26 September 2018

Swaziland teachers show resilient spirit despite decree by Mswati’s court that teachers’ strike action be postponed


Thousands of teachers affiliated to the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) held an Extra Ordinary Meeting at the SNAT Centre in Manzini on Wednesday 26 September 2018. This followed an illogical court judgment which decreed that the legal teachers’ strike action which was supposed to start on 25 September 2018 should be postponed to 23 November 2018.


Teachers of Swaziland have been engaged in resilient protests against the Mswati autocracy since 24 August 2018. This peaceful protest also followed a night vigil on 23 August 2018. The teachers demand a 6.5 percent cost of living adjustment, known as COLA. Despite the peaceful protests, teachers were met with massive brutality from the royal police who often shot at the workers with live bullets.

Teachers’ resolution
In their Extra Ordinary Meeting on Wednesday 26 September 2018, teachers resolved to engage in various organisational activities on a daily basis since Mswati’s government has denied them the legal strikes. The activities, among others include:
1.    Delivery of petitions in the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Public Service, Ministry of Health and other government ministries;

2.    Branch and regional activities, including Vuselas;

3.    Branch meetings (report backs) until the date which was set by Mswati’s judge for the strike (23 November 2018) is reached.

But before the date of 23 November 2018 is reached, teachers declared in no uncertain terms that they will not participate in all school examination processes (from setting of examination papers, monitoring of learners and marking of scripts). Teachers declared that anyone who shall participate in these processes, be they police or soldiers, shall meet the wrath of the angry teachers.

Teachers’ action continues today
On the morning of Thursday 27 September 2018, teachers will send a petition to the United States Embassy in Mbabane to demand that the United States deports Mswati back to Swaziland to address the issues, of which he is the main cause. Mswati is currently in the United States to participate in the United Nations General Assembly.

How the Mswati autocracy operates
Swaziland, which was renamed “Eswatini” by absolute monarch Mswati on his 50th birthday in April 2018, is ruled by the tinkhundla system which is nothing but a royal dictatorship. This system was introduced after the monarch abrogated the 1968 constitution and bestowed all executive, legislative and judicial powers upon the monarch, thereby creating an absolute monarch which would from then rule by decree.

The tinkhundla system has been the direct cause of the impoverishment of the people of Swaziland. The people are barred from criticising the monarch or the monarch’s government. Close to 70 percent of the people of Swaziland survive on less that US2$ a day. Despite this deepening poverty, Mswati splashed about E1 billion (about US$70 million) in April this year to throw a lavish birthday party for himself. The court judgment which arbitrarily postponed the teachers’ strike should therefore be seen in this light.

Following below are pictures and video clip from the SNAT Extra Ordinary Meeting.


One section of teachers as soon in the morning at the start of the meeting SNAT Extra Ordinary Meeting

The tent was too small to accommodate the multitudes of teachers who attended the meeting - SNAT Extra Ordinary Meeting

Another large section of the teachers outside who could not find space inside the large tent - SNAT Extra Ordinary Meeting

Another section of teachers during the meeting - SNAT Extra Ordinary Meeting

One other large section of teachers who had to find space outside as they could not find space in the large tent - SNAT Extra Ordinary Meeting

As soon as the meeting ended, teachers burst in revolutionary songs (see video below as well) - SNAT Extra Ordinary Meeting

Teachers then invaded the streets of the city of Manzini after their meeting, to give signs of things to come - SNAT Extra Ordinary Meeting




18 September 2018

Communist Party of Swaziland commends worker militancy during national protest action declared by TUCOSWA, condemns police brutality

Tuesday 18 September 2018, marked the beginning of a rolling national protest action called by the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA). TUCOSWA is an umbrella body for the various unions organising in different sectors of Swaziland.



The protests took place in four different cities and towns from the four respective regions of Swaziland – Mbabane (the capital city of Swaziland in the Hhohho region), Manzini (the most populous city of Swaziland, under Manzini region), Nhlangano (in the Shiselweni region, south of Swaziland) and Siteki (in the Lubombo region, east of Swaziland).

