18 June 2011
Statement of the Communist Party of Swaziland on the upcoming protests by trade unions in Swaziland
The Communist Party of Swaziland (CPS) voices its support and solidarity with the workers and their trade unions in their continuation of the protest actions, planned for 22-24 June.
These days of protest are the most crucial of all such events held so far. The reason is that Mswati regime is on its knees. Mswati has failed to get a financial bailout from South Africa and his incompetent and blundering government is now looting all areas of the public economy to try to pay its way.
The protests come at a time when the regime may well fail to pay public workers’ salaries at the end of the month, in addition to its failure to pay pensions and overtime for workers in a number of sectors. The protest actions this month need to persist and extend to more lasting actions to bring the Mswati government to a halt, to paralyze the regime.
The protest actions are therefore of strategic importance now, and this is underlined by the fact that it is the working class who are in the forefront of the struggle against the hated Mswati regime, led by working class formations – those capable of taking the struggle forward and transform our society to a better future..
The CPS condemns the efforts of the pro-Mswati press (particularly the Swazi Observer) to misinform the Swazi people of the true nature of the protests. The Swazi media try to portray the protests as expressions of discontent about certain limited aspects of government mismanagement with respect to public workers. This misinformation is designed to weaken the protests and undermine the efforts of the working class to present their demands to the regime and to the people in general.
These demands link the issues of pay and benefits to the overall demand to end the Mswati regime, unban political parties and put Swaziland on a path to democracy and freedom.
The regime is desperate to smother and mute the voices of the workers and the broader pro-democracy movement. It cannot afford the international opprobrium that the protests will focus on its illegal and corrupt behaviour.
At the same time, we know that the regime is capable of harsh and violent tactics against the people, and we call on all allies of the Swazi people to closely monitor the situation in Swaziland and draw national and international attention to any repressive actions by the regime and encourage swift condemnation of it from all quarters.
The CPS reiterates the need for an end to the Mswati government, and for the installation of an interim government representing all democratic forces and communities in Swaziland. This must be part of an entirely new process in the country to create a national dialogue on people’s power and direct democracy. It must not be a process guarded by elite gatekeepers defending bourgeois interests posing as progressive instigators of change. In particular, we need to be vigilant concerning possible imperialist (European, US) efforts to distort the tone and to twist the direction of the transition we seek – as we see happening now with some of the uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East.
We re-echo our pledge and support to the action and call upon all forces to join this important process of democratic change in Swaziland. The mobilization that has started in communities and locations must intensify to support the call by the workers – they are not doing it for themselves, but for the entire poor people of our land and they need unreserved support from all who are victims of royal slavery.
Disband the Mswati regime! Mswati must go!
Act in solidarity with the Swazi trade unions and working class!
For Democracy and Socialism in a free Republic of Swaziland!