21 May 2018

In Memoriam: Comrade Simphiwe “Tinker” Mkhatshwa


He shared his life with the poor and marginalised

In only two years of its life the Communist Party of Swaziland lost its founding National Organiser, Comrade Simphiwe Mkhatshwa, popularly known among his comrades as Tinker. Comrade Tinker died on 12 October 2013 when the car he was travelling in was involved in a head-on collision with another vehicle near Middelburg, in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa.

Comrade Tinker was a committed cadre of the Party who had cut his teeth in the struggle for the freedom of the people of Swaziland especially in the Swaziland Youth Congress (SWAYOCO). Thus his experience proved invaluable to the Party and had trusted him enough to be its National Organiser on its founding Conference on 9 April 2011, a position he executed with commitment and humility.

In 2013, mourning his death and celebrating his contribution to the struggle, the Party recalled that Comrade Tinker, “was a stalwart activist in the students' movement, in which he worked to defend the rights and interests of students.” The Party went on to state that he “was active in the communities of Moneni and KaKhoza [in Manzini], where he struggled to advance housing rights and better living conditions…, took a prominent role in mobilizing workers in strikes for better pay and conditions, and was a dynamic organiser in the communities of rural Mafutseni [northeast of Manzini city]”.

Indeed Comrade Tinker, as the Communist Party of Swaziland said after his death, shared his life with the poor and marginalised. Liciniso takes the opportunity to remember the work of Comrade Tinker and calls upon all workers of Swaziland and the world to intensify the struggle for freedom in Swaziland and for a socialist world in his honour!

Liciniso

Celebrating 170 years of the Communist Manifesto*


By Ian Beddowes

The publication of the Manifesto of the Communist Party in 1848 marked the beginning of the modern revolutionary epoch of which we are still a part. The tiny group which formed the Communist League in 1847 is now a huge movement with millions of members and supporters and with organisation of some sort in nearly every country of the world. Millions more who would not profess to be called communists are nevertheless profoundly influenced by that body of opinion now known as Scientific Socialism or Marxism-Leninism. That theory first launched itself into the world through the publication of the Manifesto of the Communist Party.


Proletarian Revolution, National Democratic Revolution, the building of socialist economies or of intermediate economies leading to socialism are no longer matters of theory and speculation — they are now practical matters around which there is a wealth of experience both positive and negative. The movement has had its triumphs: the Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia in 1917, the victory over fascism in 1945, the triumph of the Communist Party of China in 1949, the victory of the Fidelistas in Cuba in 1959 and the victory of the Vietnamese people over US imperialism in 1975.

The proletarian revolution has had its failures and tragedies: the slaughter of Indonesian Communists in 1965 and the European Counter-Revolution of the late 1980’s leading to the destruction of the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia.

Despite the serious setbacks, we have since experienced the rejection of US domination by Latin America starting with the election of President Hugo Chavez in Venezuela in 1999 and continuing with the election of progressive governments aligned to the Republic of Cuba and supported by their local Communist Parties throughout that continent. Most importantly, these governments have boosted their economies and considerably reduced poverty. Monopoly Capitalism has meanwhile sunk into its most severe crisis since the 1930’s and has no obvious way in which it can solve that crisis.

In Africa, it has been increasingly clear that a flag, a national anthem and a black president in each country will not resolve the problems of poverty and inequality. The imperialists in their greed for the raw materials of Africa have, to their delight, discovered African élites that are not only easily corruptible but are eager to be corrupted.

In a few cases, like Zimbabwe, there has been a difference of opinion between the corrupt neo-colonialists and the corrupt indigenous ‘entrepreneurs’ over the division of the plundered wealth. It has become painfully obvious that those who talk about Marxism as an imported un-African ideology have been proved to be nothing but romantic windbags remote from the daily life of the African majority — of which they claim to be part by virtue of their skin colour.

