Police in Swaziland have banned a proposed march by trade unionists against the government’s banning of their federation saying it is not in the ‘interest of security, peace and public order’.
The Swaziland Manufacturing and Allied Workers Union (SMAWU), the Swaziland Amalgated Trade Union of Swaziland (ATUSWA) and Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) had planned to deliver petitions at different government ministries on Friday (17 October 2014).
The police took the decision to ban without obtaining a court order.
On 8 October 2014 the Swazi Government banned all trade union and employers’ federations in the kingdom and said the government would no longer listen to their views on any matters. New amendments to the existing Industrial Relations Act will outline how the federations can apply to be registered.
The trade unions intended to deliver petitions to government ministries to protest the ban.
Police Deputy National Commissioner - Operations Khisimusi Ndlovu told the Swazi Observer, a newspaper owned by King Mswati III, who rules Swaziland as sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, ‘As a law enforcement and security agency, we have found the declared march not to be in the interest of security, peace and public order, hence it cannot be allowed to take place.
‘The organisers or others who may wish to join the march in whatever capacity are warned against engaging in such actions.’
ATUSWA Secretary General Wonder Mkhontaand TUCOSWA Secretary General Vincent Ncongwane said they would continue with their proposed march.
The ban also includes the Federation of Swaziland Employers and Chamber of Commerce (FSE&CC) and the Federation of the Swazi Business Community.
OFFICIAL: FEDERATIONS ARE ILLEGAL