Organisers of a march for democracy in Swaziland say they expect 10,000 people to take part.
Marchers hope to deliver petitions to various government ministries calling for among other things a people’s parliament; quality jobs and affordable education, health and social services.
The march in Mbabane, jointly organised by the Swaziland National Union of Students, the Swaziland United Democratic Front (SUDF) and the Swaziland Democracy Campaign (SDC), is part of the annual Global Week of Action for Democracy in Swaziland and is due to take place on 5 September 2013.
In a statement, organisers predicted 10,000 people would take part in the march. It is one of a series of events planned during August and September.
On 6 September, the SUDF and the SDC hope to run what is billed as a ‘people’s summit’ in Manzini with the intention ‘to profile the boycott of the Tinkhundla election and provide an alternative’.
It is doubtful that the police in Swaziland will permit this summit to go head. In March and April police broke up prayer meetings, a public meeting and a rally that were all designed to discuss the election.
Last year, heavily armed police invaded the Bosco Skills Centre, Manzini, to break up a similar summit.
The election is due on 20 September and is largely recognised outside of Swaziland to be undemocratic. Political parties are banned from taking part and the parliament that is elected has no powers as these are held by King Mswati III, who rules Swaziland as sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch.
Opposition to the election is not permitted in Swaziland and leaders of protest activities have been arrested and some charged with sedition.
STATE FORCES STOP PROTEST RALLY
POLICE FIRE TEARGAS TO STOP STUDENTS
STUDENTS LEAD SECOND DAY OF PROTEST