CALLS FOR DEMOCRATIC TRANSFORMATION
8 March 2009
As PUDEMO, we wish to address ourselves to two important issues as propagated by the royal regime in Swaziland with regard to what the state called ‘salary increase’, for workers in the public sector, and the so called proposed ‘national dialogue.’ As the vanguard organization we wish to clearly state that we disagree and condemn this state propaganda aimed at patronizing the populace.
1. Salary increase
The so much publicized declaration that the Finance Minister has requested Parliament to approve of a supplementary budget, so as to finance a planned increase in the salaries of public workers, is not honest. Workers in the public sector must be informed that the money requested is not meant to benefit them. On the contrary, it is meant to finance the king’s project of ‘strangling’ the democracy seeking elements in the country by all means necessary. We recognize that the police are going to benefit, but at a limited scale. The real destination of the bulk of the money is the military. The leadership of this country no longer has complete trust in the police force, but has full trust on the army in the campaign to suppress calls for democracy in the country. It is not a co-incidence that a new Ministry of Defence is soon to be created with the view to work towards sustaining the dictatorial regime. The regime is using the name of the public workers in its plan to finance the ever growing repression in the country!
2. National Dialogue
Responding to the growing pressure domestically and internationally for the Swazi regime to democratize, the government has resorted to its old tricks again in an effort to ease the pressure! Addressing editors this week, the Prime Minister declared that the regime is preparing for a national dialogue to resolve the political challenges in the country. However, he emphasized that the agenda will be pre-determined by the state and cannot be changed by anyone; and only labour formations will be invited to attend! We view this as cheap propaganda by the state aimed at deceiving the local populace as well as the international community that something is being done to address the peoples concerns on the political crises that the country finds itself in. PUDEMO condemns and does not recognize this initiative, but view it as poisonous propaganda which must not be accepted and believed by our people and the international community. In 1992, PUDEMO clearly put forward the correct and all inclusive approach to be adopted towards democratizing the politics of the country. As it is, we see no commitment from the King and his government towards embarking on a process towards genuine democratic transition in Swaziland; and the representation is not broad based. The regime seeks to undermine the existence of political parties including PUDEMO and its influence in the struggle for democratic change. We still maintain that there can be no democratic process without the involvement of political parties; and a broad based representation in the process.
Deputy President - Sikhumbuzo Phakathi 0731427594
Sec General - Spasha Dlamini 009268 6089783
Sec for International Affairs - Sonke Dlamini 0829231401
Sec for Publicity and Information - Zakhele Mabuza 009268 6073453