By Thokozani Kenneth Kunene
Dismantle tinkhundla royal government – Establish Interim Government!
The tinkhundla system is a morally bankrupt and economically parasitic system. It represents an existential threat to the people of Swaziland. It is futile to allow the Mswati regime to continue in any shape or form, as it brings to the people nothing but misery, insecurity and degradation.
The terrible cost to all disempowered sections of society, particularly the working class and poor, is heightened by the financial unsustainability of the regime. Hunger, disease (HIV, TB and diseases related to malnutrition and poor living conditions), violent death and suicides have all escalated. Mswati’s tinkhundla autocratic government is the cause of the crises.
The Communist Party of Swaziland calls upon all progressive forces inside and outside Swaziland to support and carry forward the demands for:
1. The immediate unconditional unbanning of all political parties and formations. We call for the lifting of all press and information media restrictions, the release of all political prisoners and the annulment of all court cases against political leaders and activists. All exiles must be allowed to unconditionally return to Swaziland and all political persecution must come to an end.
2. The immediate dissolution of the government, the suspension of all powers of the monarch and royal family, the suspension of the legislature and the appointment of an interim government – This will operate based on an interim constitution that will guarantee rights and freedoms of the people. All rights and privileges of the monarch, the existing regime and tinkhundla system, will be removed for the purpose of laying the basis for the new democratic dispensation, free and fair elections, and new constitution.
A. The interim government will be composed of representatives of all political parties, trade unions, the church and other civil society forces, to be nominated at a Conference for a Democratic Swaziland. We would seek multilateral mediation from other African countries on purely non-aligned terms.
B. Institutions and structures that are part of the tinkhundla system will not be part of the Interim Government though traditional leaders will be able to submit their suggestions to the Conference for a Democratic Swaziland.
C. The Interim Government must take emergency measures to secure all state assets inside and outside the country and to create an Emergency National Economic Plan to address the immediate needs of the people.
D. The dissolution of the government will mean the immediate end to the king’s powers over the executive, legislature, judiciary and security matters of the country.
E. The Interim Government will establish the modalities for a new democratic dispensation and the drafting of a fully democratic constitution for the People’s Democratic Republic of Swaziland.
In addition to the immediate guarantee of freedoms outlined above
1. The police, army and all security forces will cease to operate as instruments of the monarch and tinkhundla regime and be incorporated as part of the democratic Interim Government.
2. Countries and international institutions must pledge to cease all support for the tinkhundla regime, await the establishment of the Interim Government and contribute in all required ways for the process of the reorganization of the country towards the new democratic life and support to the new dispensation.
The Communist Party of Swaziland believes that these steps are the only practical steps forward for the people in the present moment of our revolution. We call on all areas of the pro-democracy movement to come out in support of these steps.
The Communist Party of Swaziland will work with the workers and the frontline forces to ensure all possible means to carry forward these demands. We call on Women and rural people to organize for these processes. We also call upon the youth and students to use the great enthusiasm and energy they have and continue to mobilise among the young people to help realise these demands for swift change.
The tinkhundla government must go now!
Tinkhundla be dismantled!
Forward to a Democratic Interim Government!
Comrade Thokozani Kenneth Kunene serves as the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Swaziland