The cover of the 1848 Communist Manifesto original in German

W.E.B Du Bois, the founder of pan-Africanism and Kwame Nkrumah, its greatest practitioner never hid their debt to the theory of Scientific Socialism. Moses Kotane in southern Africa led the process which indigenised the ideology of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels and their great successor, Vladimir Lenin, welding it into a weapon that would successfully direct the forces which would defeat apartheid in South Africa and profoundly influence the liberation movements in the surrounding countries. The liberation of Africa, then, starts with the Manifesto of the Communist Party.

“The history of all hitherto existing society is a history of class struggles”, correctly asserted the Communist Manifesto. Some people have wrongly presented Swaziland as an exception to this fact, claiming that the people of Swaziland are one homogenous nation and thus do not need “foreign” ideas to divide them. The fact of the matter is that the history of Swaziland is, like the rest of Africa, a history of class struggles. The people, some 77% of which are resident in the rural areas, are subjected to the cruel rule of chiefs, representing the absolute monarch. Many lack access to clean water, electricity and quality education.

On the hand, the exploitation of the workers in the urban industries is open for all to see. The absolute monarch carries a large whip in the form of its security forces to ensure the deepening of exploitation of workers mainly by international capital and oppression of the rural population. The political and economic interests of the monarch, on the one hand, and capitalists, on the other, are not the same as those of the workers and rural poor. The products of workers’ labour are shared between the monarch and the capitalists. As such, the 2018 tinkhundla elections are nothing but a ploy by the ruling class to maintain its grip on power. They are not about the workers and rural poor. Thus, it is important that the workers and poor should not participate in these sham elections and instead join the mass democratic movement in fighting to overthrow the oppressive tinkhundla regime.

Marx and Engels had both been philosophy students in the 1830’s studying the work of the German philosopher G.W.F. Hegel, whose brilliant work on dialectics had been updated and revolutionized by his successor, Ludwig Feuerbach. Radicalized by both the growing bourgeois revolutionary movements sweeping Europe and the misery caused by the Industrial Revolution to the growing industrial proletariat, they independently arrived at a similar viewpoint.

By 1844, Marx had already demonstrated his ability as a revolutionary journalist; more importantly he had, at the age of 26, already developed the fundamentals of his theory in his Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts which, however, were only to be published in the 20th Century. Engels, during the course of 1844 wrote his well-documented and graphically descriptive The Condition of the Working Class in England which was published the following year.

Marx and Engels met for the first time in Paris in September 1844 creating a partnership that was destined to change the course of world history and was to continue even after the death of Marx in 1883 when Engels edited and completed Volumes II and III of Marx’s major lifework, Capital.

In 1845, Marx and Engels collaborated for the first time with their work The Holy Family. The book created a sensation when it was published. In the same year they also wrote jointly The German Ideology, a brilliant early statement of their ideas which was only published after their deaths.

The League of the Just, a secret society founded in Paris in 1836 by German workers and craftsmen, had spread around Europe and was becoming increasingly international in membership and outlook. The leaders of the League, Karl Schapper, Joseph Moll and Heinrich Bauer, who all lived in London asked Marx and Engels for their help in re-organizing the League and drafting its new programme. When Marx and Engels were convinced that the leaders of the League of the Just were ready to accept the principles of scientific communism as its programme, they joined the League late in January 1847. In June 1847, at its London congress, the ‘League of the Just’ became the ‘Communist League’. Its hazy slogan “All Men are Brothers” was replaced by the militant internationalist slogan “Workers of All Countries Unite!”

Karl Marx (1818-1883)
Thus this congress became the First Congress of the Communist League. The aims of the Communist League were the overthrow of the bourgeoisie, the abolition of the old bourgeois society based on class antagonisms, and the establishment of a new society in which there would be neither classes nor private property.

