IUSY condemns the proposed ascendency of Swaziland’s King Mswati who is set to Chair Southern African Development Community (SADC) in August 2016 when the SADC heads of state Summit is held in Swaziland. King Mswati’s dictatorship in Swaziland is against the very same principles and values such as democratic governance that SADC espouses to. Mswati’s rule continues to suppress political parties, as political parties remain banned in Swaziland since 1973. Imprisonment of activists who are against the regime is the order of the day under his rule.
The taking over of SADC by a despot in Mswati does not augur well for the region’s endeavour in promoting democracy, respect for human rights and good governance. The region is currently facing political problems that need a decisive leadership that believes in democracy, tolerance and the value of transparency in settling internal disputes facing regional member states. The dictatorship in Zimbabwe cannot be solved under the leadership of Mswati as SADC chair. The people of Zimbabwe shall continue to plunge into economic abyss and repression when another dictator is at the helm of SADC. The ‘armed’ insurgency impasse in Mozambique is does not inspire a brighter future for the region. Mswati’s leadership is not capable of tackling the challenges confronting the region. The political crisis in Lesotho also needs a credible leader who can ensure that the work done under the outgoing SADC Chairperson President Khama is not reversed.
IUSY calls upon all the democratic states in the region not to endorse Swaziland’s ascendency to the Chairpersonship of SADC. We further call for action to be taken by all progressive forces in the region and the world to pressure Mswati’s regime to allow political freedoms and stop human rights abuses.