Thousands filled the streets of Manzini City on Tuesday 18 September 2018 in a nationwide march called by TUCOSWA against the Mswati regime to call for salary increment and better working conditions

An estimated one hundred thousand (100 000) workers marched on the streets of Swaziland during the national protest action. By 16h00, Tuesday 18 September 2018, the confirmed number of workers who were injured either after receiving rubber bullet shots or after heavy assault by police batons stood at ten (10). This occurred in the march that was in Manzini.

A worker lies unconscious after attacks from the police of Swaziland during a peaceful march for salary increment and better working conditions. This was in Manzini.

One of the first victims of police brutality in Manzini. She was rushed to the Raleigh Fitkin Memorial Hospital in Manzini.

This worker was attacked by numerous police with batons in Manzini.


The Communist Party of Swaziland congratulates the workers, including their federation, TUCOSWA, for these historic marches. We view the attacks on the workers by Mswati’s police in Manzini as a clear sign of the brutality of the Mswati regime. Mswati, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, is desperate to keep the people of Swaziland suppressed, especially during the era of tinkhundla elections. The tinkhundla’s secondary elections are scheduled for Friday 21 September 2018. These sham elections are undemocratic and Mswati is trying to force the people to participate in them. Desperate to intimidate workers, he unleashed his police on unarmed peacefully marching workers in Manzini.

Early in the morning as workers were convening for the begging of the march

As the numbers started growing, the police realised that they could not contain this mass of militant and determined workers. They then started reinforcing and adding numbers on their side.

But the workers are undeterred. TUCOSWA has already issued an official communication that the marches will continue on Wednesday 19 September 2018.

Thousands in Siteki also came out to protest against the Mswati regim eon 18 September 2018


The Communist Party of Swaziland will continue to be part of the workers and contribute in whatever meaningful way possible.

The future belongs to the workers!

Democracy YES! Tinkhundla elections NO!

Below is the moment when Mswati's police attacked an unarmed worker in Manzini on Tuesday 18 September 2018.



17 September 2018

Public Address: Message of the Communist Party of Swaziland to the World Federation of Democratic Youth Summit


The Communist Party of Swaziland (CPS) is honoured on the special invitation to join delegates to the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY), the world's youth assembly of radical and militant agitated socialist-oriented generation, taking place in Harare, Zimbabwe on 12 to 16 September 2018.


This Summit takes place when the world imperialist forces presiding over a crisis ridden capitalist system continue to intensity their fight against the working class people all over the world. Meanwhile, bourgeois propagandists keep feeling workers with fake hopes that capitalism can be renewed. Working class gains made over centuries are under attack from the capitalists and their propagandists.

At the World Federation of Democratic Youth Summit. From left; Donald from Congo Brazzaville, Njabulo Dlamini the International Organiser of the Communist Party of Swaziland, Malinkovich Sergey from Russia, Mluleki Dlelanga the National Secretary of YCLSA, Sadik Bachir from Western Sahara.

The people of Swaziland are resisting an imposed rule by the Mswati autocracy which enjoys support from imperialist and sub imperialist forces of the World. Mswati and his regime remains the immediate enemy of the majority suffering people of Swaziland who have no basic rights and freedoms, such as the right to freedom of association, assembly, and movement.

It is in this period that the autocratic regime in Swaziland is using fake elections to manipulate the people in order to give the dictatorship's evil and inhuman practices some appearance of legitimacy from some sections of the world who may sometimes ignorantly accept that legitimacy. The reason is simple; to deny the struggling people of Swaziland the most needed support and solidarity from the people of the world.

The people of Swaziland are up against the dictatorship which uses state organised violence to suppress the cry for freedom.

The Communist Party of Swaziland, together with the workers of Swaziland, working class and progressive formations in Swaziland, is all out to expose the monarchical dictatorship and advance the struggle of the oppressed and exploited people in our country.

The Communist Party of Swaziland holds, after concrete analysis of concrete conditions in Swaziland, the Southern African region, the African continent and the world, that the Mswati autocracy must be overturned and a new democratic order be established. If that order has to succeed in reversing the ruins of the autocracy it has to be a socialist democracy with mass power from below, from the people, and thereby build a people-owned democracy.