Marx was unable to reach London for the Congress: Engels attended and drafted its first programme, A Communist Confession of Faith. The form of a ‘revolutionary catechism’ was commonly used by secret societies and organizations of workers and craftsmen at the time. The draft was accepted by the Congress on its final day, 9 June 1947, and signed by the League Secretary, Wilhelm Wolff and its President, Karl Schapper. Following a Communist League meeting in October 1847, Engels was asked to draw up a revised programme: this he did under the title Principles of Communism. By this time it had already been decided to call a Second Congress. In the Letter from Engels to Marx (24 November 1847), Engels writes:

I think we would do best to abandon the catechetical form and call the thing Communist Manifesto. Since a certain amount of history has to be narrated in it, the form hitherto adopted is quite unsuitable.

Frederick Engels (1820-1895)
The Second Congress of the Communist League was convened from 29 November – 8 December 1847 in London. The Congress charged Marx and Engels with the task of writing a new programme in manifesto form. They worked together from the end of Congress until the end of December after which, having other commitments, Engels left Marx to continue on his own. Marx continued through the whole of January 1848; the manuscript was sent to London to be printed in the German Workers’ Educational Society’s print shop owned by a German emigrant J.E. Burghard, a member of the Communist League. The first edition appeared in German at the end of February 1848. The Communist League remained in existence until 1852, becoming the predecessor of the International Working Men’s Association (First International) founded in 1864. 

In his Preface to the English Edition of 1888, Engels explains why their work was called the Communist Manifesto and not the Socialist Manifesto:
...when it was written, we could not have called it a socialist manifesto. By Socialists, in 1847, were understood, on the one hand the adherents of the various Utopian systems: Owenites in England, Fourierists in France, both of them already reduced to the position of mere sects, and gradually dying out; on the other hand, the most multifarious social quacks who, by all manner of tinkering, professed to redress, without any danger to capital and profit, all sorts of social grievances, in both cases men outside the working-class movement, and looking rather to the ‘educated’ classes for support. Whatever portion of the working class had become convinced of the insufficiency of mere political revolutions, and had proclaimed the necessity of total social change, called itself Communist. It was a crude, rough-hewn, purely instinctive sort of communism; still, it touched the cardinal point and was powerful enough amongst the working class to produce the Utopian communism of Cabet in France, and of Weitling in Germany. Thus, in 1847, socialism was a middle-class movement, communism a working-class movement. Socialism was, on the Continent at least, ‘respectable’; communism was the very opposite. And as our notion, from the very beginning, was that “the emancipation of the workers must be the act of the working class itself,” there could be no doubt as to which of the two names we must take. Moreover, we have, ever since, been far from repudiating it.

This is the only surviving page from the first draft of the Manifesto, handwritten by Marx

The Communist Manifesto ends with the clarion call: “Workers of the World, Unite!” For the freedom of the people of Swaziland to be free, they therefore have to unite against the oppressors, for they have nothing to lose but their chains!

Long live the Communist Party! Long live the Manifesto of the Communist Party!

Ian Patrick Beddowes is the National Commissar of the Zimbabwe Communist Party

*This article is adapted from an introduction to the Communist Manifesto written by Comrade Ian Beddowes under ZimCom Publishers (2012).

·         Liciniso

The Significance of the Great October Socialist Revolution


By Njabulo Dlamini


In 2017 we honoured the Centenary of the Great October Socialist Revolution that took place in 1917 in Russia. This event manifested and determined the course of millions of people, not just with geographical confines of the first socialist state in the history of humanity, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), but it also had an impact of every corner of the planet.

Great October demonstrates the working class’ potential and capacity to implement its historical mission as a revolutionary class, to lead the biggest attempt to construct socialism. At the same time, it shows the irreplaceable role of the guiding force of the socialist revolution, the Communist Party.


Further, Great October demonstrates the enormous strength of proletarian internationalism. Despite the developments after the triumph of counterrevolution which led to the fall of the Soviet Union, the Centenary of the October Revolution continues to inspire us and to see the certainty and necessity of socialism.


Vladimir Lenin addressing soldiers in Moscow's Red Square

Capitalism has socialised labour and production to unprecedented levels. The working class, the main productive force, constitutes the majority of the economically active population. However, the products of social labour are privately owned by the capitalist class. For capitalism, the immense accumulation of profits, appropriated by the capitalists, is at the centre of production, and not humans. This contradiction is the root cause of all the crises inherent in capitalist societies. These include economic crises, the destruction of the environment, drug abuse problems, longer working days despite the great increase of labour productivity, and which of course coexists with unemployment, under-employment and semi-employment, and the intensification of the exploitation of labour power, and so on.

