Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Communists to launch campaign of ‘maximum defiance’ against Swaziland’s absolute monarch King Mswati

Communists in Swaziland / Eswatini are to launch a campaign of opposition to the absolute monarch King Mswati III urging ‘maximum defiance’. It is one of several ongoing campaigns in the kingdom, mostly organised by trade unions.

The Communist Party of Swaziland’s ‘Red October’ campaign starts on Saturday (27 October 2018). In a statement it said, ‘The aim is to up the pressure on the dictatorship, which is increasingly showing signs of cracking under popular pressure.’

It is targeting policing and police stations; structures of the Tinkhundla ‘traditional’ authority; royal owned places of business, leisure and livelihood; Parliament and government ministries; government e-communications and the electricity supply to key regime sites of power.

It said, ‘Ideas for blocking, thwarting and sabotaging the regime’s governance and running will be developed in a coordinated way to affect a maximum number of sites of the regime’s operations. The regime will learn that there is no space within society where it can relax or be sure of popular compliance and support.’

It added, ‘The aim is to make the regime unable to function as broadly as possible, to make it unable to govern the country in key areas. Maximum Defiance aims to allow our people to adopt a flexible approach to how they resist the regime. We are not calling for an immediate shutdown of everything, but we are urging labour unions, civil society, communities and party organisations to find the best ways to defy the regime in as many areas of their work and life as possible.’

It said, ‘The overriding aim of the Maximum Defiance campaign is to push the regime to accepting the will of the people by unbanning all political formations, ensuring complete freedom of assembly and media, and disbanding itself as an initial step towards free and fair multi-party elections.’

There is at present an ongoing campaign by trade unions under the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA). Workers want a national minimum wage of E3,500 (US$ 234.27) a month, and an increase in elderly grants (pensions) to E1,500. Public sector workers also want a 6.5 percent cost of living salary adjustment. The Government says it is broke and has offered zero percent.

Many workers also want the legalisation of solidarity strikes, an increase in health and education funding and an end to arbitrary evictions especially on the working class and poor.

Teachers are presently boycotting overseeing school examinations as part of their own dispute over pay.

On 23 September 2018 the Industrial Court forced the Swaziland National Association of Teachers to postpone a three-day strike until 23 November 2018

Police attacked workers during three days of protest in September 2018.

See also

Widespread Condemnation of Swaziland Police Brutal Attacks on Workers

Vicious Attack by Swaziland Police on Defenceless Workers Captured on Video
Swaziland Police Fire Gunshots During Textiles Dispute, Third Attack on Workers in a Week

Swaziland Teacher Who Stopped Police Chief Shooting Into Unarmed Crowd Appears in Court

Police in Swaziland Attack Nurses With Taser During Peaceful Protest Over Pay

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