Thursday, November 20, 2008


The war declared by Swazi King Mswati III against his own people has turned Swaziland into a military state, it has been claimed.

The People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) – one of four political formations branded as ‘terrorist’ organisations by the Swazi Government – says the kingdom is now quickly turning into a military dictatorship.

The news agency afrol reported yesterday (19 November 2008) that PUDEMO is warning that Swaziland ‘is now quickly turning into a military dictatorship, using its new terrorism legislation to deploy military police in the streets of Mbabane to chase peaceful dissidents’.

President of PUDEMO Mario Masuku has been charged with making public statements in favour of terrorist organisations. If convicted he could face jail for up to 25 years.

On Monday, Attorney General Majahenkhaba Dlamini warned that journalists who report critically against the government would be viewed as ‘supporting terrorists’ and arrested.

Afrol reports, ‘The increased oppression of Swazi dissidents came after fraudulent elections in August, King Mswati’s appointment of a new government of his choice and the recent passing of the controversial Suppression of Terrorism Act. Certain provisions of the Act empower the new Prime Minister to declare virtually anyone or anything to be a terrorist entity, something government now has started doing.’

According to afrol these developments caused the PUDEMO leadership, now mostly in hiding in South Africa, to issue a statement warning about the deterioration in Swaziland. PUDEMO says that King Mswati has implemented a military coup, now using Swazi armed forces under his firm control to oppress the people.

‘The army is out. Swaziland is now officially a military state,’ the PUDEMO statement says. ‘The army is wearing deceptive aprons written military police. No intention to protect but to throttle,’ it adds.

PUDEMO, which has been outlawed and persecuted by King Mswati at several occasions, says it is not surprised by the use of military forces to stop the Swazi democracy movement. The unleashing of the army was announced long time ago, around July, by their commander Sobantu Dlamini, PUDEMO says, referring to Mr Dlamini's public statement that it was also the aim of the army to flush out PUDEMO.

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