25 June 2013

Swaziland: PM - State Files Kept On Critics

Swaziland's Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini told parliament that files are being kept on people in the kingdom who criticise the government and they will be used to ensure they never get positions of influence.

Dlamini said the files contained information on all Swazis who speak negatively about the country and its leaders.

Swaziland is ruled by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa's last absolute monarch and the prime minister and cabinet ministers are appointed by the king. All political parties are banned from taking part in parliamentary elections.

Dlamini said the files would be visited when it came to consideration for political positions either when people stand for election or when political appointments were made, the Times of Swaziland reported him saying.

He said, 'We are aware that certain individuals do this [speak negatively about Swaziland and its leaders] and let me assure senators that we are not taking anything they say lightly nor ignore it. Some of these persons will one day run for elections and want to come to Parliament, but these files will be brought into the picture too.'

He also said the files continued to pile up and there would come a time when government would start acting on the cases.

The revelation comes as no shock to political opponents of the undemocratic regime in Swaziland. A campaign to boycott the national election due in September is gaining ground in Swaziland. Opponents say the parliament has no powers and is just a rubber stamp for King Mswati.

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