We continue to mobilise the people of the world, including Swazis from inside Swaziland and in the diaspora, to intensify the fight against the Mswati autocracy, expose its mess and advance the aspirations of the oppressed people. We join the world in supporting the struggles for peace and a healthy environment. Our support to the struggling people of Palestine, Western Sahara, Kurdistan and elsewhere in the world for a world free from wars and diseases will continue

Long live WFDY!
Long live Solidarity!
Viva Democracy!
Viva Socialism!

Issued by the Communist Party of Swaziland
Contact:
Kenneth Kunene
General Secretary
+27 72 594 3971

Or
Njabulo Dlamini
International Organiser
Mobile: +2687 603 9844

Facebook: Communist Party Of Swaziland – CPS
Twitter: @CPSwaziland

16 September 2018

Communist Party of Swaziland supports national protest action against Mswati autocracy as declared by Trade Union Congress of Swaziland


The Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) has declared a national protest action to begin on Tuesday 18 September 2018. From Tuesday TUCOSWA will lead mass demonstrations throughout Swaziland, focused mainly on four major cities and towns across the four regions: Mbabane, Manzini, Nhlangano and Siteki. From Tuesday it will effectively be a national shutdown as all workers will be on the streets all over Swaziland, protesting against the Mswati autocracy.

The workers’ federation will be raising a number of people’s demands with the Mswati regime which will be communicated soon. The most recent TUCOSWA protest action was held on 29 June 2018. In that action, the federation called for a cost of living adjustment, setting of the national minimum wage at E3,500.00 (US$ 234.27), increase in elderly grants to E1,500.00 (US$100.40), legalisation of solidarity strikes, increase in health and education funding, and an end to arbitrary evictions especially on the working class and poor, among many other demands. The absolute monarch responded to these demands by unleashing the royal police on workers who had been marching peacefully on the streets of Mbabane.

Demonstrations led by TUCOSWA on 29 June 2018 in Mbabane City 

The Communist Party of Swaziland fully supports TUCOSWA and all the workers of our country in these struggles. Since the regime is desperate to get all workers to participate in the fake elections which will elect a puppet parliament for Mswati, scheduled for 21 September 201, we can only expect increased repression during the demonstrations.

On 24 August 2018 Mswati, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, displayed his heightened desperation to protect his fake elections by all means necessary. He ordered his police to fire live bullets against teachers who had been peacefully protesting on the streets of Manzini. It was, among other acts, the bravery of a teacher who jumped onto one gun-wielding policeman that prevented what could have been a massacre. That gun-wielding police has since been rewarded with a promotion for his cruel efforts, while the teacher who stopped the police’s criminality was arrested and slapped with trumped up charges.

On 29 June 2018 TOCSWA led a peaceful march on the streets of Mbabane in Swaziland. They were met with brutality form the royal police.

The Communist Party of Swaziland calls upon all learners in primary schools, high schools and tertiary institutions to join these protests. Unemployed people also have the duty to form part of the action and fight for their future. The sham tinkhundla elections must be boycotted and disrupted. This will be a major contribution towards the democratisation of the country.

Issued by the Communist Party of Swaziland

Contact:
Kenneth Kunene
General Secretary
+27 72 594 3971

Or
Njabulo Dlamini
International Organiser
Mobile: +2687 603 9844

15 September 2018

99 percent of Swaziland’s teachers reject tinkhundla, vote for democracy; this marks the beginning of mass strikes



Teachers of Swaziland under the leadership of the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) overwhelmingly voted on Thursday 13 September 2018 to go on a strike action against the Mswati regime. SNAT accordingly reported on Friday 14 September 2018 that 99 percent of the voters were in favour of a strike action in demand of a 6.55 percent cost of living adjustment. SNAT leadership then communicated to all teachers that they should put on their combat gear in readiness for this mother of all strikes.

