Wednesday, June 3, 2009


The Swazi Government is about to hammer another nail in the coffin of democracy in Swaziland.

If a law currently being drafted is passed, civil servants (that’s anyone on the government payroll, including school teachers) will face jail if they engage in politics.

As I wrote in March 2009, Barnabas Dlamini, Swaziland’s illegally-appointed Prime Minister, told the Swazi House of Assembly that civil servants who are considered by the Swaziland ruling elite to be ‘political’ would be given the chance to recant and if they didn’t they would be sacked from their jobs.

He falsely claimed that the Swaziland Constitution allows him to do this.

This week, Public Service Minister Mtiti Fakudze said the legislation was currently at drafting stage and it will be debated by cabinet before the end of this month (June 2009).

Dlamini’s announcement of a political purge caused outrage among democrats.

In March, the Times of Swaziland, the kingdom’s only independent daily newspaper, in an editorial comment, said the Suppression of Terrorism Act had become the supreme law in Swaziland over-riding the kingdom’s constitution.

It called for a Human Rights Commission to be formed to protect the constitution and criticised members of parliament who are failing to bring cabinet ministers to account.

The People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), one of the political parties banned in Swaziland and branded a terrorist organisation by Dlamini, said that the Swazi Government has already identified targets ‘and the Intelligence Branch will be used to hunt down and identify more targets’. The statement said members and supporters of PUDEMO were prime targets in the clampdown.

No comments: