Saturday, January 14, 2012


Mario Masuku, the President of the banned People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), is rumoured to be about to quit – in part because he is fed up with the criticisms he is getting from his comrades.

The Southern Africa Report (SAR) journal, which supports the call for democracy in Swaziland, this week (12 January 2012) reported, ‘Masuku’s pending departure, still under discussion and a closely guarded secret, is apparently due to a combination of failing health and criticism over his overcautious leadership amid mounting demands for a consistent opposition voice in Swaziland as Mswati's administration implodes.’

SAR goes on to report the friction between PUDEMO and the recently-formed Communist Party of Swaziland.

SAR says the progressive movement, ‘is at sixes and sevens over what to do about the left, particularly as a range of centrist formations, among them Swaziland’s churches, attempt to up their influence in the pro-democracy movement ahead of talks with the Mswati government.’

SAR goes on, ‘Anyone who regularly checks [Swaziland Solidarity Network’s] web forum will be familiar with the frequent storms of libellous acrimony, accusation and character assassination centred on these individuals and their supporters, often coming from other PUDEMO members.

‘One consequence of this is consistent lack of clarity and purpose by the movement and a palpable dearth of PUDEMO-led mass action inside Swaziland in galvanising opposition to the Mswati regime. Instead, most of the pro-democracy pressure Mswati faces tends to be sporadic and reactive, rather than dependably proactive, allowing the regime to prolong its hold on power.’

To read the full SAR report, click here.

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