Monday, November 10, 2008


Swaziland’s only independent daily newspaper has come out strongly against a move to reintroduce detention without trial in Swaziland.

As I reported yesterday, the Liqoqo committee, which advises King Mswati III, is considering reviving an order that would allow people to be detained for up to 60 days by police without trial.

The Times of Swaziland in an editorial comment published today (10 November 2008) says the news should be shocking but in light of the recent declaration of war against his subjects made by King Mswati III, it is not. The king had publicly told Dlamini to fight the terrorists and all who support them.

As readers of this blog will know, the king last month illegally appointed Barnabas Dlamini as Swaziland’s Prime Minister. When he was previously Prime Minister from 1996 to 2003, Dlamini introduced the 60 Day Detention Order. He also unleashed a reign of terror against the Swazi people and had complete disregard for the rule of law.

The Times says, ‘Only a ruling party desperate to cling onto power’ would think detention without trial was a way to fight terrorism.

‘Slowly this country is degenerating into a military state and we should not and cannot allow ‘that to happen.

‘Using Saddam Hussein strategies of holding onto power would only yield the result that saw the former Iraq leader toppled unceremoniously by external forces.

‘Liqoqo should, therefore, not begin to enforce dictatorship when the world seeks to destroy it.

‘Every citizen has a right to a fair hearing and this right is protected by the country’s constitution; not that this country’s constitution is followed to the letter.

‘We are all concerned about terrorism and it deserves to be condemned in the strongest possible terms, but whatever measures are put in place, they should not be haphazard and unlawful.

‘The king should dismiss the Liqoqo proposal if they eventually decide to submit it to him for approval.

‘May we also use this opportunity to request Liqoqo to think away from reviving the 1973 Decree as Option B.

‘The simple and most effective anti-terrorism action is good governance, where the equal distribution of the country’s wealth, political transparency and accountability to the people, dialogue and power sharing are an important ingredient.

‘Only then can we realise peace and prosperity. Any other way will simply render us a “banana republic”’.

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