At the same time, however, this reality signals the need to abolish private ownership of the means of production, to socialise them and use them in a planned way for production. This should be planning guided by workers’ power so that the relations of production correspond to the level of development of the forces of production.


In March 1917 over 150 000 workers in Saint Petersburg, led by women workers, filled the streets demanding Bread, shouting "Down with the Czar!" slogans, sparking what is popularly known as the “February Revolution”
The Great October Socialist Revolution confirmed Lenin’s position that the modern era, the era of monopoly capitalism, i.e. imperialist stage of capitalism, is the era of the transition from capitalism to socialism, the era of socialist revolutions.


Socialist gains in the Soviet Union

The socialist revolution was not superficial. It provided real improvements to people’s material lives. For instance, healthcare conditions in Tsarist Russia were appalling. After the revolution, the life expectancy for all age groups went up. A new-born child in 1926-27 had a life expectancy of 44.4 years, up from 32.3 years thirty years before. In 1958-59 the life expectancy for new-borns went up to 68.6 years. The trend continued into the 1960s when the life expectancy in the Soviet Union went beyond the life expectancy in the United States.

The revolution also made unprecedented impact on education. When the Communists came to power in 1917, they faced a crumbling empire infamous for its backwardness and poor education system. In 1917 about 37.9 percent of the male population above seven years old was literate and only 12.5 percent of the female population was literate. By 1939, however, male literacy was at 90.8 and female literacy had increased to 72.5 percent By the 1950s, with a stable education system, the Soviet Union had reached a 100 percent literacy rate of.

The historical experience and significance of the Great October Socialist Revolution provides us with significant lessons on how to pursue our own struggle. In Swaziland, a deteriorating semi-feudal form of capitalism is sustained by an equally rotten form of semi-capitalist form of feudalism. As the Communist Party of Swaziland, we learn that we need to create coalitions and bridgeheads of progressive forces to replace, in the immediate term, the Mswati dictatorship with a democratic one. We are also expected to launch campaigns that would create great change in Swaziland’s political arena, such as the unbanning of political parties.

The Communist Party of Swaziland’s 2017-2018 Red October Campaign focuses on mobilising the people to reject and boycott the tinkhundla ‘elections’ organised  by the Mswati autocracy, set to take place towards the end of 2018. The elections are nothing but a sham. Their aim is to provide an aura of credibility to the nasty, brutal dictatorship of Mswati and his elite in the tinkhundla semi-feudal system. There can be no genuine democracy in Swaziland without the total abolition of royal rule and its replacement with a people-driven democracy.

Imperialism and the tinkhundla system

It is clear to everyone that imperialist forces of the West have few worries about doing business with the absolute monarchy that is Swaziland. If the tinkhundla regime were an obstacle to access to natural resources of any sort, imperialist forces would be clamouring for regime change and “freedom” of the people. As it is, Swaziland suits imperialist goals! It is true that the United States of America, during Barack Obama’s administration, condemned Swaziland’s lack of progress towards multiparty democracy and freedom of association, and removed its favoured national status with respect to imports of clothing products under the US’s African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and placed certain benchmarks. Recently, however, the US made a U-turn despite the fact that the Mswati regime has not met these bench marks. The European Union often criticizes Swaziland’s human rights record. But such moves are more designed to provide a superficial distance between them and the tinkhundla regime; to be seen to take a progressive stance while in fact conducting a business-as-usual relationship.

A socialist Swaziland or at least a Swaziland with a broad left democratic dispensation is a situation that imperialism wants to avoid. By imperialism, we should stress that we mean mainly the US, the UK (especially through the Commonwealth) and the European Union, as these are the principal imperialist actors involved on any regular basis in Swaziland.

