Statement of the Communist Party of Swaziland (CPS):
Support the call for a democratic Interim Government! The Mswati government must now be disbanded!
5 June 2011
The CPS, like other forces for change in Swaziland, has been closely monitoring the deteriorating economic, social and political developments in recent months. It is clear that we now need decisive action for change.
The state’s financial crisis is bringing the other aspects of Swaziland’s dire situation to a head. The government can no longer pay its way and has no recourse to bailouts from any quarter. Government workers will soon be without pay entirely. The levels of discontent among our people are reaching a decisive point.
Concerted action for change must engage all progressive forces in our country, and we must be clear what we want.
The Tinkhundla ruling elite is failing to provide solution to the problem and is beginning to disintegrate. This is welcome news to us. But as the system collapses its officials and the royal elite will act more ruthlessly to maintain their hold over the country’s dwindling resources and to wield the power of the police and army against the people. All talk at seeking a dialogue to solve the situation, through such forums as the sibaya, is a sham. Mswati and his government know that their days are numbered. It is now up to us to make that a reality.
The CPS calls on all progressive forces in Swaziland and in exile to support the following demands:
1. The immediate dissolution of the government, suspension of the legislature and the appointment of an interim government.
a. The interim government will be composed of representatives of all political parties, trade unions and civil society forces, and the church to be nominated at a Conference for a Democratic Swaziland. We will request the government of South Africa to mediate in this process.
b. Institutions and structures that are part of the tinkhundla system will not be part of the Interim Government though traditional leaders will be able to submit their suggestions to the Conference for a Democratic Swaziland.
d. The Interim Government must take emergency measures in securing all state assets inside and outside the country and to create an Emergency National Economic Plan to address the immediate needs of the people.
e. The dissolution of the government will mean the immediate end to the king’s powers over the executive, judicial and security matters of the country.
f. The Interim Government will establish the modalities for a new democratic dispensation and the drafting of a fully democratic Constitution for the Republic of Swaziland.
2. This process will be preceded by the unbanning of all political parties and organizations, release of all political prisoners and the annulment of all court cases against political leaders and activists.
3. All exiles must be allowed to unconditionally return to the country and all political persecution must come to an end.
4. The police, army and all security forces must cease to operate as instruments of the monarchy and tinkhundla and be incorporated as of the democratic Interim Government.
5. Countries and international institutions must pledge to stop their support of the tinkhundla regime, wait for the establishment of the Interim Government and contribute in all required ways for the process of the reorganization of the country towards the new democratic life and support to the new dispensation.
The CPS believes that these steps are the only practical way forward for our people in the coming months. We call on all areas of the pro-democracy movement to come out in support of them.
The CPS will work with the workers and the frontline forces led by PUDEMO to ensure all possible means to carry forward these demands. We call on the youth and students in particular to use the great enthusiasm and energy they have mobilized among the young in recent months to help realize these demands for swift change.
The government must go now! Tinkhundla must be dismantled! Forward to a democratic Interim Government!