Swaziland Democracy Now!

IUSY WORLD COUNCIL 2017 - Across borders - 23/26 March 2017 - Rosario, Argentina

Resolution presented by the Presidium

approved by the IUSY World Council 2017, on March, 25th.

We, the International Union Socialist Youth (IUSY), call on for the democratization of Swaziland. The people of Swaziland have been denied their freedom for too long since political parties were banned in 1973 by the monarchy. The absolute monarchy run by King Mswati does not espouse to the values of freedom, human rights which the world cherishes so much.

Swaziland remains the only African state that is ruled by an absolute monarchy with the king having total control over all the three arms of government. The king personally appoints the whole cabinet and judiciary. He also appoints some members of parliament in both the house of assembly and the house of senate. The king controls the economy suppresses the participation of people in the governance of the country by banning political parties and suppression of trade unions.

The authoritarian rule has failed to transform the lives of the ordinary citizenry as we witness that more than 60% of the Swazi’s lives below the poverty datum line whilst the royal family lives lavishly. The monarchy controls about 60% of the Swazi economy (Freedom House report 2013). The youth is faced with the reality of grinding poverty, HIV/AIDS pandemic, and a very high unemployment rate. The operation of the system also minimises chances of access to quality education for the youth. Patriarchy and lack of political participation means the future is not in the hands of the majority of Swazis, mainly, the youth and women. 26 % of our people live with HIV/AIDS, which is the highest infection rate in the world. And this has resulted in the demise of young workers and parents. There are more than 200 000 orphans and vulnerable children, many of them are forced to head their families as there are no adult care givers in their families. The vicious cycle of poverty, hunger and sickness, has seen the life expectancy drop to 48 years, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The people of Swaziland are fully committed to a peaceful transition in societies facing political, social and economic challenges. With the current form of government the inequalities, violations of fundamental human rights, poverty and disease are continually rising.  Our member organization the Swaziland Youth Congress (SWAYOCO) is advocating for change to transform people’s lives. We are fully committed to support a peaceful transition to democracy in Swaziland. We therefore, condemning the dictatorship and commit to implementation of practical steps towards a peaceful transition to democracy in Swaziland. IUSY calls for the:

  1. Unbanning of all political parties,
  2. Removal of all legislations that are meant to oppress political parties and labour unions,
  3. End the systematic harassment, intimidation and incarceration of political activists,
  4. Unconditional release of political prisoners and return of exiles,
  5. Introducing a constitutional multi party democracy.

We are appealing democratic governments, regional bodies, and multilateral institutions to raise the issue of Swaziland and hold the authoritarian regime accountable. We call for political and economic pressure on the regime. We appeal to our international bodies to apply smart sanctions on the royal family and its cronies to members until democracy is instituted in Swaziland. The people of Swaziland deserve freedom and democracy the world needs to show solidarity with them in this hour of need.

Solidarity Forever!!!