Through our Red October Campaign, the Communist Party of Swaziland aims to highlight the need for everyone in the pro-democracy movement, for the workers and poor, the oppressed and exploited people of Swaziland, and for the international community to make concerted efforts towards the dismantling of the Mswati autocracy and replace it with a democratic dispensation.

Democracy…Yes!     Mswati’s Elections…No!

Comrade Njabulo Dlamini serves as the International Organiser for the Communist Party of Swaziland

Liciniso 

Swaziland and the Woman Question


By Nelly Mncina


Lobamba: Mana Mamba – Raising four children on her own in a one-room hut with a leaky roof (WFP - 2011). On 19 April 2018 Mswati will invite poor mothers like Mana to his lavish birthday celebrations and sing his praises as he wastes hundreds of millions in public funds.



Despite claims that Swaziland is a modern country, despite pledges and commitments to uplift the living standards of women, the reality is that women in Swaziland continue to be victims of extreme oppression and discrimination. Women are treated as inferior beings and denied the enjoyment of their rights under the dictatorship of Mswati III, who rules Swaziland with an iron fist as an absolute monarch. Swaziland is a deeply patriarchal society where women oppression is normalised by the monarchical regime, also known as tinkhundla, which is unwilling to transform.

Role of religion and culture in oppression of women

One of the key drivers of patriarchy is religion, especially as driven by the tinkhundla regime. With Swaziland being dominated by Christianity, the regime too often uses the bible to deepen the “God-mandated” subordination of women to men. Swazi women are indoctrinated to accept and cherish an inferior status. When women fight against patriarchy, they are often attacked for fighting against nature, God and the king. This situation should never be accepted by working class women. These vile ideas must be fought against wherever they show up!

In addition to religion, the treatment of women as second class citizens also finds its basis in Swazi culture. The religion and culture mix leads to the belief that a man’s wife is essentially a firstborn child of the family. In too many public meetings in Swaziland, especially in traditional meetings in the communities, a woman is not allowed to speak. If she has something to say she asks her husband to speak on her behalf, and if she is a widow she asks her male relative. In many communities in Swaziland it is still regarded as taboo for a woman to speak in the presence of men. If she wishes to speak, she must kneel whilst making her contribution. This has been evident in the gatherings organised by Mswati that take place at Lobamba royal kraal.

Women and the workplace

Whilst women still suffer the worst with regard to unemployment, the workplace also proves to be a place of pain and grief for women. Since the decision whether a woman gets employed or not rests largely with men, it often happens that for a woman to get a job she has to offer sexual favours to the man in charge. The same happens when it comes to promotion and other rights that women deserve as workers.

According to a 2016 report by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), women have few formal employment opportunities and wages for women are low. According to the report, Swaziland has a Gender Inequality Index (GII) value of 0.566, ranking 137th out of 159 countries in the 2015 index. The report adds that in Swaziland 27.3 percent of adult women have reached at least a secondary level of education compared to 30.5 percent of their male counterparts. For every 100,000 live births, 389 women die from pregnancy related causes; and the adolescent birth rate is 70.4 births per 1,000 women of ages 15-19. Female participation in the labour market is 40.0 percent compared to 64.2 percent for men.  

The right to maternity leave exists only in name. The reality, especially in the garments sector, is that women have to choose to work through their pregnancies or take leave and be fired. In a report covered by the Swazi Observer newspaper, the Secretary General of the Amalgamated Trade Unions of Swaziland (ATUSWA) commented, “Pregnant women on maternity leave are still being replaced in Swaziland. In fact, the employers normally advise these women to resign and take their severance pay which is calculated for only 10 days per year.”

Women and property rights

Since women are regarded as children, for far too long they have not enjoyed the right to own land without a male counterpart. This makes women dependent on their husbands. Widows, divorced women and single mothers have been the worst victims of such a backward practice.

Married women are also not allowed to take bank loans without a written permission from their husbands, thus a woman finds it extremely hard to progress economically under the current patriarchal society of Swaziland.