This is a clear vote for freedom, against the tinkhundla regime. It is also a vote for worker unity and radical activism towards achieving that freedom. Further, it is a radical challenge against a dictator who wasted over E1 billion (US$67 million) of the country’s money to celebrate his lavish birthday in April this year, while at the same time claiming that the government is too broke to even afford vital drugs and equipment for public clinics and hospitals.

Swaziland’s teachers have been engaged in protest actions against Mswati’s government in the past four weeks. So decisive have been the teachers’ actions that on 24 August 2018 Mswati unleashed his police who shot the unarmed teachers as they protested in the city of Manzini. It was on that day that one teacher, Maxwell Musa Myeni, decided to put an end to this by physically stopping one of the policemen. Without this action by the teacher, we can only imagine how many teachers would have been mowed down. The teacher who stopped this police criminality has since been arrested and slapped with trumped up charges while the policeman who was commanding these attacks against the teachers has been rewarded with a promotion in the royal police force.

This latest decisive stance by the teachers to go on strike occurs during the most sensitive period in the calendar of the Mswati regime. The regime is currently running its tinkhundla elections which will create a puppet parliament for sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch to implement his decisions. The elections are a whitewash to deceive the less critical people in the world that there are parliamentary elections in Swaziland when the opposite is true; Swaziland is ruled by a dictatorship.

Mswati has banned all public activities during these fake elections period in a bid to force the people to endorse his troublesome rule. The voices rejecting these tinkhundla elections are loud and clear from many corners of our country, as the people tell the absolute monarch: “No more with our endorsement; do it on your own with your puppets!”

The Communist Party of Swaziland will continue to be firmly on the side of the workers throughout their struggles. We know too well that no gains have ever been made by the working class without force. However, the best asset that workers have, which no regime can ever destroy with even the most potent of weapons, is worker unity. We therefore congratulate the teachers of Swaziland for working day and night to preserve and strengthen their unity.

We call upon all workers of Swaziland to unite in raising their demands and towards the dismantling of the tinkhundla regime. Mswati and his family have ruined the country. It is time that the workers took charge of their own future. The road towards that future necessarily involves boycotting and disrupting the tinkhundla elections!

We also call upon students and parents to join hands with the teachers and join the strike action.

Democracy Yes! Tinkhundla elections No!

Issued by the Communist Party of Swaziland
-- 
Contact:
Kenneth Kunene
General Secretary
+27 72 594 3971

Or
Njabulo Dlamini
International Organiser
Mobile: +2687 603 9844

Facebook: Communist Party Of Swaziland – CPS
Twitter: @CPSwaziland

13 September 2018

Pictures of kneeling women expose the attitude of the Mswati autocracy towards the people of Swaziland


Introduction

The people of Swaziland have been gripped by two numbing pictures these past few days; one is of a poverty stricken woman kneeling in front of absolute monarch, Mswati, in full public view begging him for scholarship, while the other is of women forced to kneel on spikey grass while delivering their campaign messages to residents in the ongoing sham tinkhundla elections.

These pictures depict the deep levels of pain that the people of Swaziland have had to endure under the tinkhundla system in order to survive, while at the same time provide proof of the oppression that the people continue to face under the iron grip of sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch. Additionally, they are some of the clearest pieces of evidence of the oppression of women in Swaziland and the farce that the tinkhundla system is with regard to women’s rights.

Kneeling young woman begs Mswati for scholarship

Mswati’s propaganda newspaper, the Swazi Observer, recently published a picture of a young orphaned lady on her knees in front of Mswati, literally begging him for scholarship to pursue her tertiary studies. According to the paper, Mswati then ordered his Minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade to ensure that she gets the scholarship. She had for a very long moment been singing praises to Mswati while on her knees, offering unconditional obedience and allegiance to him. She was understandably desperate due to her poverty. Close to 70 percent of the people of Swaziland survive on less than US$2 a day.

