Saturday, February 6, 2010


The following is a statement (issued 4 February 2010) from the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) about its recent NEC meeting. PUDEMO is banned in Swaziland and branded a ‘terrorist’ entity in the kingdom ruled by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch.

Statement of PUDEMO on the NEC held on 29-31 December 2010

The NEC of PUDEMO in its extended form met on the weekend of 29-31 January 2010 in the Mpumalanga Province of South Africa. Discussing a wide range of issues pertaining the struggle in Swaziland and the crisis of the royalist Tinkhundla system; PUDEMO reiterated that the movement of the people lives!

On the closure of SAPPI

Faced with the closure of one of the most important employment places, the Usuthu SAPPI mill, PUDEMO condemned the role of the state in handling the matter. In this regard PUDEMO supports the workers under their union SAPWU in their struggle to defend their jobs. This closure is an indication of the failure of the economic approach of the regime and insensitivity to the needs of communities. The closure of this mill in Swaziland is significant to the Swazis as its value to the Swazi socio-economic position is extreme as the operation of the company has contributed over 4% to the GDP and has provided numerous direct and indirect dependencies to the extent of communities, the informal economy and other supplier/consumer chains. Sappi Usuthu pulp mill employs about 2500 - 3000 people directly and indirectly which further support almost 10 times that amount of dependants. This is obviously going to create a lot of social unrest. Many children will not e able to go to school; there will be increase in criminal activity and loss of livelihoods from various people including the transport and retail sector, on which many people around Bhunya depended. PUDEMO urges the workers to fight more.

Policy Development:

PUDEMO Policy seeks to achieve a coherent and comprehensively integrated response to the crisis faced by our country and the needs of our people, in order to build a new and democratic Swaziland founded on the basis of sustainable development, efficient management and utilisation of resources and innovation for an ever-improving quality. This requires that we value and develop the potential of our people, care for our environment and manage our natural resources with such efficiency that future generations may be able to still benefit from them.

In this regard The NEC reiterated and concretized the convening of a special policy conference in the month of May 2010 to improve on the policy imperatives as adopted in our policy conference of 1996. Many developments have happened since then. The NEC identified the following:

Foreign policy framework

Economic policy framework

Health policy framework

Education policy framework

In this process the CEC of PUDEMO will be liaising with stake holders and allies to come on board to enrich the process.

Political education:

In the spirit of our political programme, the Road Map to a free and democratic Swaziland ;

The NEC resolved to host a national political school in order to continue deepening political and ideological clarity to develop advanced cadres, ready and capable of inspiring and leading mass struggles. This school is also critical in ensuring that leaders and members of the movement correctly characterize the current phase of the Terrorism Act which proscribed PUDEMO as a terrorist organisation.

It will also ensure that all cadres of PUDEMO wherever they are operating have the necessary access to political support and ideological development to harness their capacity for effectiveness wherever they are.

International Mission

In keeping with the effort to raise the profile of the Swazi struggle the NEC resolved that in order to effectively co-ordinate all our activities and international structures, as well as proper support and integration of all the noble efforts being made by our friends and international compatriots all over the world for our struggle; with immediate effect an International Relations Commission led by the Secretary for International Affairs was established. This committee includes senior, disciplined and loyal members of PUDEMO who are both in and inside Swaziland . As a result of this committee’s establishment, PUDEMO seeks to build an effective, highly efficient and well coordinated International mission of PUDEMO capable of coordinating the work and activities of all solidarity structures and build more in parts of the world where none exist as yet to promote the effective involvement of all peoples of the world in the struggle in Swaziland. All matters related to the international mission will be handled in this office.

Organisational Renewal

Responding to a number of internal and external challenges that threaten the cohesion of the movement, the NEC resolved to establish an Organisational Recovery Team whose main purpose is to identify areas of contention and investigate what needs to be done to reinstate the organisation to its status as the leader of the Swazi revolution. This committee is expected to report to the CEC within three months.

Swaziland United Democratic Front

The NEC reiterated that the general congress of PUDEMO in 2006 adopted a fundamental resolution which articulated that the unity of all progressive forces is paramount for the success of our revolution. In this regard the NEC commits the movement to defend the existence of the SUDF at all costs. There will be continuous engagement with those organisations that are still outside of the front and encourage them to come on board. The front is an important vehicle on the last mile to freedom. Any attempts to distabilise it must be defeated. PUDEMO commits to work with all partners and allies to build a strong united and powerful SUDF.

The NEC strongly endorsed the philosophy that together we can walk far.

Issued by PUDEMO Head of Publicity

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