Violence against women

It is a known fact that women are the worst victims of violence, domestic or otherwise, in Swaziland. Despite this, Swaziland’s tinkhundla Parliament has taken over a decade dilly-dallying over the Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Bill and refused to pass it into law. So many flimsy excuses have been offered for the failure to pass the Bill; from the Bill being “against nature”, to its being “uncultural” and “unSwazi” and thus negatively affecting men’s rights to approach and court a woman as and when they wish, in line with old Swazi ways. The regime does not care that in Swaziland 1 in 3 girls experience sexual violence before they reach the age of 18.

Tintswalo Ngobeni protesting in the United Kingdom. In 2013, fearing for her life, Tintswalo sought asylum in the UK after absolute monarch Mswati III wanted to forcefully marry her as his 14th wife. 




Tinkhundla elections and ritual murders

This year, 2018, Mswati, the last absolute monarch in sub-Saharan Africa, will conduct his sham elections; an exercise in futility as there is nothing democratic about these elections. These elections have another effect, however; they enrich a few people who go to parliament. In the scramble for those parliamentary seats, it is again women who become victims. The tinkhundla elections go away with many women’s lives who are ritually murdered by aspiring candidates to win elections.  In fact, ritual killing cases increase when the country heads towards elections and national ceremonies such as Incwala, Umhlanga (reed dance) and Mswati's birthday.

During the 2008 tinkhundla elections, the Swaziland government banned a women’s march to protest against ritual murders. The authorities argued that the march would have been a sign of disrespectful to the dictator. The march had been motivated by that election year’s mystery disappearances and murders of women. Some of these women had been found mutilated. Their case was swept under the carpet by the tinkhundla regime.

It is a fact spoken in hush tones in Swaziland that girls die every year during the Umhlanga ceremony under unclear circumstances. Such deaths are usually kept secret by the regime. In 2014, a 16 year old girl died under mysterious conditions after having collapsed shortly after eating food served by the regime at the reed dance. Some girls have been reported to have drowned in shallow waters, with the regime later warning their families against speaking to the media about the deaths or telling them to not seek autopsies.


This is one of the trucks used by the absolute monarch to ferry maidens during the annual Umhlanga ceremony. Girls die every year whilst riding on these trucks.



The biggest number of deaths in one year happened on 28 August 2015. Maidens who were travelling in the regime’s open trucks died, and tens of them heavily wounded, when the truck they were travelling in collided with another vehicle. The regime ensured to sweep under the carpet any information related to the incident, with families warned against speaking to the media about the issue. The tinkhundla regime praised the death of those girls as a brave act of sacrifice for their king by the dead girls. Till this day the truth about that accident has not been told. We demand justice for our sisters!

Conclusion

In the context of Swaziland, the first point of struggle for women emancipation is the struggle to dismantle the tinkhundla regime. Both women and men have the duty to contribute to the struggle for gender equality. There can be no freedom for Swaziland without the freedom of women. Thus, the struggle for women emancipation is interwoven with the Swaziland struggle for freedom.

Likewise, there can be no struggle for a democratic Swaziland without women playing an active part in it, putting their demands forward whilst waging the democratic revolution. It must be clear, additionally, that this struggle should also be waged within the mass democratic movement, for the organisations making up this movement are not immune to the maladies that come with patriarchy.

Comrade Nelly Mncina serves as the Women Organiser in the Communist Party of Swaziland


·         Liciniso

Message from TUCOSWA




By Mduduzi Gina


The Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) is humbled to be invited to make its views known through Liciniso, especially its maiden edition.

The workers’ federation, TUCOSWA, remains the only legitimate voice of the struggling workers and the poor in Swaziland. Despite being suffocated in an environment of political repression under the tinkhundla system of government, it always strives to remain committed to defend the interests of workers and the working class in general. TUCOSWA further remains committed to retain, reaffirm and stand by its founding values of being worker-controlled and independent from employers and the current government but cooperate with progressive forces for the realisation of total democratisation of the country, hence our unreserved pleasure in contributing to this newsletter.

