21 May 2018

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). 

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