19 October 2018

Swaziland: Police Violence, Undemocratic Elections, Hunger and Disease - Highlights of Swaziland's Human Rights Violations

Photo: : Swazi media
King Mswati III in his suit of diamonds and wearing his U.S.$1.6 million watch cuts his birthday cake (file photo).

Police in Swaziland / Eswatini turned the city of Manzini into a warzone when they attacked a legal protest by workers demanding pay improvements. It was one of a number of police attacks on legal demonstrations in which bullets, stun-grenades, water cannon and teargas were fired. A video of an indiscriminate attack by police on defenceless people went viral on the Internet. The police violence was condemned globally.

Police also fired gunshots, grenades and rubber bullets during Swaziland's election as voters protested against what they believed was malpractice. The election was largely recognised outside the kingdom to be undemocratic. Political parties are banned from taking part and at its conclusion King Mswati III the absolute monarch in Swaziland appointed six members of the Royal Family to sit in the House of Assembly. No members of the Swazi Senate are appointed by the people. The election was riddled with reports of bribery, vote-rigging, and violence.

These are some of the reports in this edition of Swaziland: Striving for Freedom which includes reports from Swazi Media Commentary published July to September 2018. It is available to download free-of-charge from Scribd dot com. Among others are the financial meltdown of the Government with health and education services failing. There were reports of hunger and deaths as a result of the government's inability to pay its suppliers. Meanwhile, King Mswati and his family continue to spend lavishly on themselves. Barnabas Dlamini, a stanch ally of the ruling elite who was recognised globally as a serial abuser of human rights in Swaziland, died after a long illness.

It was also revealed in a once-secret CIA report that the revered King Sobhuza II supported the white-ruled Apartheid government in South Africa because he was afraid that change there would encourage people to press for political reform in his own kingdom.

Swazi Media Commentary is published online, updated most weekdays. It is operated entirely by volunteers and receives no financial backing from any organisation. It is devoted to providing information and commentary in support of human rights in Swaziland.

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