The federation is founded on principles of collectivism and on that basis it is vehemently opposed to any system that promotes individualism, the case in point being the tinkhundla system of governance. The tinkhundla system frowns upon and represses the rights to freedom of political association and assembly in favour of a compromised individualistic representation much against all the basic tenets of the treaties and conventions which Swaziland is signatory to.


Workers of Swaziland at a Workers' Day rally at Salesian sports grounds – Pic, Courtesy TUCOSWA Facebook page

Notwithstanding the broad nature which characterizes the posture of the federation, we remain in support of endeavours and means that would result in the country being counted amongst the democratic countries of the world. We align ourselves with all progressive organisations that call for the total unbanning of political parties, the release of all political prisoners and the return of our politically exiled sisters and brothers of our mass democratic movement as well as the liberation of other oppressed nations. 

Workers of Swaziland at a Workers' Day rally at Salesian sports grounds – Pic, Courtesy TUCOSWA Facebook page

TUCOSWA believes that the economy of the country should not benefit a minority elite but the entire populace in a character of a just and social environment. It is on those grounds that the federation sees nothing worth to be celebrated through the intended 50/50 celebrations[1] more so when the majority of our people still languish in abject poverty. It is the view of the federation that all resources of the country must be utilised in provision of basic needs which are but may not be limited to the following; education, health, employment creation and most importantly to pay for the services of those workers that render these services.

The federation remains resolute in its founding resolution that any elections held under an atmosphere of political repression must not be supported and as such the intended 2018 elections do not find support from the federation.

United We Bargain! Divided We Beg!

·         Liciniso

Mduduzi Gina is the General Secretary of TUCOSWA




[1] The Swaziland government held double celebrations on 19 April 2018; Mswati’s 50th birthday and Swaziland’s 50th independence anniversary. The event cost the country at least R1 billion (Ed - Liciniso). 


Outline of the Principal Steps towards a True Democratic Swaziland


Founding statement of the Communist Party of Swaziland


A major step forward in the history of Swaziland has been made with the establishment of the Communist Party of Swaziland.

This is a historic move that the CPS and its allies feel will contribute greatly to the struggle for freedom by the Swazi people against the monarchic autocracy of Mswati III and the rapacious capitalist system in the country.

The CPS has been formed by Swazi women and men who have witnessed the systematic persecution of the Swazi population, who are burdened by political and social oppression, as well as enforced mass poverty, the worst HIV-AIDS pandemic in the world, and a horrifically low level of life expectancy.

We aim to end this murderous degradation of our people, whose labour and capacity are being exploited by the monarchic autocracy and the capitalist system in order to enrich the ruling class. Time is running out for the Mswati regime.

It can no longer sustain its predatory exploitation of Swaziland’s economy and its people. Only a new order based on a fully democratic dispensation that involves all the Swazi people as equal partners will be able to halt and reverse the ruin imposed on our country.

We join Swaziland’s mass democratic movement for change and pledge our full support to building that movement, led by PUDEMO and SWAYOCO, to bring about a National Democratic Revolution in Swaziland.

We believe, however, that Swaziland needs a Communist Party in these days of intensified protest against the regime in order to present a socialist alternative and perspective to the Swazi people. The CPS is a Marxist-Leninist party that struggles for socialism.

We do not want the monarchic autocracy reformed or dressed in democratic trappings to appease the liberal sensibilities of any interest group or the imperialist international community. We seek a complete end to the autocracy and the establishment of a free, democratic multi-party system. We seek a revolutionary transformation of society that ends poverty, disease, the oppression of women, and the stifling of youth.

We believe that such a revolution will enable the Swazi people to begin to build a socialist society, in which there is full equality and pervasive democracy. The Swazi people face a deep crisis of survival.

The CPS will campaign for:

1.    The unbanning of all parties and organisations and the institution of an interim government drawn from all parties, organisations, churches and trade unions that will set about creating the conditions for free and fair democratic elections in Swaziland.