Mpilwenhle Matsebula begging Mswati (extreme left) for scholarship as Mswati and the rest of his officials look on (original picture in Swazi Observer)

This is how Mswati would love to see the whole population of Swaziland approaching him. While the right to education should be respected, Mswati has forced the people to be so desperate as to beg for what rightfully belongs to them. The people of Swaziland have continuously called for free education up to at least the first Degree. Instead the Mswati regime continues to drastically cut scholarships and has thereby reduced the right to education to a mere commodity available only to the highest bidder.

Scholarship grants should never be a token to be used by anyone against the people at any stage. Swaziland recently marked 50 years of self-rule, yet the quality of life for the greater majority has been deteriorating since 1968. It got even worse when the late Sobhuza II abrogated the constitution on 12 April 1973, banned political powers, and bestowed all executive, legislative and judicial powers upon him, declaring that from then on he would rule buy decree, thereby creating the absolute monarch that still rules Swaziland today. It is clear therefore that this “independence” belongs to no one but Mswati and his family. The majority are still in slavery and have to beg for a slice of bread in order to have energy to return and beg again the next day.

The story of Mpilwenhle Matsebula who fell on her knees and begged sub-Saharan Africa's last absolute monarch, Mswati, for scholarship - Swazi Observer hardcopy

The Mswati autocracy has impoverished a whole nation while spending almost exclusively on maintaining his lavish lifestyle. In April 2018 he stole from the public purse over E1 billion (about US$67 million) to celebrate his 50th birthday. On his birthday he wore a wrist watch costing around E24 million (US$1.6 million), a 6kg diamond-beaded suit and bought for himself a second private jet worth over E500 million (about US$34 million) as a birthday gift. These were in addition to more millions in public funds spent on buying gifts for his many children, wives and friends. These monies could have easily covered the educational and health needs of the people. But Mswati wants them to beg!

Meanwhile, public clinics and hospitals in Swaziland have run out of vital drugs and equipment because Mswati’s government claims it is broke. Nurses have been engaged in protest actions demanding that the people’s right to quality health care be respected.

Kneeling women beg for votes in tinkhundla elections

The Communist Party of Swaziland has stated many times that the tinkhundla elections do not empower anyone; that these elections’ sole objective is to create a puppet parliament for the swift implementation of dictator Mswati’s unilateral decisions. The pictures of kneeling women candidates during campaigning sessions in many of the constituencies prove this point.

Women in many constituencies in Swaziland have been forced to kneel while presenting their campaign messages, unlike their male counterparts who have the freedom to stand if they wish or take any comfortable posture. For over 10 minutes of presentation of their messages, the women had to kneel on the spikey grass. By doing this, the Mswati regime wants to remind women of their “place” and thereby systematically cut them off public life.

Times of Swaziland newspaper clip showing women kneeling on spikey grass as they campaigned during tinkhundla elections

This should be an eye-opener for those who still ignorantly hold on to the belief that this year’s tinkhundla elections will be anything different, let alone progressive, from previous ones. The end result of the tinkhundla elections will be the further suppression and oppression of women. Women in Swaziland are regarded as third class citizens. The Mswati autocracy is the chief violator of women’s rights. Mswati’s chiefs in the communities and members of the Elections Commission have been quoted numerous times saying that women should remain at home and care for children and not destabilise families by contesting elections or undertaking political work.

Conclusion

The Communist Party of Swaziland calls for the people of Swaziland to stand up and fight for their dignity, to wage a relentless struggle against the tinkhundla dictatorship. We will continue to contribute to such fights and fight side by side with the oppressed majority. History will not be kind to us if we beg for our freedom. We have no choice but to wage a relentless people’s war against the Mswati autocracy and establish a democratic people’s republic!

Issued by the Communist Party of Swaziland

Contact:
Kenneth Kunene
General Secretary
+27 72 594 3971

Or

Njabulo Dlamini
International Organiser
Mobile: +2687 603 9844

Email: cpswa.org@gmail.com
Facebook: Communist Party Of Swaziland – CPS
Twitter: @CPSwaziland

Communist Party of Swaziland calls for solidarity with public sector workers of Swaziland

The Communist Party of Swaziland (CPS) stands with public sector workers of Swaziland in their strike action. The workers demand a 7.85 ...