2.    The ending of the monarchic autocracy and the transfer of much of its wealth to the immediate tasks of fighting disease and the worst aspects of poverty (such as access to water and sanitation); the confiscation of all crown property.

3.    The dismantling of the hated tinkhundla system.

4.    The isolation of the Mswati regime by all countries of the international community and the suspension of foreign business activity until the autocracy is dismantled.

5.    The rights of all workers to organise in trade unions that are in turn empowered to join the political process individually and through their federations.

6.    Access to land by all who wish to work it under a controlled system of collective rights—in the short term to tackle the severe food scarcity that afflicts 40 per cent of the population. 

7.    An emergency food security strategy, linked to the above demand.

8.    The creation of radical processes to empower women in society, and to make women’s health a top priority in health care.

9.    The creation of local workers’ and peasants’ organisations to articulate the needs of the urban and rural poor.

10. The creation of an emergency economic, industrial and employment strategy to begin to find a way out of the crisis brought about by the Mswati autocracy and the ruling class.

These are our immediate demands to address the current situation. They are spelled out in more detail in the CPS’s programme and strategy.

The CPS is a democratic, non-racist, non-sexist organisation that fights for the interests of the workers and the poor to being about a just society—a socialist society—in Swaziland.

The CPS is open to all Swazis who agree with its principles and who adhere to its programme and constitution and are willing to take part in its work. The presence of the CPS in Swazi society will provide a decisive impetus for realising the National Democratic Revolution, for ending the oppressive Mswati regime, and for placing Swaziland on course to a better future.

·         Liciniso




Editorial: Welcome to Liciniso


The Communist Party of Swaziland has never minced its words about the question of Swaziland. Swaziland is a capitalist state with feudalist elements. Capitalism is the prevailing mode of production in Swaziland. The country is also locked within a global capitalist world. At the same time we have an absolute monarch which demands tribute labour from the masses, especially in the rural areas, and now increasingly monetary contributions for its extravagant lifestyle. The monarch’s representatives (chiefs) religiously implement its rule in the communities.

Additionally, the absolute monarch evokes “traditional” values and imposes them upon the masses, whipping them to work tirelessly to produce massive profits for capitalism. Capitalists need the monarch’s tyranny to produce immense profits; on the other hand, the monarch needs capitalists to keep the people chained from morning till sunset to maintain loyalty.

Liciniso is a SiSwati term meaning “truth”. That is exactly what this publication seeks to constantly provide to the people; the truth! The fact is that, despite 50 years of independence from Britain, the people of Swaziland still languish in poverty. About 70 percent of the people of Swaziland live below US$2 dollars (R24) each day. The situation is worse in the rural areas, with around 77 percent of the population living there without reasonable prospects of jobs. Meanwhile, the royal family rakes in millions in monies to finance its lavish lifestyle, with the Swazi people expected to part with at least R259.5 million to fund Mswati’s extravagant birthday party this year. Poverty in Swaziland is a creation of no one else but the tinkhundla regime.

Communists and the truth are one

“The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.”

These bold words from the Manifesto of the Communist Party (1848) accurately summarise the role and contribution of this publication of the Communist Party of Swaziland, Liciniso, and the ultimate aim of the communist revolution, both in Swaziland and the world.

The communist cause remains relevant today as it was 170 years ago when the Communist Manifesto was first published. Incidentally, the first publication of Liciniso takes place as the working class of the world celebrates 170 years since the Communist Manifesto was first published. We do not take this honour for granted.

Tinkhundla elections are undemocratic

There is no iota of democracy in the 2018 tinkhundla elections. Swaziland’s parliament is nothing but a rubberstamp for the ruling absolute monarch to implement its decisions. Members of Parliament have no power to hold Mswati III and his selected government to account. The judiciary also belongs to the monarch and not the people.

The only justice that the tinkhundla regime deserves, therefore, is nothing but a forcible overthrow by the people, united in the cause for a democratic society!

Through this publication, the Communist Party of Swaziland presents to the people of Swaziland and the world the truth about the brutality of the tinkhundla system!

·         Liciniso


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